When a hundred community members came together in late 2008 to discuss the future of their shared landscape, no one in the room had an inkling of what might come of it.
Folks from seven northern Vermont towns – Bakersfield, Belvidere, Enosburgh, Fletcher, Montgomery, Richford, and Waterville – sat down with maps of the region to identify those areas most precious to them, whether for hunting and fishing, timber harvesting, hiking and mountain biking, or for solace and reflection. They circled both large swaths and small corners of forest that had some connection to their family, heart, industry, or identity. It wasn’t until the special places they identified together were superimposed over a map of some early forest block analysis work that light bulbs went off.
Without forethought or intention, the people in the room had called out the highest ecologically ranked forest blocks in our region as those areas that also held the greatest human value to the community. The intersectionality of our community’s identity and the building blocks of ecological resiliency couldn’t have been clearer. Though the name came later, that was the night Cold Hollow to Canada was born.
Photo by Joan Hildreth