An effort to preserve a piece of land at the Randolph interstate exit is much closer to its goal after a flurry of commitments from several large donors.
According to Paul Bruhn of Preservation Trust of Vermont, in the past week, five anonymous donors have committed a total of $385,000. Bruhn says the donors are family foundations based in Vermont or with ties to the state.
Donations for the $1 million purchase now total $860,000.
Two weeks ago the goal of raising enough money to buy the scenic 22.5 acres along I-89 at Exit 4 seemed daunting. Organizers were less than halfway there, with under a month to the June 15 deadline.
Bruhn says there’s still $140,000 needed, but he hopes that with the goal in sight, the pace of contributions will quicken.
“It’s true for not just smaller donors but for larger ones that we’re talking to, they can see that we’ve got a real chance of succeeding, of accomplishing this amazing goal,” he says.
Bruhn says more than 300 individuals have made donations to purchase the land.
Preservation Trust is working with the Vermont Natural Resources Council, Conservation Law Foundation and the Randolph-area citizens group Exit 4 Open Space to buy the property from developer Jesse Sammis.
A 149-acre parcel adjacent to the 22.5 acres has already been preserved under an agreement announced in April.
Sammis had wanted to build a large multi-use project on the land.
Donations will be returned if the goal is not met, and can be made online through Preservation Trust of Vermont or Exit 4 Open Space. Checks can also be sent to Preservation Trust of Vermont, 104 Church St, Burlington, Vt., 05401.