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Arms Forest Public Workshop
May 15 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pmFree
Join us for another interactive and engaging public workshop. This time we’re taking a look at Arms Forest.
This open-house style workshop will focus on one of Burlington’s most unique natural areas. Drop in ANY TIME during the event to learn about the park and help BPRW plan for the future of the trails and uses. The workshop will give you an opportunity to learn more about the rare ecology and history of the site (and it’s unique location and value within Burlington), give us feedback on current uses of the site, and participate in envisioning the future of the trail network.
The workshop is hands-on and family-friendly! We’ll offer snacks and coffee for the workshop, and The Elk Lodge will also have their regularly scheduled bar and menu on site.
Arms Forest Current Uses and Values
Arms Forest currently provides recreational opportunities including hiking/walking, dog walking, mountain biking, cross country running, Nordic skiing, wildlife watching and contemplation, among many others. The forest also provides immense educational values, with the Burlington High School and a myriad of other educational programs all utilizing the space. In addition, Arms Forest is home to rare natural communities, important geological features, and provides excellent habitat for a wide range of wildlife including large mammals, cavity-nesting birds, and forest amphibians like the spotted salamander. Amazingly, this is not all the small forest is home to—it also contains historical and cultural resources—with a history of agriculture, quarrying, and beyond.
Intent and Scope of the Current Project
With all these diverse values at play, the City and its partnering landowners recognized a need for a clear and comprehensive roadmap for the future management of the site. To address this, the City has embarked upon a planning process to analyze current public uses of the Arms Forest and to consider the existing informal trails on the site. The ultimate goal of this process is to improve the management and stewardship of the site across the owners of this extremely important natural area within our City. A big part of this process will be to determine the appropriate balance between public access and the preservation of wildlife habitat and other important resources on the site.
Opportunities to be Involved and Next Steps
After the stakeholder interview and public visioning open house on May 15, the City and consultant team will hold additional stakeholder interviews with each of the partnering landowners and other institutional partners such as the school district. We will then conduct a site analysis that considers the natural resources present on the site as well as the existing conditions of the informal trails on the property. We will then generate a few trail management alternatives that respond to the ideas of the public and the important ecological considerations of the site. This analysis of potential alternatives is an important aspect of any scoping study, which can help residents and the City consider the relative merits and outcomes of various approaches to managing the forest. After generating the alternatives, the City and the consultant team will present the findings of the public visioning efforts and explore the various alternatives with community members to get your feedback. This meeting is tentatively penciled in for Late July/August.