The Peter A Krusch Nature Preserve
Report of the Steering Committee
The Town of Cambridge acquired this 51-acre property in December 2020. Thanks to donations and grants, the support of the Vermont Land Trust, the hard work of volunteer work crews, high community support, and a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant from Vermont Department of Forests Parks and Recreation, the Preserve opened for public use this past summer. The entrance and parking lot is at 316 North Cambridge Road.
The land was owned and stewarded for 60 years by Peter Krusch (1931-2018), who envisioned this unique land preserved and open to the public. A three-year cooperative effort between the Town of Cambridge, the Vermont Land Trust, the Cambridge Conservation Commission, and Sally Laughlin (Peter’s widow) resulted in the creation of the preserve named in his honor.
Thanks to a $50,000 Recreational Trails Grant from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, nature trail building got underway in Spring 2021. The grant requires a match of $12,500, made up of $8,500 donations already in the Conservation Reserve Fund (including a $2,500 grant in December 2020 from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Green Mountain Fund) and $4,000 in volunteer time). Professional trail designer/builder Erin Amadon of Towns4Trails designed the sustainable and scenic trail from the trailhead on North Cambridge Road, across a seasonal stream, through the varied forested land, past a waterfall and gorge, along Dragon Brook, and then across that brook to the border of the ancient pines and hemlocks of the Cambridge Pines State Forest/Fragile Area. Two new bridges are in place. In Spring 2022, bog bridging will be built to cross an Ostrich Fern wetland.
All the trail building work is being done by volunteers – more are needed and welcome! Contact Liam Kearney, organizer of the volunteer trail crew, at Trails@kruschnaturepreserve.org.
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) is currently exploring building a loop trail though the adjacent Cambridge Pines State Forest/Fragile Area. Currently,people are welcome to meander through the ancient trees, reached at the end of the Krusch Nature Trail,
The Lamoille County Planning Commission obtained a grant for the Town of Cambridge which provides funds for the development of the Preserve’s long-term management plan and the graphic design of interpretive signs for the trail.
These are the major happenings for 2021:
- Our expert and ambitious Steering Committee has worked hard to lead the project to completion.
- A Recreational Trails Program grant from VT FPR ($50,000) was obtained in May 2021
- The Parking Lot opened in early June, funded by donations, and with construction done by Ernest Krusch, and can hold up to 18 cars or 12 cars and a school bus.
- Trail Construction began in May, continuing until snow, with a dozen volunteers joining in work days every few weeks. The trail is one mile each way, out and back.
- The two new RTP grant-funded bridges were completed in September, built by Blow and Cote.
- Jonathan Wood is preparing a Forest Inventory and Analysis, toward the creation of a Long-Term Management plan. Once completed it will be posted on the Krusch Preserve webpage on the Town of Cambridge website.
- Each day many people are hiking and enjoying the trails – summer and winter.