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Conserved Alburgh Land Will Add To State Park Along Lake Champlain

lakeshore cliff
The Nature Conservancy, Courtesy
The new 160-acre parcel that will be added onto Alburgh Dunes State Park includes rocky shale cliffs, cedar forests and wetlands.

A popular state park on Lake Champlain is about to get bigger, thanks to a purchase of waterfront land by The Nature Conservancy.

The Alburgh Dunes State Park hosts about 20,000 visitors a year who come to enjoy walking trails and a sandy beach on the lake.

The new addition will add 160 acres to the park. Eve Frankel, spokeswoman for the Vermont chapter of The Nature Conservancy, said the land purchase benefits both people and the natural environment.

“In just one project, we're expanding the state park," she said. "We're protecting rare and threatened plant species, so it's a total boon for biodiversity."

The new parcel is adjacent to the existing park. It includes 4,800 feet of Lake Champlain waterfront, rocky cliffs, cedar forests and wetlands favored by migrating ducks and shorebirds.

More from VPR: Vermont State Parks Open A Month Late, With Pandemic, Safety In Mind

The Nature Conservancy also worked with the state in the 1990s to create the original Alburgh Dunes State Park.

Frankel said the new property cost $1.1 million and will be transferred to the state later this year. Funds for the purchase came from private donors, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the state Fish and Wildlife Department and the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

The park expansion comes, Frankel said, as record numbers of people sought recreation outdoors during the pandemic.

“We are seeing record-level visitorship at all of our natural areas," she said. "And I think a lot of our trail systems and state parks are seeing that demand as well. So this is also good news for greater public access for more of the community.”

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