Sara Caldwell grew up in Connecticut as part of a family which is very active in hunting, fishing, gardening, and conservation. Sara graduated from the University of Vermont in 1994 with a degree in Environmental Studies and with a focus on Environmental Education. She has worked for the Green Mountain Club as a Caretaker on the summits of Camel's Hump and Mount Mansfield and as an Environmental Educator and Land Conservation Steward for the Hazen's Notch Association for 10 years. She now works at the Montgomery Elementary School, where she has taught Life, Physical, Earth, and Space sciences to middle school students for the past 18 years.
Sara lives in Richford, Vermont where she and her sister's family own 280 acres of forest land. Together, they manage their forest to support a diversity of habitats for wildlife, to protect water quality, provide firewood for their family, and to produce maple syrup. They follow a stewardship management plan which they created with their consulting forester.
"My core values include fostering the health and vitality of ecosystems, not only for human use and experience, but also for the ecological integrity of all living and nonliving things. I am grateful to work with the Hazen's Notch Conservation Trust and hope that it's vision will benefit many generations to come."
Christopher Smith is a sixth generation Vermonter born in Franklin County. He grew up in Saint-Albans and has strong family ties to Berkshire and Richford. Chris developed a strong connection to the natural world through fishing, hiking, hunting and exploring the watersheds of the Trout and Missisquoi Rivers. His connection to the natural world developed into a strong passion for the fish, wildlife, human communities, and the land that sustains them.
"In today's world - fish, wildlife, and rural communities are under mounting stress from the pressures of development and urbanization. Land conservation serves a critical role in helping maintain and grow these important communities."
Chris continues to explore the Hazen's Notch area with his children and his brothers. He lives in Saint Albans with his wife Heather and their three children.
Denis grew up in the suburbs of Montreal where he enjoyed bicycling, fishing, skiing and exploring in nearby Mont-Saint-Bruno. As a young adult, Denis purchased a cottage near Lake Placid. For many years, this served as a base camp to hike, snowshoe, ski and canoe in the Adirondacks. This is where he developed his true love of the outdoors.
Starting in 2010, Denis and his partner Caroline purchased a farmhouse on 48 acres in Stanbridge Station, Quebec, close to Highgate, Vermont. The Larsens worked with a forester to create a stewardship plan to guide them in managing their woodlot for maple sugaring and firewood while maintaining good habitat for wildlife.
While Denis first visited the Hazen's Notch Area in 2004, he and his family became regular visitors to Hazen's Notch starting in 2014. They have skied and hiked the trails and, with their young sons, have enjoyed exploring the edges of the ponds.
Denis expressed his feelings about the importance of land protection this way:
" To me, conservation just makes sense. It ensures that the woods are managed according to what they can sustainably provide. It protects against fragmentation and maintains connectivity between large conserved tracts for wildlife. It keeps our water clean. But most of all, it ensures free access to undisturbed natural beauty for my two young boys and for all generations to come.
I am excited and honored to be a Trustee of the Hazen's Notch Conservation Trust. "