A couple walks over a bridge on a trail on Mount Ascutney in West Windsor, Vermont.
©Jerry and Marcy Monkman/EcoPhotography

A little town takes matters—and a mountain—into its own hands

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Mount Ascutney rises 3,000 feet above the town of West Windsor, Vermont. For generations, the ski resort at its base was the community’s center of gravity—until warming winters and a vanishing snowpack drove the resort out of business in 2010. Without a steady stream of visitors, property values dipped, local businesses faltered, and longtime West Windsor residents feared their town’s identity as a hub for outdoor recreation could fade away.

So a group of locals united behind a wild idea to save their mountain: they’d buy it.

Watch the film to find out how The Trust for Public Land helped the people of West Windsor bring their ambitious plan to life, or read the full story in Land&People, our magazine for members of The Trust for Public Land. 

We need your help to save great places like Mount Ascutney. Join the movement at tpl.org/parks-unite-us.


RoseMarie Anderson
Its time to leave things that make your town what it is alone. Quit destroying the past and look forward to the future.
Jon Hager
What a great true life story! A small community with the help of Trust For Public Land working together to create a new future. Thanks to Trust For Public Land and to the folks in West Windsor, Vt. This made my day.
Carol Ruby
The communities will need to purchase and take control of former government properties. They will be able to recoup the investment over time and improve their community.
George V. Hill, Jr
you must understand that when the GOP (GREED OVER PEOPLE) gets involved its because of the money prestige and power. So when the ski town lost their main attraction, the snow, due to global warming their was no incentive to provide funding or a logical explanation without acknowledgement that global warming is real
Sally C. Lawrence
I sure hope this solves the access problem!
Gary A. Kallman...
In younger years, I've MANY times appreciated and enjoyed our parks. Even then I loved the serenity and absolute beauty of nature. Should you afford to go to our parks please enjoy and support them as best you can. I now realize you can "camp/ rent cabins for overnight camping. Thanks for your support.
Joseph Matarrese
Progress is what every community needs to do. invest in many recycling and composting facilities and invest in solar and wind products
Margaret Sinclair
I wish I knew how to put this on facebook so that many others could read this message and what one Vermond village has accomplished. Oh yes...and make the connection with global warming which is a topic some people refuse to acknowledge exists.
Doing similar to could save many different outdoor venues, including areas where a single industry has been the sole job-source. It does sound impossible, as prices are so terribly high, but, if there's a way to re-invent the focus of the areas, from a single "snow" event, for instance, into hiking, biking, camping, etc. That would still maintain nature, and, get people to go there to help support local economies.....doing this kind of conversion, beats the sox off allowing other sorts of industries that pillage resources, ruin the natural splendor.
ralph berney
Public parks whether man made creative areas of lovely space inspired by the beauty of an unspoilt natural environment or wilder parks that are just that - actual natural wonders which stimulate awe inspiration and exploration - both forms feed the human heart soul and mind and above all combine to bring human kind together in appreciation of their existence with joy delight reverence and praise never forgetting that access to such areas brings responsibility of care for and demands respect of all that grows in or rests on Public Land and all natural life which resides within such areas from those who manage such treasured places and those who use and visit them. The crucial factor is that the public has access to Public Land (sensibly controlled and properly monitored) and the more Public Land there is the more the people are able to cherish it and benefit from its extraordinary range of beauty blessings and benefits.

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