by Norma Wiesen, Community Journalist
HARDWICK – The Hardwick Conservation Commission (HCC) has embarked on a town-wide project to learn more about the natural world in the community. The commission has contracted with Matt Peters, consulting ecologist and botanist of East Calais, to conduct Hardwick’s first Natural Resources Inventory (NRI).
This inventory will include information about habitat blocks, connectivity areas, wetlands and vernal pools, deer wintering areas, waterways, significant natural communities and other resources. The work of gathering and compiling data will occur between March 2023 and March 2024.
The public will play a big role in this work. The conservation commission will be seeking input about what local people already know and what natural resources people want to learn more about. Information will be gathered on publicly-owned lands and on privately-owned lands when the landowner is willing and has given permission. Allowing a site visit involves no cost or obligation to the landowner.
Hardwick already recognizes the need for an NRI and calls for one in the Hardwick Municipal Plan (August 2019, Appendix A, pages 45-46).
Once the NRI is completed, the information will be easily available to all citizens and landowners.
Citizens can help by attending public meetings about this project or by contacting commission members with suggestions or questions. Rachel Kane, HCC Chair, can be reached at (802) 472-5512).