There are few people who look to swamps as great places for island hopping. However, you can do just that within the 22,000 acre Otter Creek swamp complex in western Vermont.
Local topography creates small islands of rich organic soils which peak above their marshy surroundings. These islands have both archaeological and ecological significance and provide solid footing for a suite of species.
TNC recently acquired a significant portion of one of these islands with the purchase of 178 acres in Cornwall, VT. Bond Island is a clay knoll that houses good examples of two of the eleven known natural community types in the swamp. The more common red maple-Northern white cedar swamp is home to an array of animal species that traverse its moss-covered hummocks and hollows. In the winter, it provides important protection and food for white-tailed deer and plenty of hollows for snowshoe hare to hide. In the spring, when the swamp floods with water and teems with insects, migratory songbirds flitter through its canopies and amphibians submerse themselves in its pools.
Bond Island neighbor, Steve Pratt, is happy to see the area protected. “I’ve been walking in Cornwall Swamp for about 50 years,” he said. “I always knew it was a unique place, a unique forest.”
Visit other conserved lands in Otter Creek.