Soon after arriving in Vermont from Colorado, we moved to Shelburne with our two young daughters and a third on the way (all pictured at left with Linda), and began to explore the wonders of Shelburne Farms. Over the years, there were summer camps, horse-drawn sleigh rides, bat classes, concerts, Harvest Fest, family and friend Coach Barn weddings and, always, the sunset over the Adirondacks. Later, our five grandkids joined in all the Shelburne Farms activities.
One especially sweet memory is arriving with one of my grandsons at preschool Adventures camp. Once I’d settled him in and was ready to leave, he cried and cried, so the camp counselor happily let me stay with him for the morning. Next day was the same. I ended up being probably the only NaNa to attend a full week of camp for preschoolers–making butter from cream, singing songs, hiking, etc. My grandson and I loved it (and a few other little ones who enjoyed having a NaNa near). I’ve never forgotten how kind and understanding the counselor was. I still see her around, and we laugh about it.
Shelburne Farms is a true treasure for all of us to cherish. When I reached the age required to take distribution from my retirement account, I asked the manager of my IRA to make a distribution directly to Shelburne Farms. It was so easy and saved us from paying income tax on the funds. We hope others will consider this tax-wise strategy for charitable giving.
This is a great way to support the Farm’s mission: “We care about the sustainability and quality of life on earth. We care about young people having hope for the future. We believe that sustainability is grounded in individual awareness and action in our own communities. Our vision is for a just world rooted in stewardship and community.”
For me, Shelburne Farms—the place and its many local and global programs—represents hope, resilience, and beauty. I can’t think of more important qualities for our world right now, so it seems fundamental to be a sustaining member of the Farm. Every month, I’m acting on my commitment to all that Shelburne Farms stands for—I love that, and I’m so grateful to have this regular connection to such an incredible, important organization.
–Kate Williams, CEO, 1% for the Planet
and Shelburne Farms board member
We have had the pleasure of seeing spring unfold on the trails! I photographed spring ephemerals before the canopy formed over the Butternut trail, identified the multitude of incoming birds wandering Whimsy Meadow and of course, staged a few beauty shots of the lake across the hay fields populated with dandelions!
We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to wander at Shelburne Farms and enjoy the outdoors during this difficult time.
We have just renewed our membership!
Annette Seidenglanz & Chuck Bowes
A refuge and a lifesaver
I went for a marvelous walk at Shelburne Farms with friends yesterday. Again! I must go two-to-three times a week, and I’m always struck by the majesty of the property - as well as the generosity of the staff and president, Alec Webb. They could certainly have closed the property and nobody would have blinked. Instead, they’ve trusted the community to use this resource responsibly. How lucky we are. For me, Shelburne Farms has been a refuge and a lifesaver in this lockdown. If you have also enjoyed this amazing place recently, I recommend you make a donation — even a small one — to this nonprofit, educational institution whose mission is to, “inspire and cultivate learning for a sustainable future.” Hard to argue with that. Many thanks to Alec Webb, the board and the staff of Shelburne Farms!
— Claudia Marshall, Charlotte, VT
A note from Shelburne Farms: It takes huge financial resources to maintain and improve this irreplaceable historic campus and its trails, share it with our community, and deliver life-changing education programs regardless of anyone’s ability to pay. This year will be even more challenging as we face the uncertainty and impacts of the coronavirus. Please support the Farm by becoming a member today.
Dear Friends at Shelburne Farms,
Rick and I were walking at the Farm on Saturday, and in an effort to socially distance ourselves from others, we took a trail we do not usually take: the unmarked trails of Whimsey Meadows.
While on this “new-to-us” trail, we heard a loud racket that sounded like ducks. Intrigued, we started walking towards the sound, and found some water, but no ducks. Then looking more closely at the water, we saw a lot of movement.
We were hearing frogs in a vernal pool! Their chorus was amazing! It was the coolest thing we have experienced in a really long time.
If we had not been practicing social distancing on our Farm walk, we might never have enjoyed this special moment with the natural world.
Here’s to many great walks in the future! And thank you for keeping the walking paths open as long as you safely can.
Darci and Rick Lunt
Long-time friends of the Farm
A note from Shelburne Farms: It takes huge financial resources every year to improve and maintain this irreplaceable historic campus and walking trails, share it with our community, and deliver life-changing education programs regardless of anyone’s ability to pay. This year will be even more of a challenge as we face the uncertainty of how the coronavirus situation will affect our public programs and operations in the season ahead. Please support the Farm bybecoming a member today.
The healing powers of Shelburne Farms
For most of the last two weeks, I’ve either started or ended my day at the most magical place on earth. Shelburne Farms is no secret to us Vermonters…but I feel like I have rediscovered it this year, or better yet, it’s helping me to rediscover myself.
I have enjoyed a send off dinner with my daughter and friend at the Inn, welcomed one of my besties into the half century club with breakfast, and said good-bye to a formidable woman who left this earth after trying to save it for 95 years.
But mostly, I’ve walked. I’ve walked with my sister recounting the hell of the last 12 months. Mom’s death last memorial day rocked our world, and it shook more violently 4 months later when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’ve walked with friends I’ve known since our babies were born. I’ve walked with those babies now grown. And I’ve walked with myself.
It’s on those solo walks that I find myself really taking in the glory of Shelburne Farms as Ilisten to the birds sing, or my footsteps as they crunch on the gravel paths. I love visiting the animals at the Farm Barn, remembering how lucky my kids were to go to elementary school on this property and rejoicing at the foundation it gave them for building their lives.
Thank you William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb for building this magical place 130 years ago, and enlisting Fredrick Law Olmsted to design the vistas. Thank you to the modern day Webbs for turning this into an educational property for all to enjoy, and forging a deal with the town of Shelburne 35 years ago that allows us to freely walk this property that once was only for a privileged few.
I look forward to continuing my sojourns this summer and basking in it’s healing powers.
I started “volunteering” at Shelburne Farms at the age of 8 or 9 and spent a large chunk of eleven summers working at the Children’s Farmyard (as well as a number of days baling hay with Donald and Marshall).
Shelburne Farms was my second home. It was where I grew up, learned how to drive (a tractor), and learned public speaking. To this day, I hardly return home to visit my parents without stopping at Shelburne Farms. (My daughter milked her first cow at the Children’s Farmyard this summer.)
Shelburne Farms, in my eyes, is an institution with a perfect mission.
After ten years of post-college training, I have finally become a full fledged physician. One of my first luxuries with the money that this has afforded me, is to make a contribution to Shelburne Farms. I hope this will be one of many future donations to your Endowment Fund to ensure Shelburne Farms exists forever.
Note: After receiving Matt’s lovely note, we hunted through our photo archives and found a few snapshots of him. We share them here with his permission.
Shelburne Farms has had a special place in our hearts since the first time we stepped on the property in the 80’s. Needless to say, the buildings and programs have evolved over the years, but the essence and soul of this remarkable place haven't changed. Our frequent walks around the property constantly inspire wonder of and appreciation for the work of Robert Law Olmsted and the many people who have protected this land.
Yet, it isn’t just the physical property that draws us; it’s also the dedicated staff and extraordinary educational programs and outreach. Also, Shelburne Farms was a perfect place to instill voluntarism in our three children – from demonstrating how to make butter and ice cream to working with families on winter gifts. They all went on to work at the Welcome Center, and one daughter at the Inn, and Shelburne Farms is a destination whenever they are home for a visit.
We are committed to supporting the educational programs and protection of this very special place, and donating stock has been a beneficial way to do this. We hope you will join us in this effort.