In 2009, the Waitsfield Selectboard accepted a gift of land from the family of Leslie Flemer pursuant to her wish that the land be maintained "... for use by the general public as a Village Green for open air recreation such as walking, picnicking, and other similar activities, and as a way to afford pleasure to the eye." The Flemer Field Community Green is seven acres of former pasture and long-time polo field located in historic Waitsfield Village, just steps away from the Waitsfield Elementary School, Mad River Community Health Center, the Mad River Garden Center, and residential neighborhoods. The property may be used "for other purposes such as ... periodic farmers' markets, concerts, sports and other community events and gatherings, provided that these uses do not significantly interfere with the stated purpose."
The gift to the Town included a number of deed restrictions on the use of the land that are intended to maintain its openness, free of physical and visual intrusions. In an effort to abide by these restrictions and manage activities at the field, the Selectboard will be developing Rules and Procedures to guide multiple uses and organized events. Below is a summary of the applicable deed restrictions.
No above ground structure may be built or placed on the Green except as provided below. "Structures" shall include, but are not limited to, buildings, tables, goal posts, signs, or any other assembly of materials not specifically permitted.
a. Structures such as goal posts which are used for temporary recreational purposes may be placed on the premises provided that those structures are, following play or by the end of the each day on which any such structures are used, placed within the fifty foot wide tree planting area running along the Phillips property and Old County Road, as described in paragraph 2 below; and
b. Structures such as picnic tables, tents, and not more than one gazebo may be placed within that portion of the fifty foot wide strip described below which runs along Old County Road (and not along the border of the Phillips property or the fifty foot wide right-of-way).
c. A sign or signs which identify the property as a Village Green for use by the public, set forth rules for use, or which direct parking will be allowed provided it or they are located at or near the perimeter of the property and do not interfere with the use of the property as a Village Green.
2. Buffer Area and Plantings:
a. A fifty foot wide buffer running in a generally easterly direction from and parallel with the stream located near the westerly boundary of the property (more particularly identified as "50' Wide Protective Buffer for Brook" on the Survey) shall be maintained in its naturally vegetated state. Supplemental plantings are permitted within the buffer area to enhance the protection of the stream; however, no trees, shrubs, or plants shall be planted on any other portion of the Green except as specifically permitted.
b. Trees, shrubs, and/or plants may be also be planted within a fifty-foot wide strip, as shown in the site plan, running parallel behind property now or formerly owned by Sonya & Nancy Phillips over to and parallel with the right-of-way of Old County Road to the fifty foot wide right-of-way at the Old County Road entrance. From there it runs along and parallel with the fifty foot wide right-of-way for a distance of two hundred fifty feet (250').
Any parking located on the premises shall serve only those making use of the property as and for a Village Green and shall be located only within the Access Easement, which is a fifty foot (50') wide right-of-way for ingress and egress running generally along the westerly portion as shown on the site plan as "50' Access Easement to Lots #1 and #3." Additional terms specified in the deed will apply in the event the grantor wishes to exercise their right to make use of the Access Easement. No parking will be allowed on the Green that serves any off-site business or purpose. Any road or parking area constructed within the Access Easement shall be gravel and shall not be paved without the prior written consent of the Grantors, their heirs, successors, or assigns which may be withheld for any reason or for no reason.
Rules and Procedures
To reserve the green for an organized event, check the calendar below to see if the time you are intereted in is available and submit a completed a FFCG Use Form to the Town Administrator. Questions? Please contact the Town Office.
In addition to the restrictions noted above, the following rules apply:
Hold Harmless: The organization or individual(s) participating or requesting the use of the premises agree to Hold Harmless and Indemnify the Town of Waitsfield for any damages or injuries associated with this event.
Children: Activities involving children must provide appropriate adult supervision. Children must be supervised at all times.
Insurance: The sponsor of any group or organization applying for use of the premises for athletic purposes or for other purposes which, in the opinion of the approving Town official, may require appropriate insurance coverage shall provide a certificate of insurance naming the Town of Waitsfield as an additional insured.
Non-Discrimination: Participants will not be restricted from participation for reasons of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, or disability conditions.
Preference: In the event of a schedule conflict, preference will be given to free programming that accessible to the widest number of participants.
Trash: Pack it in, pack it out. All trash must be removed and the premises left in good order.
Neighboring Properties: The privacy and boundaries of the adjoining residential properties must be respected. Activities, including storage of equipment, should be directed away from them to extent possible. Crossing through yards without the owner's permission is specifically prohibited.
Parking: See the deed restrictions noted above. In addition, on-street parking restrictions must be obeyed or vehicles may be ticketed or towed.
The Flemer Green Community Orchard project, located in an area along the western boundary of the property, was made possible by a 'Communities Take Root' grant from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) and Edy's Fruit Bars. The Flemer Green Community Orchard proposal was selected via an online nation-wide voting competition that began March 15, 2010 and ended on June 1, 2010. A ground breaking and planting day was held on August 18, 2010 at which dozens of volunteers helped plant forty apple, pear, and cherry trees. The orchard complements the green's primary uses for recreation and civic events.
The Flemer Green Community Orchard is a collaboration of the following diverse, multi-generational, public, business, non-profit, and educational organizations, all with direct interest in ensuring the success of the orchard:
- Town of Waitsfield (http://waitsfieldvt.us/)
- Waitsfield Elementary School (waitsfieldschool.org)
- Mad River Valley Planning District (www.mrvpd.org)
- Mad River Valley Localvore Project (www.vermontlocalvore.org)
- Mad River Garden Center (www.madrivergardencenter.com)
- Valley Futures Network (valleyfutures.net)
- Harwood High School's Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
- Whole Systems Design (www.wholesystemsdesign.com)
- Yestermorrow Design/Build School (www.yestermorrow.org)
- Central Vermont Beekeepers' Club (www.vermontbeekeepers.org)
How the Orchard Will Help Our Community
This orchard will add to our local food production and provide a hands-on horticultural classroom for the partner organizations and the community to learn how to raise, care for, process, and share the local fruit and berry produce (e.g., fresh fruit and its products will be donated to the Valley Food Shelf, and the elementary school intends to incorporate the orchard into its curriculum as an extension of its already successful and staffed school garden program.) Waitsfield has a long tradition of conserving land and reinforcing agricultural activities that provide a wide variety of locally grown products. The Flemer Green Community Orchard will be a visible extension of this tradition, yielding long-term learning, health, sustainable food production, and community engagement.
This calendar is intended to help individuals and organizations see what events have been scheduled during the course of the year at the Flemer Field Community Green so to avoid conflicts.
Please contact the Town Office to have your event included on the calendar.