Burlington Wildways seeks to conserve Burlington’s unique, rich and varied natural areas, connecting those areas for wildlife and people. Wildways is committed to providing equitable access to our wealth of natural areas through connected trails, wayfinding and natural history education.

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Burlington Wildways mission is to achieve lasting conservation and connection of Burlington’s wild and natural areas so they may persist through the generations; enjoy increased protection, use and support; and contribute to the ecological, cultural, and economic value of our city. 

The natural areas of Burlington are rich, diverse, and unique. The city of Burlington is bounded by wild and natural features, Lake Champlain to the west, the delta of the Winooski River to the north and east.  The city has rich and ecologically (and agriculturally) valuable river floodplain acreage; remnant sand dune communities; globally rare plants; wildlife corridors traveled by bobcat, moose, fox and mink; and other (hidden) gems.

These many areas are in multiple ownerships, with multiple jurisdictions and purposes. Some have permanent strong conservation protections; others have no conservation protections. There are some that are heavily or over-used; some that are rarely traveled. Some are well known throughout the city, others hardly known at all. Nevertheless, there is connectivity here for wildlife and ecological processes—and informal connectivity by hikers, bikers and walkers—often by happenstance and long residence, rather than public signage, promotion or formal programming.  These areas represent a green asset to the city.  

In recognition of that there has been little collective treatment of these areas as a whole and valuable resource for our citizens, the Burlington Wildways coalition was formed by a city council resolution to address these issues. These areas have the potential to be enhanced, connected and expanded, increasing their value to residents, plants and wildlife. Or they may become degraded through lack of planning, connection and city-wide stewardship.

Over ten years ago, the city created our invaluable Conservation Legacy Fund which has provided critical funds for the purchase of conservation lands and for some stewardship of city-owned natural areas.  With a renewed focus on connection, stewardship and public access to our network of wild and natural areas, Burlington is poised to become a leader in natural area conservation.

Current Projects

A partnership of...

  • Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront
  • Winooski Valley Park District
  • Burlington Conservation Board
  • Intervale Center
  • Rock Point