With Thanksgiving upon us, it seems appropriate to say a few things about Vermont Turkeys and our ever changing dynamic landscape. Wild turkeys still exist and thrive in Vermont forests today, but this was not always the case. Wild turkeys disappeared from Vermont in mid-to late 1800's due to habitat destruction and unregulated hunting. In the 1800's, Vermont's landscape was 80% cleared for farming and only 20% forested. The wild turkeys we see in Vermont today originated from just 31 wild turkeys stocked in Rutland County by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Dpt. in 1969/70.
Eventually, Vermont's forest was large enough to sustain a turkey population and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife biologists moved a group of these birds to a viable habitat. Today, Vermont's population of Turkeys is estimated to be at 50,000! This is just one of the many successful restoration stories for wildlife preservation. Funding for these projects comes hunting/fishing licenses, and federal tax on hunting equipment. On occasion, you might even see a flock of turkeys while driving up Magic Mountain Access road!
It takes a Village.....
With many thanks to the Londonderry Arts & Historical Society, the Blue Flames Steel Drum Band, Dick Adams, Jelley's Deli, and renowned muralist Kim Ray, the town of Londonderry is proud home to the 'The Barn Dance' mural. It is located on the exterior of Jelley's Deli, RT 11, in the center of town. Since RT 100 and 11 intersect here, the Mural is officially located on the Scenic Route 100 Byway.
Londonderry is blessed with a growing number of residents interested in preserving the rural Vermont lifestyle and the charm of a New England village. This is the second mural to be commissioned for public viewing painted by Kim right here in her own home town. Her first Londonderry public commission can be seen just down the road at the Mountain Market Place, also on Scenic RT100 Byway at the JCT RT100/11 Londonderry. For more information about Kim's murals, visit www.kimraymurals.com.