MIDDLEBURY In a cooperative effort between the Middlebury Area Land Trust (MALT) and Middlebury, Faith Sessions-Neil, of Hinesburg, and her sister Janice Allen, of Englewood, Fla., have recently protected an 11.7-acre piece of land in East Middlebury. The property lies off Ossie Road and contains 1600 feet of frontage on the north bank of the Middlebury River as well as two islands in the river. The MALT and the Town of Middlebury jointly purchased the land from the sisters. The land has been in the family since it was purchased by Faiths great grandfather Hiram Champlin Sessions in 1830. Handed down through the generations, Faiths brother Edson eventually inherited the original farmhouse and 10 acres of land, and Faith and Janice inherited the lands east of Route 7, including the parcel that MALT and the Town of Middlebury purchased. Faith remarked, My sister Janice and I are so pleased to have MALT and the Town of Middlebury purchase our land that borders the East Middlebury River. The river is so unsettled and raging at times; we feel that MALT can manage and protect the river corridor in the best possible way. We hope that MALT can help protect the land to the south of the river as well. A public meeting was held in East Middlebury in late September to discuss the rivers history and obtain feedback from the community. Shannon Pytlik, a river resource scientist with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, spoke to the history of river management in Middlebury and the benefits of protecting this property. The next phase of the project includes the purchase of a buffer strip and wooded parcel on the south bank of the river.