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Birdseye eco-center to open

In conjunction with Vermont Adaptive Sports Association (a story featured in the Rutland Tribune on Oct. 8), the new mountain project will promote independence and further equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational opportunities-akin to wheelchair access improevments along part of the Appalachian Trail where it crosses Rutland County. This project is particularly important to Davis because his uncle became a paraplegic after falling into a well.

It was a struggle to get him back into the woods, Davis said. He was an avid outdoorsman who still wanted access to the wilderness.

Davis has aquired a unique piece of property that boasts the entire ecosystem of Vermont but contained within a few square miles. It's a gem he wants to share with the Audubon Society, too. The goal is to protect local birds and other wildlife along with habitat; the Birdseye center will create a culture of conservation through natural science education, and advocacy.

Davis also hopes that local colleges such as Green Mountain College, Castleton State College, and the College of St. Joseph, will partner to create internships at the mountain center and campground. "There are so many variables we aren't rushing anything right now," Davis said, "but there are an abundance of opportunities."

Birdseye Mountain is easily accessible from New York and Massachusetts. The mountain stands at the northern end of the Taconic range which is geologically the sheared off, upturned tops of the nearby Green Mountains. The north face of Birdseye starts off gradually at the base, but rises dramatically to the summit with its nearly dramatic vertical cliffs.

The Birdseye center will be free and open to the public. Funding will come through the generosity of donations and fundraisers. For more information contact Davis at 802-265-9994 or visit the website www.nelsap.org.

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