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Smugglers' Notch Resort presents Gateway to Nature

A program promoting experiential learning about the natural world.

A new environmental program is underway at Smuggs that involves our guests and vacationing Homeowners. It is called the Smugglers’ Notch Gateway to Nature, and it is a non-profit educational center that Peter Ingvoldstad, Gateway to Nature, and Bill Stritzler, Managing Director of Smugglers' Notch Resort are planning together. The Gateway will be housed in a pavillion being built on Smugglers’ Notch land and serve as an entry point to the wonderful natural resources surrounding the Resort. As the Center develops, it will be used for educational programs about conserving and enjoying the Vermont flora and fauna, and its structures will serve as models of environmentally friendly construction and living practices.

Peter already has the program underway on a start-up basis. He attends the weekly Owners meeting, explains the concept, and invites Owners to join him for a day or two of working and playing. So far he has had a number of families and individuals join him. In the morning they labor together on erecting a 16’ x 16’ Adirondack-style pavillion to provide shelter and a meeting place. An Adirondack-style tree house that will sleep up to eight people will be the second construction project once the pavillion is completed. Along the way volunteers will also produce rustic furniture, trail benches and gazebos to create opportunities to watch nature quietly and comfortably.

In the afternoons volunteers may choose from a list of fun activities. The program currently runs on Wednesdays with kayaking in the afternoon and on Thursdays with a walk in the woods near the site, interpreted by John Wrazen, professor of environmental education at Johnson State College who also assists in the summer camp programs.

At some point in the future when the project is further along Peter envisions the Gateway to Nature to be a hub of both activity and quietude. There might be a school group learning woodcraft and a family hiking in the area and planning to spend the night in the tree house. Perhaps there will be educational environmental sessions, fireside nature talks, and other pleasurable forays into the wonderful wooded world surrounding the Gateway.

If guests or owners would like to participate, they can call Peter at 802-793-7210 or email him at pingvolstad@smuggs.com to reserve a place during the week.
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