WILLISTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont town is launching an effort to conserve an outdoor recreational center as developers eye the piece of land for a residential project.

The Burlington Free Press reports (http://bfpne.ws/2wsIxpq ) the town of Williston is raising $1.9 million to purchase the Catamount Family Outdoor Center. The 380-acre center, which is owned by Jim and Lucy McCullough, has hosted mountain bikers, wildlife enthusiasts and skiers since 1978.

Williston leaders stepped in when developers began their plan to purchase the McCulloughs' land. Town conservation planner Melinda Scott says the plan still has to be finalized by the select board but it hasn't stopped fundraising. Williston received a $400,000 federal community forest grant along with support from state conservation groups.

Williston Planning and Zoning Director Ken Belliveau describes Catamount as a "once-in-a-generational opportunity."


Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com