to preserve the Retreat Farm’s historic and culturally and environmentally significant lands and buildings while advancing a healthier, more resourceful greater Brattleboro community
The Retreat Farm has been a central feature of the Brattleboro landscape since its establishment in 1837. Throughout its history, it has been a source of food, health, enterprise and inspiration. In 2001 the Windham Foundation, in partnership with the Vermont Land Trust, Preservation Trust of Vermont and Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and with support from a local fundraising effort, acquired the property from the Brattleboro Retreat. The acquirers’ intention was to find appropriate uses for the lands and historic farmstead barns that would preserve and sustain the property economically in perpetuity. In 2007, the Windham Foundation constructed a modern factory at the historic farmstead to expand its award-winning artisanal cheese business and increase its support of local dairy farmers, but until now a solution for use and preservation of the historic barns and open lands has remained elusive. A year ago, the Windham Foundation Board initiated a new effort to develop a comprehensive strategy to preserve the property and simultaneously support sustainable rural development in greater Brattleboro and Windham County. After a year of study and analysis, a new nonprofit entity and applicant for 501(c)(3) status, Retreat Farm, Ltd., has emerged. The Windham Foundation will give its Retreat Farm property to the new organization.
Retreat Farm, Ltd is restoring Brattleboro’s historic Retreat Farm as a center for conservation and preservation, cultural and natural history interpretation and education, public recreation, and sustainable farming and other lands-based enterprise.
- Supporting entrepreneurship and like-minded initiatives
- Providing access to all
- Building a healthy community