For the period July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023
An amazing adventure started on January 17, 1964 with the first purchase of land on Valley Falls Road! Over the years the Town of Vernon and City of Rockville consolidated, and in 1972 there would be 193 acres on Valley Falls Road that would become Valley Falls Park in Vernon.
Over the next few years, in 1972 the Friends of Valley Falls group would start to organize; in 1979, the Friends of Valley Falls decided to incorporate, followed by the creation of a constitution and by-laws. In 1994, a project to save the Red Barn started and would continue to this day. Members, contributors, and grants funded the improvements over the years.
In 2000, the Farm was up for sale, and another FVF project–to preserve the Farm–was started. The funding was raised through residents’ donations, Town of Vernon funds, and grant money. The Farm was purchased by The Friends of Valley Falls, Inc., on June 4, 2001. Over the next 22 years, the Farm was painstakingly developed into The Heritage Center. There were thousands of volunteer hours given over those years, by many wonderful volunteers.
We were fortunate and thankful to sign an agreement with the Town of Vernon in 2023 to use the town-owned red barn. It was the last piece the Friends needed to allow our Heritage Center to function as well as it does!
As your incoming President of this dedicated group, I proudly welcome you to the Heritage Center! We have had a very exciting year hosting a bird walk, wildflower walk, tree walk and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Heritage Center on June 3, 2023. The official opening day was June 10th, and since then we have welcomed many members and guests.
We continue to support the enhancement of Valley Falls Park and Farm through responsible stewardship of the lands and buildings, while we preserve the historic qualities and educate the public about the natural resources found right here and the value of open space. Our members and volunteers are the most wonderful and amazing people. Thank you for your dedication to this project. I know we all put a lot of time and effort into it, and what a tribute to Vernon we now have!
Maryann Levesque, Acting President/Vice President