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A Progress Report from the Rock Point Operations Minister, Spring 2017

A Progress Report from the Rock Point Operations Minister, Spring 2017

By the Rev. Craig Smith | Rock Point Operations Minister

Great thanks for the generosity of those whose giving is making this progress possible. Here is a partial report of what is underway now at Rock Point in various areas:

A. Conservation Projects and Practices: Honoring the Land and its Creatures.

  • We are near completion of a stewardship plan for a conservation easement on the twenty acres located across from the Diocesan Offices. Burlington Parks and Recreation will care for the property and Lake Champlain Land Trust will hold the easement that ensures its conservation.
  • We are in the process of seeking grants and raising funds to start to rebuild our trails, starting in the Eagle Bay and North Beach areas where wear and tear and erosion is the greatest, aiming to start these projects later this summer.
  • Another grant application has been made to recruit and train a core of “Trail Stewards.”
  • We are working with botanists, particularly Kate Kruesi, to identify the location of rare plants, so that we can guide hikers away from them.
  • We have drafted a trail use policy to invite all who share the land to be partners in its conservation; and we will soon provide some forums to introduce them.
  • We are planning changes to driveways, parking lots and roads to better serve the watershed.
  • With the help of a grant from Chittenden Solid Waste District, the gardens will have a new means of composting waste—with the potential to expand this to include a more comprehensive composting process for waste we generate.
  • We have submitted a Creation Care grant to build a pollinator meadow as a habitat for pollinators and native plants within our present solar orchard.
  • We have started to investigate the possibility of a larger conservation easement for our property and are proceeding with plans for an appraisal.

B. Building and Landscaping Projects

  • Roof replacements at the Bishop Booth Conference Center (BBCC) and the summer camp cabins will be underway this April. Replacement of a bathroom, refurbishing the interior and repairing the walkways are also in the works. Trees near the BBCC will be pruned to allow more light, better maintenance and views.
  • As partnership funds continue to grow, we soon will name our next projects.

C.  Planning

  • A joint business planning process for the Bishop Booth Conference Center and Summer Camp is underway. Two phases:  the first 2-3 years will focus on continued growth of camp, retreats and conferences; the second will involve more partners who run programs involving environmental and nature education and training, retreats, and youth camps.
  • We are working on an overall site plan.
  • A nucleus of Rock Point Intentional Community members wants to develop week-long retreats with many elements: contemplative prayer, hands on environmental care, commonly cooked meals, study, the arts, and recreation. This group is eager to recruit others very soon to serve on a larger planning team.
  • Marketing-Branding Study: Soon we will engage a firm to help Rock Point communicate who we are and to engage the wider community and will involve a number of our stakeholder groups in this process.

D.  Friends of Rock Point

  • A separately incorporated group dedicated to conserving Rock Point. Those who may not wish to give directly to the Episcopal Church in Vermont, but want to see Rock Point conserved, can give through this group.  We are building a connection between this group and Rock Point Board governance

For more Rock Point news and information, please visit

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