The home of the Lincoln family has long been a popular destination for history buffs and outdoor lovers alike. Not just a historic site, Hildene offers miles of walking trails that traverse farm and forestland at the base of Mt. Equinox. In preparation for a new nature trail that will be built around a beautiful wetland on the property, Diane Newton, Lead Educator at Hildene, realized that invasive plant species were taking over the forest and wetland, compromising the environmental health and aesthetic look of the area. The forest contains a swath of invasive species, including buckthorn, honeysuckle, Japanese barberry, Amur maple, garlic mustard and purple loosestrife.
To control the invasive plants along the new nature trail, in 2007 Hildene staff and first-year students from Southern Vermont College joined together to clear five acres of invasive-riddled forest land. Since 2008, after the hubbub of the foliage tourist season was over, staff members get together to cut woody stemmed species, allowing native hardwoods to once again flourish.