The Intervale Center is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to preserving agricultural resources in Vermont. It owns and manages almost 400 acres of farmland along the Winooski River in Burlington and leases a large portion of the land to 14 local organic farms. The organization has received national recognition for its pioneering efforts to help farmers grow and market their food products and build sustainable, local, agriculture-based businesses.
Dunkiel Saunders has served as general counsel to the Intervale Center for many years. Over the course of our relationship with the center, we’ve provided a wide range of legal services, from handling general corporate issues associated with running a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to strategic counsel on numerous mission-driven projects.
Among other matters, we helped the center successfully petition the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets to obtain authorization for placement of the first modern “hoop house” in the Intervale’s floodway. Hoop houses extend the growing season in Vermont’s cold climate and are critical to the profitability of small-scale farming in the area. Dunkiel Saunders also assisted the center in organizing an entity that allowed farmers to cooperatively own agricultural equipment, significantly reducing the capital costs of starting up and running their businesses. And we helped the Intervale Center obtain Act 250 land use permits for aspects of its operations that are not exempt agricultural activities, which involved handling sensitive issues associated with preserving archeologically valuable Native American resources located on land owned by the center.
Attorneys at Dunkiel Saunders have handled work for a wide range of other nonprofit organizations, including, but not limited to, those working in the areas of affordable housing, education, environmental protection, health care, and land conservation.
Photo © Mike Riddell