Manitou Capital Campaign


In the 1980’s, Pam and David Mayer acquired almost 250 acres of forest, fen, and old farmsteads in Williamsville, Vermont. Their vision was to conserve the land, and to create a wood land sanctuary for the community to discover, enhance as a refuge, and enjoy—then and for generations to come.  Community with Nature has been growing on the land ever since, stewarded by:

  • The nonprofit Manitou Project which takes care of the land and manages its sustainable use for diverse members of the community to appreciate, young and old and of varying abilities;
  • The VT Land Trust which oversees conservation interests; and
  • The Mayer Family Trust, formed to own the land for twenty years—time enough for Manitou to grow strong enough to buy the land itself. That was the thinking twenty years ago.

Manitou has grown in twenty years—in its programs and workshops, camps and wheelchair access, experiences that have inspired, nourished and changed many lives. Now it is time to direct the goodwill and appreciation that has been building all this time, to acquire the land so it may remain a community resource—forever!

The land is being sold. The Mayer Trust hopes Manitou raises the funds it needs to buy it. A feasible scenario is shaping up that includes:

  1. Manitou raising $40,000 towards down payment, over half raised first from the local community, then via group sourcing and social media.
  1. Anonymous donors matching the $40,000 1:1 to reach the minimum down payment required.
  1. The seller providing two years before the balance of the purchase price has to be paid in full, giving time for Manitou to develop foundation and corporate grant sources, further individual support, and partner prospects (like-minded organizations which would invest in return for regular use of the land, perhaps even co-ownership under the right circumstances).



Capital Campaign Summary:


Amount:         $250,000 for the 2-year campaign.

Purpose:         To buy the 224 acres of Manitou Land; finish the wheelchair accessible trail and “Tree Castle” feature with additional partner support; and  complete overnight accessible retreat accommodations at the newly refurbished “Gatehouse” which borders the land and which Manitou has full access to by contract on favorable terms.

Timeline:        Manitou must raise $40,000 soon in order to lock down a purchase contract. Though the conserved land may have limited appeal in the open market, the land is being offered for sale and bids may be made by others. To preclude this, we want to make our purchase offer as soon as possible—certainly this Fall.

Strategy:         Here are the targets for reaching our near term $40,000 goal:

$5,000                   2 donors

Up to $2,500       3 donors

Up to $1,000       5 donors

$500                       10 donors

$250                       20 donors

$50 – $200            100 donors


Thank you for joining us in keeping this amazing resource ours together forever! 


Other Amount:
Your Email Address: