Michael Dunn’s 420-acre property was donated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to become part of the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge. The donated land is located on the shore of Lake Memphremago, which is one of the larger lakes in Vermont. Senator Patrick Leahy said of the very generous donation, “Securing this treasured piece of Vermont for Vermonters, forever, and at no cost to taxpayers is the conservation and recreational opportunity of a lifetime on Lake Memphramegog. I thank the Dunn family, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Vermont Land Trust, and the Agency of Natural Resources for making it happen. Michael Dunn has left a perpetual legacy to be enjoyed by generations to come.” Lake Memphremagog is 27 miles long and has 21 islands.
Mr. Dunn donated the land on the condition it be made available for public use. Fishing, hiking, camping and wildlife observation will be allowed on the land once it has been fully taken over by the government. The land would have sold for millions of dollars, but he wanted it to be conserved as natural habitat.
He also donated some of his property to Canada for conservation. Mr. Dunn was a philanthropist who donated generously to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. When he died it was revealed that he had donated most of his estate, 10 million dollars, to the museum. He lived in Derby, Vermont where he served on the board of a local hospital, a child advocacy group, and others. He also had a large art collection in his home. The New Yorker reported he had acquired about 300 paintings.
Image Credit: Memphraemegog Watershed Association