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VAS Volunteer Fieldwork at the Galick Site

June 8, 2016 - July 15, 2016

The VAS, Castleton University, The Nature Conservancy, and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation are working together to provide an exciting opportunity to participate in excavations at a pre-contact archaeological site in West Haven, Vermont.  The Galick site is reputed to be a large camp or settlement situated near the historical Galick Farm at the southern end of Lake Champlain.  Although previously reported as VT-RU-71, the site has never been delineated.

During the 2016 field season, we will be excavating Phase I test pits to identify site boundaries, date its occupation, and identify potential activity areas.  Students from the Castleton field school have already recovered numerous chert flakes and several flake tools.  These investigations form part of the South Champlain Historical Ecology Project, funded by grants from the Vermont Community Foundation’s South Lake Champlain Fund, Castleton University, and the VAS, and designed to examine long-term patterns in human-environment interaction within the southern Lake Champlain Basin.  These investigations will help to conserve and protect the Galick site for the future.


You may sign up for any of the following dates:

  • Wednesday through Saturday, June 8, 9, 10, and 11th
  • Wednesday through Saturday, June 15, 16, 17, and 18th
  •  Wednesday through Saturday, June 22, 23, 24, and 25th
  • Wednesday through Friday, June 29, 30, and July 1st
  • Wednesday through Friday, July 6, 7, and 8th
  • Wednesday through Friday, July 13, 14, and 15th

Space is restricted so please sign up early to secure your preferred dates.  Additional opportunities may be available later in July.  Large groups must reserve space well in advance.


These investigations are taking place within The Nature Conservancy’s Helen W. Buckner Preserve at Bald Mountain. The Buckner Preserve is one of the most biologically diverse and naturally beautiful places in Vermont.  It is also home to several of the state’s rare or endangered species, including the Five-lined Skink and the Timber Rattlesnake.  The preserve is located approximately a half hour west of Rutland off of Rt. 4.

If you are participating, you will have two options for meeting up with us.  First, we will at rendezvous at 8:30 AM in the parking lot behind Leavenworth Hall on the Castleton University campus and caravan out to the site.  Directions to Castleton can be found here.  A campus map is located here.

You may also choose to meet us in the preserve.  If so, we will be arriving at the parking lot for the Susan Bacher Trail at approximately 9:00 AM.  Directions to the preserve are available here.  If you are using your GPS, follow Galick Road to where it ends at a gate.  If you arrive late, continue on foot past the gate and then follow the first tractor trail you see on the left.  You will find us in the large field west of the large historical barns.

What to Bring?

  • Sturdy, comfortable shoes.   The site is not a long walk from the parking area, but you will be working around shovels and other heavy gear.
  • Comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.  Pants are highly recommended as protection against ticks and poison parsnip.
  • Rain gear.  A poncho to cover yourself and your pack is ideal.
  • Hat and sunglasses.  It can be very sunny out at the site.
  • Plenty of water.
  • Lunch and snacks.  Treats that can be shared are always welcome!
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Gloves are not necessary, but might protect your hands while working a screen.
  • All tools will be provided by the project.

Other Vital Points

  • No prior experience necessary to participate.  All are welcome.
  • There are no bathrooms available in the preserve.  The nearest can be found in Whitehall, NY, approximately 10 minutes away by car.
  • You will be asked to sign a release form prior to participation in the project.
  • Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Service animals are welcome.  Please leave all other pets at home.
  • There is no camping in the preserve and fires are prohibited.
  • Visitors to the preserve are prohibited from removing any plants, animals, or rocks.
  • The preserve is home to a small and highly endangered population of Timber Rattlesnakes.  Although they do not prefer the grassy field we are working in, you should still take care to look where you put your hands and feet.  In the unlikely event that you see a Rattlesnake, do not approach it!
  • If you have any allergies or potential health concerns, please make sure you bring the appropriate medicines and treatments.
  • We will be providing a contact number for weather related cancellations with your confirmation email.

How to Sign Up

To sign up, please email moc.l1539652544iamg@15396525446102r1539652544eetnu1539652544lovsa1539652544v1539652544.  In your email, you should include the following information: the name (and age if under 18) of each volunteer in your group, your contact information (for possible weather related cancellations), the date(s) you would like to volunteer, and where you would anticipate meeting us (at Castleton or in the preserve).  Please allow us 1-2 days to respond and confirm.


The VAS is offering each Volunteer a $50 per day stipend (up to a maximum of $200), reimbursable by check at the end of the season (on or about July 1st) in recognition that the project area is a significant distance from where a majority of VAS members reside. If you would like to take advantage of this offer please send or email the following information to the address provided by the end of July.

Your Name:
Mailing address:
Phone number:
Dates volunteered at Galick Farm/SCHEP project:
Total reimbursement requested (@$50 per day/$200 max):

Send or email to: David Lacy, 61 Hudson Terrace, Pittsford, VT 05763 – or moc.l1539652544iamg@153965254415yca1539652544lmd1539652544

Other questions?  Contact Dr. Matthew Moriarty at moc.l1539652544iamg@1539652544hcrae1539652544ser.p1539652544ehcs1539652544.
We look forward to seeing you out there!!!


June 8, 2016
July 15, 2016
Event Category:


Dr. Matthew Moriarty


Helen W. Buckner Preserve at Bald Mountain
Galick Road
West Haven, VT 05743 United States
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