It was 1947. World War II had just ended. Veterans were returning home, communities like Rye were returning to normal, and Charles Rand, an unmarried man with deep roots in this classic coastal community probably didn’t even realize that in four short years, he’d be married. Charles came from a family that had understood the importance of forests to not only nature, but the economic value they provided to families and communities.
Now, nearly 70 years later, this love of family, land, and community will be furthered by a mother’s decision to honor her son and her husband through the gift of 100 acres to the Southeast Land Trust and the establishment of the Charles E. Rand Memorial Forest.Read more: Giving from the Heart
This March, Plaistow voters will vote on a warrant article that, if successful, will be one of the last steps in the process of permanently conserving the 404 acre Plaistow Town Forest. This initiative began years ago with the Plaistow Conservation Commission and was helped to become a reality with the work of the Plaistow First Committee in 2011. The project is being coordinated by the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire.
The Plaistow Town Forest is located in the far northwest corner of the town along the boundary lines of Atkinson to the west and Hampstead to the north. This corner of Plaistow was historically referred to as Frog Pond Woods. The area was never serviced by a major road due to difficult terrain, poor soils and considerable wetlands along the Kelley Brook drainage. Hence the land was divided by early settlers into small woodlots and meadow tracts to service local famers. Eventually these small inaccessible parcels lost their value to landowners or were forgotten by distant heirs. By the mid-1970’s, Plaistow had acquired by tax collector’s deeds for unpaid taxes a total of 21 parcels that encompass approximately 325 acres which later became the core of the Plaistow Town Forest.Read more: Important March Vote for the Plaistow Town Forest
Tucked in the northwest corner of Kingston is the 40 acre Rockrimmon State Forest, one of the smaller state forests in New Hampshire. From about 1928 to 1982 the State Forest, which includes the peak of the 308 foot tall Rockrimmon Hill, had an active fire tower. Now all that remains are some abutments, metal flanges, and a remarkable view. Surrounding Rockrimmon State Forest is a contiguous block of undeveloped forest in Kingston and Danville that is habitat for several rare species, the site of numerous vernal pools, and wetlands that provide valuable waterfowl habitat.
The Southeast Land Trust has partnered with the Town of Kingston on creating a nearly 170 acre town owned forest that will be available for the enjoyment of generations to come. After overwhelming support at the 2013 Town Meeting, where the Kingston voters agreed to spend up to $424,000 on the Rockrimmon Project, the Land Trust secured contracts on 5 tracts totaling 181 acres. One of the landowners generously agreed to donate their property and another agreed to sell at less than its fair market value. Thanks to the support of the Town of Kingston, the generosity of the landowners, and funding from a variety of sources including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Piscataqua Regional Estuaries Project, and mitigation funds approve by the NHDES, the bulk of the tracts will be conserved in October with a conservation easement from the Town of Kingston to the Land Trust to be conveyed by the end of the year.
Look for an upcoming opportunity to rock around with us at Rockrimmon and explore the great habitats and views on from Rockrimmon State Forest.
The Southeast Land Trust is partnering with the Town of Exeter’s Conservation Commission to conserve the 34-acre Elliott parcel as an addition to the Oaklands Town Forest. The “Growing Oaklands – Our Forest Our Trails” initiative has raised the final $37,000 needed to complete the acquisition. Thank you to all the generous donors who contributed to this project!
Read more: Growing Oaklands
Fundraising goal for Governor Dale Farm met! Thank you!
In the summer of 2012, the Governor Dale Farm was slated for a 50-lot subdivision, raising significant concerns by abutters, residents, and Town officials. Would this beautiful piece of North Hampton’s history be carved up into a checkerboard of ½ acre lots?
In the early fall of that year, in hopes of saving this treasured landscape, Town officials quietly contacted the Southeast Land Trust and asked: could we begin negotiations in an attempt to preserve the farm? The Town had twice before attempted to conserve this land, but those efforts failed to produce a conservation outcome, and after being sold to a regional developer, the property was now before the planning board for a subdivision that was on the fast track to completion.
Now, thanks to the efforts of North Hampton residents, all of the necessary funds to conserve the Governor Dale Farm has been raised!
|Download the 1955 article on the farm: NH Profiles Magazine - 1955 (7.02 MB)
|Read the Kendall Chevalier interview|
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|Thu Aug 07 @ 7:00PM|
Wildlife Seminar: New Hampshire Turtles with Chris Bogard
|Sat Aug 09 @10:00AM|
Growing Oaklands Public Celebration
|Sat Sep 13 @ 9:00AM|
B52's and Wildlife
|Fri Oct 24 @ 6:00PM|
SAVE THE DATE! 12th Annual Fall Foliage Fundraiser