Courtesy photo of Wendy Scribner; photos of wildlife on Leary property thanks to Bob and Debbie Leary.

On Sunday afternoon, January 28, we will offer a free snowshoe walk on Bob and Debbie Leary’s land on Hornetown Road on Farmington Ridge. The public is invited to this guided winter outing led by forester Wendy Scribner, who will impart from her wealth of knowledge about these field and forest habitats and the animals they sustain. We are currently working with the Learys to place a conservation easement on 63 acres of their farm, expanding the conserved acreage to a total of 140 acres, all of which MMRG will ultimately own. Executive Director Patti Connaughton-Burns will outline the steps required to conserve the land and forever protect its valuable agricultural and wildlife assets, watershed quality and public access for recreation.

Wendy Scribner is a licensed forester with a Masters degree in Forestry from the University of New Hampshire. She has worked for UNH Cooperative Extension for more than 20 years, currently as the Natural Resources Field Specialist in Forestry and Wildlife in Carroll County. Scribner serves on our Board of Directors and is a well-known face at our annual Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival, teaching kids and parents about our natural world.

The snowshoe route will take participants along an ice-rimmed brook spanned by an old stone bridge, through valuable field and forest wildlife habitats and finally up to the Leary’s high scenic hayfield with mountain views, for a one-way total of about a mile of gradual uphill climb. Anticipating the upcoming outing, Scribner says, “With our travels through the forest, along a stream and around the edges of fields we will be in a variety of habitats that harbor different wildlife species, including snowshoe hare, fox, turkey, squirrel, deer, and possibly fisher. We’ll look for tracks and other evidence of these animals and discuss their habits and how they survive in winter.”

The outing will take place from 12:30 to 3:30 pm. The public is invited and families are welcome, but pre-registration is required. For directions and to register, call Education Coordinator Kari Lygren at (603) 978-7125 or email info@mmrg.info. Please do not bring pets to this event.

Land trusts like MMRG raise transaction and stewardship costs in order to conserve properties. Our fundraising to own and conserve Leary Field & Forest is now 90% complete, with funds committed from the NH Natural Resources Conservation Service, the NH Land and Community Heritage Program, the NH State Conservation Committee (Moose Plate grant), the Farmington Conservation Commission, the Leary family and private donors. If you would like to assist with conserving Leary Field & Forest, you may donate online to the project with the button below. Or we will gladly accept your donation at the snowshoe walk event, or mailed to PO Box 191 Union, NH 03887.