Photos of MMRG’s Conservation Plan Roll-out event by Virginia Long.

MMRG introduced its final Conservation Plan, “Our Home Our Land Our Tomorrow”, and planning maps to a gathering of approximately 70 people at the Pinckney Boat House at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro on the picture-perfect summer evening of July 18.

Patti Connaughton-Burns, Executive Director of MMRG, opened the program by sharing how MMRG had started the planning process by asking itself how it could best serve the region.  Then for the past year, MMRG asked the individuals who live, work and play in the region to help identify the places and natural resources that are most important to them and how they hoped the community would look in the future.  “With this information,” said Patti, “we set out to create a plan with maps that captures the collective community vision and that will guide us for the next 20 years, one project at a time.”

The plan authors are two of New Hampshire’s most reputable conservation planners, Dan Sundquist of GreenFire GIS and Steve Whitman of Resilience Planning and Design. At the roll-out, Dan and Steve described details of the year-long process to collect and analyze the data and shared stunning maps of natural resources, conservation focus areas and possible greenways.  The maps show the Moose Mountains rising up like a centerpiece of our 7-town region with ‘tendrils of mountain streams’ that flow downhill to create many of the lakes that are signature landmarks of the region.  So it was no great surprise to us that the votes from the community stakeholders, who participated in our co-occurrence mapping tasks, favored the protection of watersheds around lakes.

MMRG Board member Dan Coons, who co-chairs the conservation planning committee and is also Chair of the Wolfeboro Conservation Commission, was enthusiastic about the maps as a tool for local land-use and conservation planning.  Emily Lord, MMRG Board member and the other co-chair of the conservation planning committee, reminded the audience that the Conservation Plan is a living document that is already informing MMRG’s 5-Year Strategic and 20-Year Long Term Plans.  MMRG will share the plan with local conservation commissions, land trusts, and other conservation-minded organizations.  The plan and maps will also be available on our website.

At the close of the event, local teacher Dianna Serrano of Wolfeboro summed up her evening’s experience saying that she thought the presentation reflected the ‘extensive research and created voluminous materials’ that were presented in a way that was ‘easily understood’.  She added that this work ‘makes a difference on this earth’.

MMRG thanks the following who sponsored the event: Wentworth Watershed Association, Parkers Accounting of Bow, NH.  We also greatly appreciate the hospitality provided by Brewster Academy at the Pinckney Boat House.  Foundations/Grants that support this Conservation Planning process:

  • NH-State Conservation Committee (Moose Plate)
  • Adelard A. Roy and Valeda Lea Roy Foundation
  • Davis Conservation Fund
  • Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation