Photos of Leary’s land and wildlife by Rodney Thompson, Kirsten Gehl, Virginia Long and Bob and Debbie Leary.

On Sunday afternoon, March 4,  MMRG and the Farmington Conservation Commission will offer a free guided winter hike on Bob and Debbie Leary’s land on Hornetown Road on the Farmington Ridge. 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 we are positioned to ultimately own.  You are invited to come see the wildlife habitats, working farm and forest land, walking trails and scenic views that will be protected through conserving this land.

Forester Wendy Scribner will impart from her wealth of knowledge about the wildlife sustained by these field and forest habitats and the Learys will talk about their ‘40-to-1’ sugaring operation. MMRG 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.

A licensed forester, Wendy 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. She serves on MMRG’s 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 hike will take participants along farm trails and through the sugar bush, beside an ice-rimmed brook spanned by an historic stone bridge, and to the top of Leary’s high scenic hayfield with mountain views. Anticipating the upcoming outing, Wendy 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. In case of rain, the event will be held at the same time one week later on March 11. Families are welcome, but pre-registration is required. For directions and to register, call MMRG Education Coordinator Kari Lygren at (603) 978-7125 or email info@mmrg.info. Please do not bring pets to this event.

As a land trust, we raise must raise transaction and stewardship costs in order to conserve properties and steward them forever. Our fundraising to own and conserve Leary Field & Forest is 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. Donations to assist with conserving Leary Field & Forest may be made at the event,  by clicking on the donate button below, or by check to PO Box 191 Union, NH 03887. Thank you so much for supporting this wonderful project!

 




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