Some days are easier than others, but I find it is pretty important to make time and turn away from the books (or screen), or step out of the office, and breathe deeply, and get away a bit – certainly a good way to recharge for the rest of the day’s work.
Every so often, the only time to take the much-needed walk or ride is during lunchtime. That hour (~ish) in the middle of the day can be enough of a break for me to ride this loop on my bike and return refreshed and ready for more conservation work all afternoon. What if I don’t have my bike? Well, here in Hanover, we’re fortunate that the Wheelock Trail is just a few steps away for a great walk along Mink Brook…
If you like to ride and you work or study in Hanover or Lebanon, this bike loop might just be the ticket for you too. Check out this lunch hour ride from Buck Road – it’s easy to modify from your own doorstep!
~ Sara Cavin, UVLT Project Manager
Ride Name: “Dogford Loop Lunch Hour”
Description: 15+/- mile paved road ride from UVLT offices (Buck Rd, Hanover, NH) out and around Dogford Road and returning to Buck Rd – often in a 60 minute window!
Route, directions and elevation profile found here: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/188946926/
UVLT-conserved lands along this route:
Download detailed cue sheet noting conserved lands:
Do you have your own favorite lunchtime outdoor activity? Let me know, or maybe I’ll see you out on the road some day…
Riding the roads of the Upper Valley is pretty special. Every pedal stroke moves me along at a pace that is just about perfect for enjoying the views that abound. Sometimes the pace is slower (plenty of hills to climb, after all!) other times fast (fortunately each hill climb has its own downhill descent!), sometimes the rides are social, other times personal, but each is time and energy well spent enjoying this place.
One amazing thing about where we live (and play) is the care that people put into the land – it is striking (just like the vistas that reward us at the summit of each climb!) and makes riding here all the better. Through work with UVLT, I know that so many of the beautiful places that I pass by are going to be beautiful forever. Why? Because they are properties that UVLT and the landowners have conserved through permanent agreements to ensure the landscape remains undeveloped, productive (so farmers can still farm, and trees can be harvested) and scenic for the benefit of us all!
Do you like to ride on roads and trails in the Upper Valley? Does cycling get you to work? Is it one of the ways you exercise and enjoy the outdoors? If your answers are “Yes!” you might also enjoy knowing more about some of the places that you pass while out on the roads in our region. This post begins a series called “UV Rides” that will highlight many of the conserved lands all around us. I hope to include a good mix of routes – some short, some long, something for everyone! Perhaps one will become your next favorite bike loop (or scenic drive)!
I hope you’ll come along for the ride…
~ Sara Cavin, UVLT Project Manager
Ride Name: “Cure for Mud Season”
Description: This is a great all-paved 30 mile loop ride with a couple nice hills to keep you warm in the spring temps! Start/end in Hanover and ride through parts of Hanover, Lyme, Thetford, and Norwich.
Route, directions and elevation profile found here: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/188655480/
UVLT-conserved lands along this route:
Download detailed cue sheet noting conserved lands:
Now, dust off that saddle, get out, get those pedals moving, and let us know if YOU have a favorite route that you want to learn about from the viewpoint of land conservation!
This June find a cache and enter for a chance to win a great prize!
UVLT has hidden two geocaches at our new Lyme Hill Conservation Area! Grab some friends and your GPS and go for a hike! Each cache contains a raffle ticket, each individual is allowed to submit one ticket from each cache into the drawing (maximum of two tickets per person).
Image courtesy www.notaboutthenumbers.com
N 43° 47’ 33.2”
W 072° 10’ 24.7”
N 43° 47’ 36.0”
W 072° 10’ 45.6”
What is geocaching?
It is like a mix between a walk in the woods and a treasure hunt. Geocachers use their GPS units to find hidden ‘caches’ and see what is inside!
How do you find a cache?
Your GPS manual should have instructions on how to enter in the coordinates of a cache. Or, sometimes you can download the coordinates right off of the website (unfortunately, not the case here).
What do I do next if I find a cache?
Remove one slip and, after you fill out your information, mail it in!
Raffle ends July 9th and the winner will be announced in the following weeks.
Mail raffle tickets to:
Upper Valley Land Trust c/o Anna Slack
19 Buck Road
Hanover, NH 03755
Include your name, email, and phone number.
Incomplete tickets will be considered invalid.
Click here for a map of the Lyme Hill Conservation Area (includes parking information).
What does cancer research have in common with land conservation?
It’s all about legacy and looking forward.
Most of us have experience with cancer through the illness of a loved one or our own personal health. We know how the experience of illness focuses our energy on the things that matter, the people we care for, the beauty we find around us, the sources of joy and renewal in our lives.
UVLT Conservation Project Manager Sara Cavin, her husband Ed Meyer, and UVLT President Jeanie McIntyre's daughter Chelsea Little at the 2010 Prouty.
We also know the promise and limitations of science, the pursuit of elusive information that will enable more effective care and eventual cure. Research is an accumulation of information and effort over many, many years. It takes many people sharing ideas and acting in cooperative dedication. It’s a legacy.
Land conservation, too, is a leap of faith. There’s a lot we don’t know about what the future will bring – in our own lives and in the world around us. But there are some things we know and hold dear. People conserve land because they care deeply about tomorrow.
This weekend there will be thousands of people on the roads and trails and on the river, raising money for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. They are pedaling, walking, rowing for a future where healthy people can ride bikes past cornfields and through villages, hear the birds in the marshes and rest in the quiet shade of tall trees.
UVLT's conserved lands signs from the 2009 Prouty.
UVLT’s yellow signs will mark the dozens of conserved properties along this year’s Prouty route. These places speak to the values of Upper Valley people today – and they are a legacy looking forward to a healthy future.
This summer, as UVLT’s Patchen Miller Intern, I’m seeking ways to combine art and environmental education. We’re often taught that science and art are two completely separate subjects, but I like to think of art not just as a means to produce artwork. Art is also a language through which we investigate and appreciate the world around us. We can use art to communicate about science, natural history and the environment, and connect in a new way, beyond words.
During the month of July, you’ll be able to find me out and about at an arts table at the Hanover Farmers’ Market or with the AVA Gallery at the Lebanon Farmers’ Market. Come try a nature art project and chat with me about land conservation!
UVLT's 2011 Patchen Miller Intern, Ally Bernstein (left) visited the Hanover Farmers' Market this week
In late July and early August, I’ll be leading nature hikes for children; we’ll make fairy houses and nature sculptures. We’ll observe the shapes, textures, colors and surprises that nature offers, and explore the ways that natural object sculptures can demonstrate a respectful and beautiful relationship between humans and the environment!
Check back for more information about a nature hike in your area. Volunteers and families are welcome to join us! Contact me for more information at: 603-643-6626 x121 or email@example.com.
2011 Patchen Miller Intern
The Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT) in conjunction with web developer, Monique Priestley has created a new website, Upper Valley Story-Scape (UVSS). The site aims to enable Upper Valley residents and visitors to share stories, images, videos and audio about favorite Upper Valley places. This website is the latest in our efforts to document and celebrate the region; its land and its people.
The new website, www.uvstoryscape.org, is based on a similar site called, Voices for the Lake (www.voicesforthelake.org) that was created by the ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center in Burlington. The difference between the two sites is fairly simple, Voices for the Lake is an online forum for sharing images, videos, audio and written stories about Lake Champlain and the surrounding area. Upper Valley Story-Scape is structured similarly as a place to share the same type of content, but about the living things and landforms of the Upper Valley region.
The site is up now; fully functioning and ready for fresh content. UVLT has “seeded” the site with images, videos, and stories from our archives, but the project is not meant to be about the Upper Valley Land Trust. The site is intended to be a place for sharing all kinds of stories about place – places residents fly kites, walk their dogs, learn to swim or bike, pick strawberries, or see moose. Everyone has a story like this to share. And we can learn from each other of new ways to experience and celebrate the special place that is the Upper Valley.
There are several different ways that visitors to the site can participate. The Upper Valley Story-Scape Facebook page includes occasional posts to stimulate visitors thinking. One example of such a prompt is, “Describe your favorite place to take a walk, or get a breath of fresh air. Where is it? What about that special place helps you to relax before or after a long day?” The UVSS site, www.uvstoryscape.org, includes a link to this Facebook page, as well as suggested resources for those interested in getting involved in the work of groups like the Upper Valley Land Trust that work to conserve and steward the region’s natural resources. The site also includes a calendar with local events relating to land stewardship.
This project is an experiment for UVLT and we welcome feedback and suggestions from the community. We hope this will become the online place to go for folks looking to share outdoor experiences with friends and neighbors. So, please spread the word!
We welcome opportunities for collaborations in hosting and arranging technical trainings to show community members how to use the site, or outdoor events and activities that may help us to develop content for the site. Please let UVLT’s Programs Coordinator know if you’d like to schedule a training or activity of this sort.
The Upper Valley Land Trust elected three new Trustees to its Board of Directors this month at its Annual Meeting. The organization is sure to benefit from the large breadth of skills that each of these individuals brings to the Board.
UVLT Trustee, Chris Nesbitt at UVLT's Annual meeting this month. Photo by Rowan Dunfey.
- Chris Nesbitt is a founding partner at Focus Acquisition Partners, where he works with a broad array of clients who have an interest in financial services, medical devices, manufacturing, business services and off-shore opportunities in both Europe and Asia. He is a veteran entrepreneur and a former commercial banker. During his career Chris has owned and successfully grown a series of middle market manufacturing and business services companies. Chris holds two patents for flexible, medical dispensing devices, is a published author and an active community volunteer. Chris and his wife Nancy, live in West Windsor, Vermont.
UVLT Trustee, Susan Renaud, at UVLT's Annual Meeting this month. Photo by Rowan Dunfey.
- Susan Renaud is Chief Financial Officer at King Arthur Flour. She is an experienced senior finance/general management executive with roots in Vermont. She previously served as a mergers and acquisitions consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in London, England. Susan has a master’s degree in management from London Business School. Her professional experience also includes many years working in various capacities for Ben & Jerry’s in both Vermont and France.
UVLT Trustee, Linda Snyder, at UVLT's Annual Meeting this month. Photo by Rowan Dunfey.
- Linda Snyder is Vice-President for Campus Planning and Facilities at Dartmouth where she supervises the Departments of Facilities Operations and Management, the Dartmouth Real Estate Office, the Environmental Safety and Health Office, the Project Management Office and the Office of Planning and Design. Linda’s departments provide administrative support to Dartmouth’s Sustainability Program. She has a background in landscape architecture and environmental planning. She previously served as Associate Executive Dean of Physical Resources and Planning of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard and as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts State College Building Authority. She has worked as project manager for not-for-profit, corporate, state and municipal building projects.
Two members of the Upper Valley Land Trust’s Board of Directors completed their terms as Trustees this month. They have each had a significant impact on the work of the organization, and they will be missed.
Former UVLT Trustee, Donald Graham, at UVLT's Annual Meeting this month. Photo by Rowan Dunfey.
- Donald A. Graham has lived in the Upper Valley for over thirty years and practices law in White River Junction. He is a graduate of Yale College and Boston College Law School. Donald has an interest in sustainable forestry and habitat protection, and he and his wife, Carol, have donated a conservation easement on their land in Strafford and Vershire. They enjoy skiing, bird watching, gardening and forest maintenance.
Former UVLT Trustee, Doug Wise, at UVLT's Annual Meeting this month. Photo by Rowan Dunfey.
- Douglas Wise is the founder and president of The Wise Associates, a strategic change agent consultancy, which focuses on visioning, strategizing and communications. Prior, he held senior management positions with advertising agencies McCann-Erickson and Lowe & Partners, and global communications company The Interpublic Group of Companies. His clients include Coca-Cola, Sony, Goodyear, Sara Lee, Bristol Myers, Gillette, Colonial Candles of Cape Cod, The C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth, King Arthur Flour, Pace University, and the Archdiocese of New York.
The New Hampshire State Senate Finance Committee discussed the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) on Friday, April 15. Their consensus decision after a very brief discussion was to stick with the House Budget for LCHIP. This provides LCHIP with $120,000 each year from the “dedicated” fund (recording fees) and allocates all the rest of the income from the recording fees to the General Fund. The $120,000 a year goes toward administrative costs; to augment the $200,000 that LCHIP gets from the Conservation License plate income.
The good news is that if this allocation passes the full Senate, LCHIP will be able to complete review of the 40 open projects and continue to assure proper stewardship of the resources that have already been protected with state investment through LCHIP. The bad news is that there will be no funds for grants for FY ’12 or ’13.
On Monday, April 25, we had a great hike around Snow Mountain with teacher, writer, and ecologist Tom Wessels (Tom is the author of the well known Reading the Forested Landscape and his recent work entitled Forest Forensics is a wonderful field guide to interpreting past land uses).
Amber Boland, UVLT’s Conservation Mapping and Field Specialist, organized the outing which got some of our volunteer land stewards out with some of UVLT’s staff to take in the spring weather (finally!) and learn a bit about the natural areas on this approximately 400 acre property. UVLT owns a ¾ interest in the land, and will likely become full owner, so we were eager to have Tom give us some insight into what the property holds for us and for the region!
More information gathering will certainly follow as we consider the future management options for this land. It is neat knowing what special sites can be found with a little exploring (see Notes from the Field below).
If you would like to take a trip to Snow Mountain and report back about what you see to help us learn even more about the property, please let us know by getting in touch with Stewardship staff Pete Helm or Jason Berard. If anything, it is a wonderful walk in the woods.
UVLT volunteers looking south from Snow Mountain ridge toward Mt. Ascutney.
Notes from the Field
From the lower elevations along Old Route 10, we hiked up the access road to the property’s only development – a cell tower. On our way up, the community types changed from younger early successional and fairly homogeneous forest to slightly more rich calcified soils introducing ash and other tree species. Above the steepest slopes, some clues from past agricultural uses, such as old stone wall remnants, also began to show. The tour continued off the main access road along an old logging road, past a very actively maintained beaver wetland and then past another large wetland that appeared to no longer be the beaver’s priority. The conifers rimming the older wetland showed the forest succession which often follows the beavers – since they remove most hardwood species around a wetland; it allows conifers to get an edge as the beaver move on, creating a pond with a distinct conifer line with stands of predominantly hardwoods further from the water.
We heard several birds along the route including chestnut sided warblers and chickadees, and saw some thrush nests, grouse droppings, turkey tracks, as well as significant sign of moose, bear, porcupine, and, of course, beaver.
Once we left the logging roads, we headed for the high point on the property, along the north-south stretching ridge, which offers great views this time of year (before leaf-out). The talus slopes on both sides gave everyone a good scramble. Tom noted the spruce dominated thin soils on the ridge itself, some evidence of tree recovery following the ’38 hurricane, and older stands with lots of mixed hardwood species once we began descending the eastern slope. Throughout the property we noted the gnarled tops of many of these older trees, suggesting the property experiences frequent ice storm damage (we had also noted this on our way up the road!). We all remarked on the abundance of trout lilies emerging in great numbers in lots of different areas throughout the property. Descending steeply from the ridge, through what became aptly termed “porcupine gorge” due to the number of denning sites we encountered, many vowed to try to come back to this part of the property to explore more!
Stewardship Coordinator, Jason Berard points out multiple beaver ponds.
We made our way to a really beautiful wetland complex with several terraced beaver ponds at varying levels, a great lookout rock and some huge and old trees standing watch. A wet meadow further downstream suggested the extent of the beavers’ work in years past, with their upstream movement likely following the need to replenish their food supply. Wrapping back around to the northwest and climbing a bit, we connected with another old logging road which led us past the cell tower for a return walk down the access road.
Sara Cavin, UVLT Conservation Project Manager
Afternoon hike up Signal Hill in Lebanon was a relatively quiet hike up to the summit, with many trees and limbs down and the vernal pools quiet. The return hike was a bit upbeat, with a pair of Hermit Thrushes exploring the vernal pool area, and a singing Winter Wren @ the ridge trail entrance into the woods. Along the north side of upper field we spotted FOY Yellow-rumped Warbler, and along side was a male Bluebird. At the hedgerow between the fields we spotted another male Bluebird and 2 – Northern Flickers. To finalize the trip we watched an American Kestrel above the lower field for quite some time, using an immature pine as a perch to work the field. I may have to make a quick lunchtime stop tomorrow to check things out.
A picture from Signal Hill that David Jorgensen took in Sept. '07
Signal Hill Conservation Area is a 217 acre parcel owned by the City of Lebanon, with conservation easement held by the Upper Valley Land Trust.
Storrs Hill Lebanon