Join us April Fool’s Day, Sunday April 1st, from 10 a.m.-2 pm for some fun in the forest and wetlands at the UVLT Lyme Hill Conservation Area in Lyme, NH! All ages are invited to come and participate in this trickster-themed event that will include nature walks, games, crafts and activities. This event is co-sponsored by the Hulbert Outdoor Center.
Could there be some tricksters frolicking in this forest? Come see on April Fools Day! Photo taken by volunteer Alan DiStasio.
Learn about local wildlife and the tricks they have for surviving in their Vermont and New Hampshire habitats. Pack some snacks or a bag lunch and come anytime after 10 and before 2. Stay as long as you like!
Geared for 4 and above, but younger children are welcome with a carrier (stroller won’t work on the varied terrain). Proper attire is a must – boots are necessary!
The UVLT Lyme Hill Conservation Area is just South of the town of Lyme on Rt 10. Coming from the South, look for event signs on the left as you begin to get close to town. Coming from the North, go through the town of Lyme and look for event signs a few miles outside of town on the right.
We are also looking for 10 volunteers to help out with this fun event!
More than 20 years ago, Put and Marion Blodgett bought a very special piece of land in Lyme, NH. The property includes significant frontage on Pout Pond, one of few remaining ponds that are untouched by, and hidden away from, civilization. Nestled within forested hills, not far from the Appalachian Trail and Lyme Center, visitors to the pond are met with a sense of wilderness that is becoming harder to find these days. No structures can be seen from the pond or its shoreline, helping enhance the natural calm that exists around this pristine feature.
When the Blodgetts first visited the Pout Pond property, conservationist Jane Curtis gave them an important piece of advice to consider when constructing their house, “Don’t cut the trees. You don’t need to see the water from your house.” They took the idea to heart, and since making their home on this land, they have put in many years of thoughtful care and stewardship into the 298 acres of land that surrounds the ecological treasure of Pout Pond.
This month they took their dedication and love for their land to an even higher level by signing a permanent conservation agreement to protect the entire Pout Pond property with UVLT. The conservation easement includes special protections of the wooded buffer that screens the view of the existing house from the pond, and retains the undeveloped shoreline buffer along Pout Pond itself.
This conservation project adds another piece to the local mosaic of protected properties and directly enhances the extensive area of preserved land around Pout Pond and another undeveloped water body, the nearby Trout Pond. The Lyme Conservation Commission provided funds to UVLT to support the long-term stewardship of this property, and neighbors and friends of UVLT made donations to cover UVLT’s transaction costs of this project – many thanks to all those supporters!
The Blodgetts sign the Pout Pond Conservation Easement - Pictured Left to Right: Sara Cavin, UVLT, Amber Boland UVLT, Marion Blodgett, Pete Helm, UVLT, and Put Blodgett
Put is no newcomer to conservation and responsible land stewardship. In 1997 and 2001, he conserved his 628 acre working forest property in Bradford, Vermont with the Upper Valley Land Trust. This year, Put Blodgett was named 2011 Outstanding Vermont and Northeast Regional Tree Farmer of the Year (out of all 13 Northeast Region states!) by the American Forest Foundation in recognition of his outstanding sustainable forest management of these woodlands and his dedication to forest stewardship issues and policies. The ‘Challenge Tree Farm’, which has been enrolled in the Tree Farm program for more than 50 years, surrounds the “Challenge Wilderness Camp” that Put founded and which uses the forests for many of its activities.
In celebration of the Upper Valley Land Trust’s 25th anniversary this year, we have been remembering UVLT’s early days. We couldn’t fit all of the important people of UVLT’s past into this brief ten‐minute summary, but we have used sound & images of some of UVLT’s founders and early leaders – Fran Field, Dana Meadows, Vicki Smith, Freda Swan, Charlotte Faulkner, Dale Peters Bryant, and Lilla McLane‐Bradley, among others.
Breck Hill Easement Project
By Freda Swan
On a summer evening in 1986, I invited my neighbors to meet with Sarah Thorne, a land specialist with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. I wanted them to learn about conservation easements with the hope that we could protect our whole neighborhood from future development. I thought that we lived on a road that had conservation value for everyone, a gravel road with forestland, open farm land, wetlands, river banks, scenic views and even a covered bridge. In all, there are about 400 acres and over two miles of road frontage on both sides. It is used by walkers, bicyclists, horseback riders, and canoeists.
The meeting was very successful with almost everyone showing great enthusiasm. Sarah had to check on a few legal matters which turned out in our favor. There was no one available at SPNHF who was able to write the easement documents but she was willing to train Vicki Smith to do so. So we got to work.
I felt very strongly that everyone’s easement was their private affair and no one else would know what was in them unless the donor told them. I believe that this one thing was the main reason that we were successful. I set up appointments for Vicki, introduced Vicki, and then left them alone. We got an appraiser to do the work on all of the properties. I got surveys on all of the properties. I must admit that the whole process was much less strict than it is today. For example, there were two properties whose boundaries were marked with stonewalls and the abutting properties had been surveyed. They accepted surveys that I drew.
There were approximately 20 different properties included in the original project with others added later. They varied in size from about 5 acres to about 50 acres. They all abutted each other except for two holes in the middle which have since been closed with one being held by the UVLT. The lawyer of the owner of one of these “holes” felt she should subdivide a lot before doing an easement. This was accomplished and her easement supported a LCIP project. Another owner did not feel that they could afford to donate an easement so we raised the money locally to pay for a bargain purchase.
So, on an evening between Christmas and New Year’s, we all got together for a signing party. What a time we had with about 20 different documents that were signed by over 25 different people. There was great pleasure in the room that night. A great feeling of accomplishment.
I am not sure of the number of properties that have been added to the project since that night in 1986 but it must be close to a dozen. And there are more.