NEW! Watch the May 27th, 2020 recording of a Zoom informational meeting on the Mink Brook Community Forest project. The call was led by JT Horn, Senior Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land and Rob Houseman, Planning Director for the Town of Hanover.
The bears are back! Bring in your birdfeeders, secure garbage and compost, and keep your grills clean to prevent negative bear-human interactions.
Watch Ben Kilham’s full presentation on living with bears, thanks to our local Community Access TV crew. Find out more about Ben’s work at kilhambearcenter.org.
Earth Day reminds us to be grateful for Susan Harper, a dedicated volunteer and Secretary of our Board of Directors from 2003-2008, who recently passed away. She really made things happen in Hanover, especially at the Balch Hill Natural Area, where she started the wonderful tradition of Kite Day, when families enjoy the views and spring breezes on the open summit. Susan’s family has asked that gifts in her memory be made to the Conservancy; we are dedicating them to the Balch Hill Stewardship Fund in her name.
2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 – and the beginning of the environmental movement that has inspired so much healthy, positive change in how we treat our home planet. Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, US Senator from Wisconsin, came up with the idea after witnessing a massive oil spill in California. It was the Vietnam Era; Sen. Nelson hoped to infuse the energy of anti-war protests with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.
Organizers chose April 22 (between Spring Break and final exams), for an event that drew 20 million Americans — 10% of the total US population — to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast protests, uniting groups fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife. Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, gaining support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, business and labor leaders. Congress soon passed the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts and created the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Trees give us many gifts – clean air and water, places to recreate, wildlife habitat…and carbon storage. Restoring trees to the landscape is the single best low-tech, low-cost pathway for storing more carbon on the land. A forest can store an average of 2-3 tons/acre of C02 each year. With just a will and a spade, we can get started pulling carbon from the air right now.
A NATURAL CARBON SINK – To prevent the most dangerous impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must reach net zero by 2050. Capturing carbon from the air naturally – by putting trees to work – can provide significant cumulative carbon removal through 2050 and beyond.
When choosing a tree for your home landscape, consider this:
- Fast growing trees store the most carbon during their first decades.
- Long-lived trees can keep carbon stored for generations without releasing it in decomposition.
- Native trees will thrive in these soils and best support local wildlife.
- Low-maintenance, disease-resistant species will do better without greenhouse-gas-producing fertilizers and equipment.
We suggest Northern Red Oak — Acorns attract wildlife and the leaves develop a brick-red fall color. Red oak is fast growing, easy to transplant, and tolerant of urban conditions (including dry and acidic soil and air pollution). Best growth is in full sun and well drained, slightly acidic, sandy loam. Northern red oak often reaches 60-90’ and occasionally 150’. Trees may live up to 500 years.
A colorful alternative for damp soils is Red Maple — the most abundant native tree in eastern North America. Known for its early brilliant fall foliage and red flowers, it is usually found in moist woodlands and wet swamps in sun or part shade. A medium-sized, fast-growing tree (2-5’/yr), its seeds and buds are eaten by birds and mammals, but it is not preferred by deer.
In 1970, the Hanover Conservancy (then the Hanover Conservation Council) was 9 years old. We had already protected Balch Hill and the Tanzi Tract and helped protect Lyme’s 43-acre Wilder Wildlife Area and Plainfield’s 35-acre New England Wildflower Society preserve. As for the rest of town…what a difference 50 years can make!