King Bird Sanctuary

The Nan & Allen King Bird Sanctuary at Hayes Farm Park

American cranberry bush flowers at the King Bird Sanctuary in Etna

The King Bird Sanctuary, created by the Hanover Conservancy in 2011, honors the memory of two prominent Hanover conservationists and Conservancy members, Nan and Allen King. Located on the beautiful Upper Meadow of the town’s Hayes Farm Park, the King Sanctuary includes an extensive demonstration planting of native trees and shrubs. In the future, the Town intends to permanently protect the land with a conservation easement to be held by the Hanover Conservancy.

A trail from the Etna Library leads to the Upper Meadow and allows visitors to explore the entire property and the town’s adjacent Trescott Ridge Wetlands via the Audrey McCollum Trail, built in 2017. The Conservancy and the town’s Conservation Commission have partnered to create this sanctuary to benefit Etna Village and area birds and wildlife. See photos of warblers and other birds observed among the blooming crabapples at the Sanctuary.

Removing invasives before planting

Preparing the Upper Meadow for planting required removal of a major infestation of invasive plants, including barberry, honeysuckle, and glossy buckthorn. Conservancy volunteers worked with the crew of E. C. Brown’s Nursery to remove the brush before the plantings were installed.

Stone wall at the same site

Dominating the crest of the knoll is a stone bench, created from a glacial boulder by sculptor Chance Anderson of Canterbury, NH. Two smaller seats nearby, formed of a single stone cut in half, carry inset illustrations of a kingbird and a chickadee.

Over 60 people joined the Conservancy at the Etna Library for a celebration of the Kings’ life and the opening of the sanctuary on June 30, 2011. The Conservancy thanks the many volunteers who have helped with this project, especially neighbors Ken and Norma Pelton and Jay and Susan Pierson.

Map & Guide

The Conservancy has prepared a map and guide to the plantings to help visitors learn more about the wildlife benefits and year-round ornamental values of these native plants.  Copies are available at the Etna Library, Hanover Town Offices, and our office at 71 Lyme Road.

King Memorial Lilac Collection

In 2013, we added to the King Memorial with a special lilac collection to create a “reading garden” behind the newly expanded Etna Library. Lilacs in this collection,  identified with botanical labels, come from Highland Park in Rochester, New York, where Nan and Allen King met many years ago. Stop by the Etna Library to pick up a bookmark that describes the lilac varieties in the planting.