We all know that broad and beautiful meadow on Greensboro Road – a space that brings us back to a time when this was a productive hayfield, the brook beyond provided trout and ice for the farm kitchen, and the woods on the bouldery slopes above yielded firewood and fenceposts. Today, these acres are a welcome natural backdrop to a residential neighborhood.
The Hanover Conservancy has been proud to partner with the Town of Hanover, the Trust for Public Land and the Northern Forest Center in a major project to protect these 250 acres of upland forest, floodplain meadow, and corridor of Mink Brook, known as the Mink Brook Community Forest.
The property, which straddles Greensboro Road, is composed of two main parcels. The forested north parcel stretches up a prominent hillside to its boundary with the Appalachian Trail corridor. On its northeast side is a high-value wetland that helps control the quality and flow of Mink Brook below. The open meadow, underlain by prime agricultural soils, blankets the south parcel from Greensboro Road to Mink Brook. Beyond, the property provides forested wildlife habitat that links with Rix Ledges in Lebanon.
Here, on one of the last large undeveloped properties remaining on the south side of town, the Mink Brook Community Forest will offer new trails for walking, biking, and cross-country skiing, with trail connections to adjacent conservation lands – the newly protected Hudson Farm and AT corridor to the north, and town-owned lands to the southeast. Forestry will continue, subject to a management plan developed with community input and overseen by a licensed forester.