With support from the NH Humanities Council and the Hanover Historical Society, our Executive Director, Adair Mulligan, gave a wonderful presentation on the history of conservation in Hanover. You can now watch the recorded talk on our YouTube channel!
On Friday, April 23, 150 Hanover High School students and 20 teachers dug into a living Earth Day celebration at the Hanover Conservancy’s nearby Mink Brook Nature Preserve to plant 200 native trees. Environmental Club advisers Jeannie Kornfeld and Linda Addante began working with the Conservancy in early 2020 to plan such an event for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but the pandemic had other plans. Undaunted, the remarkable Hanover High Environmental Club was back this year with a COVID-safe event, visiting the Preserve in small groups to do the planting. Forester Ehrhard Frost of Full Circle Forestry and Conservancy Program Coordinator Courtney Dragiff helped guide the students. The Conservancy has been working to restore native trees on the property ever since acquiring it in 1999, when much of it was covered with invasive plants. The students planted native silver maples and northern red oaks in a section that needs reforestation.
Students in the Environmental Club wanted to involve the school community in a project that would help offset some of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the school, and also reverse some of the degradation in the Mink Brook Preserve caused by invasive species. The seniors are especially eager to make progress toward meeting the greenhouse gas reduction goals outlined in the HHS climate action plan before graduating this spring.
“Trees give us many gifts – clean air and water, healthy places to recreate, wildlife habitat…and carbon storage,” observes Adair Mulligan, Executive Director of the Hanover Conservancy. “Restoring trees to the landscape is the single best low-tech, low-cost pathway for storing more carbon on the land. We’re delighted to work with the students to help that happen here.”
Hanover High’s Environmental Club meets weekly and runs a school wide composting and recycling program. In 2017 the Earth Systems class, under the guidance of HHS alum Hannah Kornfeld, wrote the first Climate Action Plan of any high school in the United States. A Climate Action Plan Implementation Team (CAPIT) composed of students, teachers, administrators, and community members is working together to carry out the plan. The Club also planted a pollinator garden in 2018.
April 22 marked the 51st 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. Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people each year.
The Conservancy’s 112-acre Mink Brook Nature Preserve protects habitat for wild brook trout, bears, and other wildlife while offering a natural retreat and trail network within walking distance of Hanover High School and downtown. Since ancient times, this region has been the homeland of the Abenaki people, and Mosbasak Sibosis (“Mink Brook” in Abenaki) remains an important center of Indigenous life. Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the Hanover Conservancy is the oldest local land trust in New Hampshire. A private, non-profit organization whose mission is to protect land and waters in the community, its members include nearly a quarter of Hanover households and others throughout the Upper Valley and beyond.
The event was sponsored by Hanover High School’s Environmental Club, the Hanover Conservancy, Full Circle Forestry, and LindeMac Real Estate.
The History of Conservation in Hanover…or, how to string a green necklace, bead by bead.
Tuesday, April 27, 7:00pm – via Zoom
Sponsored by the Hanover Conservancy and Hanover Historical Society
Speaker: Adair Mulligan, Executive Director, Hanover Conservancy
We’ll take an armchair tour of Hanover and its many now-protected spaces to celebrate Earth Week.
Beginning with a look back at the bad old days of water pollution, environmental degradation, and the
back to the land movement, we’ll go forward with the founding 60 years ago of the Hanover
Conservation Council (now Hanover Conservancy), and the blossoming of conservation efforts in this
beautiful town, from the Connecticut River to the peaks of Moose Mountain. Well-illustrated with maps
and images, we’ll reveal the backstory of how the “green necklace” came to be strung around
downtown Hanover, culminating in the protection this year of the 250-acre Mink Brook Community
Open to all – register for zoom link at www.hanoverconservancy.org/events
A big-hearted thanks to all those who tried the Hanover Conservancy “Love of Nature Trail Adventure” this winter. You demonstrated how much you Love Nature!
More than 225 folks downloaded a handout or picked one up from the trailhead kiosks, and the 60 tree cookies, decorated by children in the Kids-After-School-Time program, lasted a full month despite some very blustery conditions. If you completed the hikes and deciphered the messages but did not yet request a sticker, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Answers to the coded messages from each trail:
Mink Brook Nature Preserve: Go green and drink clean
Balch Hill Natural Area: Breathe in & thank a tree
Hayes Farm Park and King Bird Sanctuary: Adopt the pace of nature [:her secret is patience. – Ralph Waldo Emerson]
Stay tuned for more fun adventures and challenges this spring and summer!
We had a fantastic group for our first guided hike at the Britton Forest’s new trail, the Black Bear Loop. Thanks to all who joined!
We are thrilled to announce that the 250-acre Mink Brook Community Forest (formerly owned by the Leavitt family) off Greensboro Road is now permanently protected and open to the public! An entire generation of conservationists worked to make this project happen: read the full press release here.
This couldn’t have happened without The Town of Hanover and the Trust for Public Lands working in tandem with generous local donors- thank you all! The Mink Brook Community Forest belongs to the Town of Hanover and will be managed for sustainable forestry, low-impact recreation and biodiversity.
The land is now open to the public. Keep an eye out for guided hikes to the property, to be announced soon!