Friday, May 22, 2009

Annual Event Celebrates Upper Valley Working Lands & Wild Places

MERIDEN, NH—“When one family conserves acreage that is to be admired. When many neighbors together conserve a whole rural landscape, it is a powerful statement of shared values and recognition that collectively we can accomplish so much more.” It has been twelve years, since Dick Ramsden used those words to explain why he conserved his property. Today, the Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT) holds conservation agreements on approximately 400 parcels of land in 44 communities. Thousands of people have participated in UVLT’s mission since the Trust was founded in 1985. Their stories and accomplishments will be shared and celebrated on June 3, in Meriden…

UVLT invites supporters, friends, neighbors, and community members to join staff and Trustees for its annual celebration and membership meeting. Kimball Union Academy has generously donated space for the June 3rd event entitled: Tales from the Field. The event emphasizes the tremendous value that the region’s working lands and wild places add to its quality of life.

The schedule of activities for the day (weather permitting) includes a 3:30pm hike on French’s Ledges, a UVLT conserved trail in Meriden—it is a steep climb, but persistent participants will be rewarded by spectacular views. A guided bus tour of UVLT conserved lands in Sullivan County is available to those traveling from Hanover or Lebanon; it will leave at 3:30pm. Those interested in participating in either of these afternoon activities can register and learn more by calling or emailing Nora at (603) 643-6626 ext. 102, or, by May 25th.

At 5:30pm, appetizers, cold drinks, and displays will be featured—UVLT staff will be available to provide current information about land conservation in the region, resources for landowners, and upcoming events. Local cheeses provided by Blythedale Farm and Jericho Hill Farm will be served. Patrick Dakin, Brew Master at the Norwich Inn, will pour Jasper Murdock’s Ales; some regional wines will also be enjoyed.

While partaking of these refreshments, guests will be invited to place bids on homegrown gifts in a silent auction to benefit UVLT. This year’s auction includes: a sunset champagne cruise on Canaan Street Lake (with loon sighting guaranteed), a “study” illustration from Big & Little, accompanied by the book itself by John Stadler, a handmade box by Garrett Hack of Thetford, a boat ride up the Connecticut River with John Carroll of Norwich, Farnum Hill Cider, Taylor Brothers’ Maple Syrup, Garfield’s Smokehouse Cheese, King Arthur Cookbooks, and many more locally crafted items! Everything in the auction has been donated by friends and neighbors who support land conservation in the region. View a complete list of items at:

Local ingredients will be the focal point of a casual dinner, $15 per person, beginning at 6:30pm. Seasonal produce will be provided by these area farms: Blue Ox Farm (Enfield, NH), Edgewater Farm (Plainfield, NH), Cedar Circle Farm (Thetford, VT), MacLennan Farm (Windsor, VT), and Four Corners Farm (Newbury, VT). Weather permitting; dinner will finish with first of the season strawberry shortcake and fresh whipped cream!

Following dinner, the program will consist of Tales from the Field: conservation stories told by Upper Valley landowners and volunteers. These will be reflective and inspiring accounts of the region’s working lands and natural areas. The evening’s speakers will provide insight into the motivations that lead to the conservation of the Upper Valley’s special places. During the awards portion of the evening, Meriden’s own, Steve Taylor, longtime New Hampshire Agriculture Commissioner will be honored for his work in conservation. In addition, Norwich’s Shiela Swett will be recognized for her nature photography, as well as her support of UVLT’s efforts.

For more information, or to reserve your seat, contact Nora Doyle-Burr at or (603) 643-6626, by May 25th.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

National Bike/Walk to Work Day, May 15, 2009

With growing concern about carbon footprints, there has never been a better time to leave your car at home and bike or walk to work! If all you have been waiting for is little support and encouragement, the 5th Annual Upper Valley Bike/Walk to Work Day, co-organized by Upper Valley Trails Alliance and Upper Valley Rideshare, is a good time to start. Friday, May 15th is the day to curb your car, and use an earth-friendly commute, and reward yourself with a free light breakfast (provided at eight different locations). Join your friends, neighbors and co-workers, as well as thousands of others across the nation, in celebrating National Bike/Walk to Work Day.

The 2008 event had 302 participants from 63 employers attending 8 breakfasts. There were 11 Bike and Walk Groups to choose from, and 30 sponsors. By leaving their cars at home for one day, the 302 participants SAVED 4,193 milesand 1.86 Tons of Co2.

For commuters who are unsure about which route to take, how to navigate the roads, or how long it will take to get to work, the UV event offers experienced local Bike and Walk commuters who will lead small groups into the UV employment areas. Maps for some well-tested routes are also on the website. The commutes utilize common roads and groomed trails including the Upper Valley’s Northern Rail Trail to get to work. Check the website for route maps and group meeting times.

Breakfasts vary but generally offer a variety of fresh fruit, bagels, juice and coffee. Like-minded participants chat about road conditions, cold and fitness. Sign-in at the breakfast to be entered into a drawing featuring a $100 savings bond from Mascoma Savings Bank, an I-pod Shuffle from Systems Plus, lunch from Harpoon Brewery, gas cards from Lebanon Jiffy Mart, walking shoes from Farmway, Inc.-Vermont Gear, membership at the RVC, and more all donated by generous local sponsors.

The 2009 Breakfast locations are:

  • Hanover - Buck Rd: Upper Valley Land Trust, 8-9:00AM
  • Hanover - Etna Rd: Hypertherm Cafeteria, 7-8:30AM
  • Hanover - Hopkins Center Plaza: Dartmouth College, 6:30-8:30AM with a tech from Omer & Bob’s Sport Shop on-site
  • Lebanon - Downtown: Colburn Park, 7-8:30AM with an EMS tech on-site
  • Lebanon - Centerra Park: Lebanon Food Co-op, 7-8:30AM
  • Hartford - Downtown: Hartford Municipal Building Lawn, 7-8:30AM
  • Norwich - Rte 5: King Arthur Flour Bakers Store, 7:30-8:30
  • Lebanon: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Level 1 Dining Room, 6:30-9AM (Employees only)
Sponsors of the 5th Annual event include: Dartmouth College, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Hartford Parks and Recreation, Lebanon Recreation and Parks, Hypertherm, Lebanon Food Co-op, Systems Plus Computers, Farm-Way Inc, River Valley Club, Harpoon Brewery, Salt Hill Pub, Omer & Bobs, Lou’s Restaurant, Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) West Lebanon, Lebanon Jiffy Mart, Mascoma Savings Bank, Lou’s Restaurant, King Arthur Flour, Upper Valley Land Trust.

Details at This event was co-organized by Upper Valley Rideshare, a ride matching service for NH and the UV region since 1992, and Upper Valley Trails Alliance, promoting trails and healthy living, connecting communities.

    Now You Can Watch UVLT Programs Online!

    Did you miss the April 28th Natural Areas presentation by Mark Zankel, Deputy State Director for the NH Chapter of The Nature Conservancy?

    Don't worry! Simply visit CATV's website at: Then, search for UVLT, Natural Areas, or TNC. Look for Marc Rosenbaum's May 12th Deep Energy Retrofits & Zero Net Energy Homes presentation on CATV's website soon.

    Grooming the Wright's Mountain/Devil's Den Trails

    Your Help Is Needed!

    The Bradford Stewardship Committee needs help with grooming the Wrights MT/Devil’s Den Trails. Bring gloves, H2O, a leaf rake, if you have them; some will be provided.
    • Wednesday, May 20, 4pm - dusk; meet at DD Trailhead
    • Saturday, May 30, 8 - 11am; meet at DD Trailhead
    • Thursday, June 4, 4pm - dusk; meeting place tbd
    Directions to Devil’s Den Trailhead Parking Area: From Bradford’s only traffic light at the intersection of Routes 5 & 25,head on Route 25 West for 4 miles. Turn right onto Chase Hollow Rd. Travel about 3 miles, and the parking area is on the left.

    For more information contact Nancy Jones at or visit

    Tuesday, May 5, 2009


    WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT—The Upper Valley Land Trust, Vermont Earth Institute, Sustainable Energy Resource Group (SERG), and the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club will co-sponsor Marc Rosenbaum, P.E.’s presentation entitled, “Deep Energy Retrofits and Zero Net Energy Homes” on May 12th at 7pm at the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction, VT. Energy efficiency is one step that Upper Valley residents can take to reduce their carbon footprints, and to save money on fuel costs. This presentation is part of a much larger effort to encourage discussion and empower individuals to take action against climate change.

    In early April, James Hansen visited Dartmouth and presented scientific data that indicates the urgent need for immediate efforts to face the challenges caused by climate change. Rosenbaum will offer practical solutions to combat this pressing threat and discuss the need to fix buildings and create new ones so that they use much less energy. His presentation will include a view from the trenches of state-of-the-art low energy houses and extreme energy makeovers of existing homes. There will be time for questions at the end of the evening. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP by contacting Nora at, or (603) 643-6626 ext. 102.

    Rosenbaum, a resident of Meriden, NH, holds BS and MS degrees from MIT, where he studied mechanical engineering. He uses an integrated systems design approach to help people create buildings and communities which connect humans to the natural world, and support both personal and planetary health. Through a collaborative design process, he achieves the goal of understanding the interconnections between people, place, and systems that generate the best solution for each project.

    Rosenbaum’s company, Energysmiths, was founded in 1979, on the principle that sustainable communities can only be based on renewable resources. He has focused on integrating renewable energy systems, daylighting, high performance envelope design, health-sustaining mechanical systems, food production and storage, ecological waste systems, efficient electrical and water systems, and benign, resource-efficient materials selection into his projects. Visit Energysmiths’ website for more information about Rosenbaum’s work:

    The Upper Valley Land Trust works to protect farmland, forest, water resources, wildlife habitat, trails and scenic areas that are vital to the character of the Vermont and New Hampshire communities of the Upper Valley. Founded in 1985, the Upper Valley Land Trust is a non-profit organization supported primarily by local contributors. For more information please visit

    Vermont Earth Institute engages and supports Vermonters to reduce consumption and adopt environmentally sustainable practices in their homes, workplaces and communities. To learn more visit:

    Sustainable Energy Resource Group (SERG) promotes energy conservation, efficiency and renewables through the formation of town energy committees to help residents, businesses and the municipalities reduce energy consumption, save money, increase the sustainable use of renewables, strengthen the local economy and improve the environment. For more information, visit their website

    The Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club works on a number of issues that they believe are critical for helping maintain Vermont's high quality of life - including working with Vermont communities on energy and climate change and protecting public lands. Find out more at

    Friday, May 1, 2009

    Naturalist Walk at Hawkride Farm

    Saturday, May 9th, 8:30 - 11:30am
    Hawkride Farm, 109 Jenney Road, Meriden, NH

    Join Monica Erhart, UVLT Stewardship Coordinator, Amber Boland, UVLT Conservation Mapping and Field Specialist, and Peg Ackerson, a member of the Mascoma Chapter of the New Hampshire Audubon, as they lead a naturalist walk on a beautiful property (Hawkride Farm) conserved by UVLT Trustee, Myra Ferguson and her husband, Allan. The walk will focus on the property's springtime bird and plant life. Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and footwear. For more information contact Monica Erhart at or Amber Boland at, or call UVLT at (603) 643-6626.
    In case of inclement weather, call Monica at (802) 431-5061.
    Hawkride Farm is located halfway between Route 120 and Route 12A on Brook Road which is runs through Plainfield and West Lebanon, NH.
    From 12A:
    From I-89, take Exit 20 in West Lebanon and follow Route 12A to the south. In about 2 miles, turn left* onto True's Brook Road. Stay on this road as the name changes first to Brook Road, then to Willow Brook Road, about 4.8 miles. Turn left on Jenney Road. Approximately 1/2 mile up Jenney Road on the left is the driveway entrance. There is a granite post marking 109 Jenney Road. The Ferguson house is on the top of the hill on the right at the end of a 1/2 mile long driveway. Park your car below the house by continuing straight on the driveway and following the parking signs.
    From RT 120:
    From I-89, take NH 120 south to Meriden Village. At the flashing yellow traffic light, turn right* onto Main Street. Continue on Main Street and pass a covered bridge on the left. Main Street then changes to Valley Brook Road. Travel about 2 more miles from village to what appears to be a fork in the road. Take the road on the right, Jenney Road. Approximately 1/2 mile up Jenney Road on the left is the driveway entrance. There is a granite post marking 109 Jenney Road. The Ferguson house is on the top of the hill on the right at the end of a 1/2 mile long driveway. Park your car below the house by continuing straight on the driveway and following the parking signs.
    *If coming from the south, turn in the opposite direction (i.e., "right" not "left").