We (all) Did It! Alswell Farm Conserved.

Ed Chamberlain and his daughter Karin hold the sign that will mark the status of Alswell Farm: Conserved!

The conservation easement protecting Alswell Farm forever has been signed and recorded in the Grafton County Registry of Deeds. The groundswell of support and vision it generated fulfills Ed Chamberlain’s goal of connecting community to conservation through the place he loves.

The Alswell Farm conservation campaign drew support from Hanover Center, the Upper Valley, and places beyond. Chris Hawkins read the Valley News story about UVLT’s campaign to conserve Alswell Farm, and made an online gift in honor of his father, noting, “My dad loves cross-country skiing and hiking, so this kind of land conservation that is open space for habitat and public access is something he will really appreciate.”

Chris lives in Olympus, Washington. His father lives in West Claremont, New Hampshire. Neither of them knows Alswell Farm specifically, but both appreciate the values it offers: access to an unspoiled landscape, a sense of history and rural beauty.

Another couple asked family members to contribute to the Alswell campaign in lieu of holiday gifts. Supporters from Thetford wrote: “It is a great contribution, both to the current health of the Upper Valley and to future generations, to preserve some of these areas, and the expertise UVLT brings to the complicated process is invaluable.”

All in all, more than 35 households made gifts and pledges. The final campaign tally was just over $50,000. We paid Ed $48,000 for a conservation easement worth over five times that much; the remaining funds raised, together with dedicated support from our Mary Kilmarx Fund will be used to establish an endowment for monitoring and defending the easement in perpetuity. (We continue to seek about $2500).

The conservation of this marvelous place inspired investment and dialogue. Now there is strong interest in expanding the impact of the Alswell Farm initiative by conserving additional lands and creating trail links.  At least one adjoining conservation easement will be completed in 2014.

Join us to celebrate the conservation of Alswell Farm, Sunday, January 26, 1-3 PM. Bring snowshoes, skis, sleds, etc for winter fun outdoors. We’ll have a bonfire and refreshments. We’ll post directions and weather-related updates as the date nears.