Upper Valley residents were outside in unprecedented numbers over the past twelve months, exploring and observing the landscape on foot, on snowshoes, on bikes. Meanwhile, UVLT’s work continued steadily. With UVLT’s office closed due to public health concerns, staff advanced conservation transactions and land management activities from their kitchen tables and spare rooms. Enthusiastic volunteers donned masks and pitched in too, monitoring conservation easements solo and maintaining social distancing while tending our food pantry garden.
UVLT’s fiscal year 2021 was filled with adaptation and resilience. Now as a more “normal” summer is in full swing, we gratefully reflect on all the accomplishments of UVLT staff, volunteers, and donors.
- As of June 30, there are ten more special places conserved in the Upper Valley!
- UVLT’s newest property– the Harold and Blendina Sargent Preserve– adds 13 acres of protected Peregrine falcon habitat in Fairlee.
- In Lyme, NH we partnered with Crossroads Academy to conserve 17 acres of wetland and increase public access to trails. In Norwich we joined with the Conservation Commission and raised funds for the Woody Adams Conservation Forest which is part of the viewshed of the popular Gile Mountain fire tower and hiking trail.
- Marc and Robin Wolpow donated 112 acres of forest and farm land in Pomfret that UVLT will lease as working land — productive sugar bush and farm fields – along with a popular trail to a scenic overlook.
- To assist families with young children adapting to school and daycare closures, we created educational guides for visits to Zebedee Wetland (Thetford) and Lyme Hill. We hosted our annual Mission Monarch programming (distanced!)
- With the help of a New Hampshire Charitable Foundation grant, our successful food pantry garden program has expanded to Up On the Hill Conservation Area in Charlestown, NH where we are spending this summer growing food for the Claremont Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry.
- 185 volunteers helped with community projects including trail building and maintenance, gardening, habitat restoration and conservation easement monitoring.
This summer we are once again scheduling group events and looking forward to in-person camaraderie. We continue to welcome volunteers for group or individual work. There is an exciting new year ahead of us and we are happy that you are here to join us for it.