There is so much to love about early summer in the Upper Valley. From unfolding maple leaves and raucous frog songs to the return of bobolinks and kestrels, and the emergence of showy lady’s slippers, this season highlights the natural beauty we’re all working to protect.

The end of June also marks the end of UVLT’s fiscal year—and what a year it’s been, thanks to the power of our community! This year, UVLT conserved land that protects the City of Claremont’s public drinking water supply and acquired 180 acres in Lebanon that is one of the City’s most significant ecological areas. We protected a historic landscape in Cornish and added land for a new trailhead at the Ely Mountain Conservation Area. We conserved 420 acres in Plainfield that will be managed for old-growth forest conditions and carbon sequestration. In total, we protected more than 1000 acres! Friends like you make this possible.

And that’s not all. In the last 12 months, hundreds of people have joined in stewardship at UVLT conserved lands — finding vernal pools and salamander eggs, counting milkweed and Monarch butterflies, removing blowdowns from trails, leading workdays and nature walks for people of all ages. Land conservation, and the love of conserved lands, builds community.

This really matters because our planet faces unprecedented challenges. It will take all of us working together to protect nature and the land and water that sustains life. Researchers have found that the Upper Valley region stands in a critical ecological artery that is still relatively intact and provides a corridor for the adaptation and migration of mammals from the Appalachians into Canada. The lands we conserve will help determine that future. 

As our fiscal year comes to an end, UVLT is leading a conservation initiative in Hartland that will conserve farmland and trails and create a site for the adjacent development of affordable housing. Our two food pantry gardens are growing tomatoes, spinach, carrots, onions, potatoes, and more. Our paddler’s campsites are opened for the season. More than a dozen new conservation projects are underway—forests, farms, streams and ponds, wild places. There is so much more we can do together!

I hope you will consider renewing your commitment to UVLT for the year to come. Each place we conserve together contributes to the health and resilience of nature and people here at home and far beyond. Thank you for joining in our mission to conserve and protect our region’s lands and waters.

Jeanie McIntyre, President