Post 9, June 26, 2017
(Standing in for Executive Director, Blair Folts, who is traveling this week.)
“2001 introduction to saving a special place for the community”
My husband Dave and I had always wanted to live in a log home at the end of a lane. We left the corporate world in 1994, and started our own IT consulting business. The business could be operated from anywhere in the US. Took us a while to narrow down our search, and we chose the state of New Hampshire. It had so much to offer …rivers, lakes, mountains, rural forested lands, wildlife viewing, low humidity, fresh air and clean water, along with no sales or income tax. And the state was on the same coast as family…all important aspects for choosing where to re-locate.
Not finding a log home that suited our needs at the time, we decided to purchase property, design our home, and locate contractors with the expertise to build it. Took us two years in all, but in July 2000 we moved to Madison. Our new log home is on a 60 acre wooded property at the end of a dirt lane abutting town forest lands. Total heaven. We live in our vacation home.
So you ask: What does this have to do with Green Mountain Conservation Group? Not long after we moved in we were alerted by our good neighbors, the Riss’s, that a 2,000 plus acre piece of property with a lovely 21-acre trout pond was potentially going to be developed into a 500 plus unit aviation and condominium community. There was a small group of folks in Freedom who wanted to preserve the property as open space for wildlife, and for ski and walking trails. This property was located practically next door to ours and abutted The Nature Conservancy’s’ distinctive Pine Barrens conservation land.
The first meeting we attended was organized by Freedom residents Jennifer Molin and Katie Gove. They had asked Green Mountain Conservation Group to assist them in educating the community about the value of protecting this large parcel for the town. You see, the property had suddenly been taken over by a finance corporation not at all tied to the community of Freedom as a result of the failure of the local owners to complete their plans to develop the aviation resort. This grassroots group of Freedom residents wanted to purchase the property and they needed to initiate a campaign to raise awareness and funds to make it happen. No small task.
And so the effort began in early 2001 to save Trout Pond for a Freedom Town Forest. There is much more to the story which develops over the coming years. The pivotal part for Dave and me was the start of our relationship with Green Mountain Conservation Group from which we began to understand much more about the natural value of our home setting, the Ossipee watershed, the rich stratified drift aquifer which supplies our drinking water, and the importance of preserving vernal pools and wetlands for support of the regions ecosystem. Protecting this large parcel for the community was within the mission of GMCG and this small grassroots group of Freedom residents who were determined to pursue their goal. We joined them. More on this story to come.
In celebration of Green Mountain Conservation Group’s 20th Birthday (May 1, 1997-May 1 2017) we will be posting Memories on Mondays in May through September on the GMCG Facebook page and on our website www.gmcg.org
. If you would like to be part of this journey please “like” Green Mountain Conservation Group on our Facebook page. We are trying to raise funds for our new home—-The Patricia and Charles Watts Conservation Center also known as the Blue Heron House on the Ossipee River and expansion of staff needed to run our programs. We are doing this online through this campaign by asking you to consider a gift of $20 in honor of our 20th Birthday. Do you have a connection to the Ossipee Watershed? Did you know a former staff person or Board member over the past 20 years who you would like to honor? Can you also invite your own friends and families who have connections to this Watershed or a specific person and ask for a contribution too? Please feel free to forward our posts and information. THANK YOU.
Donations can be made to : CLICK HERE
Each gift of $1000 raised in a specific person’s name will honor that person with a plaque on a rocking chair. For example—if you send in a donation of $20 in a staff or previous board member’s name, that will be tracked and recorded as a gift to honor that specific person. If you can help by inviting 50 friends to do the same then you will have helped raise $1000 and that person and you will have your name on one of our porch rocking chairs.
Thank you! Noreen Downs, Volunteer
To access previously posted 20 Years of Memories, look to the right hand margin