Click here for a link to a PDF of the latest newsletter. Previous issues can be found at the bottom of this page.
Volunteers – Our Past, Present, and Future
by Bruce Adami
When the idea of a local land trust was first conceived in the middle of the 1990’s it was probably in someone’s home in a conversation among friends. That seed of an idea was planted and cultivated by a group of dedicated volunteers, and Bear-Paw was born.
Bear-Paw’s founders were volunteers, and volunteers still have a critical role to play today. Volunteers work in the office, monitor conservation easements, help with events such as auctions and the annual meeting, and serve on our committees and the Board of Directors.
Right now, volunteers are needed to serve on committees and the Board of Directors. Non-profit Board service is hugely rewarding! It involves meeting time as well as work outside of meetings, but the reward is being part of a worthwhile cause you believe in. It’s one thing to be part of an organization like Bear-Paw by being a member, but it’s a whole different and richer experience to be involved in helping set the direction and priorities of such an organization!
We currently have almost 20 people serving on the Board and subcommittees. Half of those volunteers are on both the Board and one of four subcommittees, the other half are just on a subcommittee. The way Bear-Paw is structured, the four subcommittees are literally committees of the Board, meaning that our board members are each part of one subcommittee.
Finance, Land Protection, Membership Development, and Outreach and Education are the four standing committees. The names are reasonably self-explanatory, so I won’t go into detail here, but we have committee job descriptions available. Each committee meets once every month, except for the Finance Committee, which meets once each quarter.
Our challenge continues to be engaging our members to help us on the committees and Board. I like to think of any challenge as an opportunity also. In this case the opportunity of involving a larger group of our members as volunteers is one that will propel Bear-Paw into the future with renewed vigor, while continuing to embrace the model of volunteerism that was established by the organization’s founders so many years ago.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Bear-Paw, call 603.463.9400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Note From the Vice Chair
Spring Comes (To Those Who Are Patient…)
Sitting writing this as the snow clatters against the windows for the second day in a row, I am thinking about being outdoors enjoying spring weather. We had a taste last week when temperatures reached the fifties. A short and sweet taste to be sure and I’ll take it! Spring brings renewal and all the good things that come with it including buds, grass, flowers and early garden crops. It brings new commitments to engaging in outdoor pursuits and travel. We at Bear-Paw also rely on the commitments of our members to do the work we do in protecting natural habitats. As part of your spring, we hope that you will be sure to renew your commitment to Bear-Paw. Thank you!
Bear-Paw Board Profiles
As a kid growing up in London’s East End, Owen David was fascinated with America through the TV shows he saw. At only 17 he had saved enough money to come to the US for a bus and hitchhiking tour. In London again working as a bicycle courier, he met an American girl and went back with her to Minnesota and later Texas where he got his degree at Concordia University.
His job in Oklahoma doing quality assurance for a tire company was less than satisfying, so he signed up to be a counselor for troubled youth at a wilderness therapy camp in northern New Hampshire. By this time Owen had already seen much of the USA, but when he saw our mountains and countryside, he says he found a place he wanted to stay. He became a US citizen in 1999 and now, with a Master’s Degree in Public Health Ecology from UNH, works at the NH Department of Environmental Sciences.
Owen and his wife Valerie, who also works at the DES, bought their Pittsfield home in 2009 where Owen is now a member of Pittsfield’s Conservation Commission. You’ll have to talk to Owen himself for the details of the interesting tale of a journey that brought him to Bear-Paw because there’s not enough room in this newsletter. But we’re very glad that it did!
The day she discovered a Blanding’s turtle killed by the electric fence enclosing her sheep was a moment of epiphany that has brought Mimi Jost to Bear-Paw. The sheep supplied the wool for the spinning wheel and loom for the fiber art she has enjoyed for years. On that day she decided that she would buy wool somewhere else, took down the fence, and turned her attentions to conservation and habitat protection. After attending the UNH Coverts program, she became a volunteer for both the Strafford Conservation Commission and Bear-Paw.
Mimi and her husband Charles have lived in many places that his engineering career took them, and they came to the house they designed in Strafford in 1999. Its view across a swamp to Parker Mountain seems like full circle to Mimi who grew up on the slopes of Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, Massachusetts. Mimi brings not only her knowledge and enthusiasm for habitat protection to Bear-Paw but also the skills she honed in many years of secretarial and administrative work at both Williams College and Phillips Exeter Academy. The Board volunteers are happy to welcome Mimi to the Bear-Paw team!
Make Tracks! – A guide and map for your next outdoor adventure.
Bear-Paw Regional Greenways North River Preserve
More Ways to Give
Shop at Amazon Smile for Bear-Paw! • www.smile.amazon.com
Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know – same products, same prices, same service.
Shop Online with IGive • www.igive.com (find us under Bear-Paw Regional Greenways or #18220)
Be a part of the first and largest online network of shoppers, stores, and worthy causes dedicated to turning everyday online shopping into much-needed donations. It’s never been easier to support a great cause – just by shopping online.
Give to your favorite cause by selling on eBay! • givingworks.ebay.com/ (find us under Bear-Paw Regional Greenways)
It’s safe and easy to donate proceeds from an eBay sale to your favorite nonprofit. Just list your items with eBay Giving Works – the easiest way to sell certified charity items on eBay. Through eBay Giving Works you can do well for yourself and do good for someone else at the same time! Go to the link above to find instructions on how to list your eBay items for Bear-Paw.
Capital One No Hassle Giving Site • www.capitalone.com/give (find us under Bear-Paw Regional Greenways)
If you have a Capital One credit card with rewards (or just want to make a cash contribution), you can now donate to your favorite charity with the Capital One No Hassle Giving Site! Network for Good disburses your donation and Capital One covers the transaction fees. Together they ensure 100% of your donation reaches the charity of your choice.
Can Runners Needed!
by Harmony Anderson and Daniel Kern
Last year, Bruce and Clarinda Donle took over the can trailer from Ben Edwards, a four year can running veteran – handling the aluminum can trailer parked at the Northwood Hannaford Supermarket. Hannaford generously allows Bear-Paw to use a portion of their parking lot. The Donles monitored the level of the cans, towed the trailer across Route 4 to Harding Metals, and emptied the cans. Over the summer, Bear-Paw collected $1,262 for their efforts and helped divert thousands of aluminum cans from local transfer stations. Thank you Bruce, Clarinda, and Hannaford!
If you would be willing to become Bear-Paw’s next Can Runner, please contact the office at email@example.com or 603.463.9400. All proceeds directly benefit Bear-Paw’s land protection efforts!
View From The Picture Post
What will this season bring?
The Picture Post on the Isinglass River Conservation Reserve has recorded over a year’s worth of change. This beautiful spot has seen plenty of snow and ice over two winters. These winters seemed very different, especially this one when most of the snow fell over a few weeks in January and February. It was a winter that will be remembered and talked about for years to come! Yet, as I write this article in mid-March, the stream channel above the beaver dam is open and the snow depth looks about the same as last year. Areas in the forest near the post are clear of snow now, but were still snow-covered last March. I didn’t expect that!
With the onset of spring, we have the opportunity to watch and record the landscape and compare with last year. What will this season bring? Stay tuned. If you are interested in helping Bear-Paw set up a post and/or take photographs, please contact Annette Schloss at 603.862.0348. To learn more, visit http://picturepost.unh.edu. Check out the Bear-Paw Isinglass River Post 1: http://picturepost.unh.edu/post.jsp?postId=548
Great Marsh Preserve Emerges
by Daniel Kern and Phil Auger
To be honest, when conservation projects related to development proposals are presented to Bear-Paw, we usually politely say, “no thank you.” But when given an opportunity to protect 395 acres of important wildlife habitat in our largest conservation focus area, we had to consider it carefully.
The Heads Pond development, proposed by the owners of the Manchester Sand Gravel and Cement Company on a 1,200 acre site abutting the southwest side of Bear Brook State Park, will be large with over 400 single family units and condominiums. That’s not the type of environment we are used to. However, over 700 acres of western and southern portions of the site will be protected through conveyances to Bear-Paw (395 acres) and the Town of Hooksett (196 acres), as well as restricted land still owned by the developer (134 acres). These areas are being set aside as part of the town planning process and as conditions of the development’s permits with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. Given the importance of the area and with the support of the Hooksett Conservation Commission, we decided that we should help protect what will be left.
The Great Marsh Preserve is Bear-Paw’s newest acquisition and brings our total land owned to a little over 1,300 acres. The Preserve currently has no frontage on a town road but it can be accessed from the gated portion of the Chester Turnpike near the Hooksett – Allenstown line. The property is divided in two by the turnpike and there are numerous woods roads and trails on the property once you get there. All are open to the public for passive recreation on foot or bicycles but the property is not open to motorized vehicles. Eventually, Bear-Paw will develop a stewardship plan to guide management of the Preserve, including its trails.
We chose the preserve’s name from its most prominent feature – a marsh more than 50 acres in size along its eastern boundary. Great Marsh and the nearby Heads Pond are the two of the most outstanding wildlife habitat features of this section of Hooksett. The primary water source for the Great Marsh is a large, unnamed perennial stream that enters its northeast corner. The stream begins on the southern side of Pinkney Hill and the western slopes of hills on Bear Brook State Park, Manchester Water Works, and other Bear-Paw conservation properties, gaining volume as it travels first north than southwesterly toward the marsh.
Beaver activity along the watercourse has created a series of wetlands that offer a stark contrast to the dry, rocky landscape of much of the watershed. The stream levels out in a broad sedge dominated wetland on both sides of the Chester Turnpike before dropping through a narrow boulder-edged channel into the Great Marsh. The marsh empties into Heads Pond and then the Merrimack River.
The marsh is actually a fen, bog-like in appearance, but having flowing water with a higher nutrient level than true bogs. There are areas of open water with small to medium sized islands of peat moss, shrubs and small trees. The edges of the marsh are very rocky with pine/oak forests with an understory of huckleberry, maleberry and highbush blueberry.
Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy this area in the early spring and fall when migratory waterfowl and songbirds are on their way in and out of the state. Wood and black ducks are common nesting species. All of the large mammals native to the region have been documented in the area; including bobcat, black bear, moose, and coyote. The stream and its associated wetlands support beaver, mink, and other water/wetland dependent species.
Please join us for a walk on the property on May 9th as we look for birds during spring migration. See the calendar for details.
We’ll have a map of the property available soon! Like us on Facebook to get the announcement.
Calendar of Spring & Summer Events
Click here for a list of events planned for this spring and summer.
Bear-Paw members protect another 1,500 acres in the region – You should be one of us!
Last year, Bear-Paw protected almost 1,500 acres in our now eleven-town region. With the completion of the Crooked Run project, Pittsfield became our latest, official member town and we completed our first easement that extended into Barnstead. We now own or hold conservation easements on 7,293 acres that help permanently conserve a network of lands that protects our region’s water, wildlife habitat, forests, and farmland.
Bear-Paw and its partners have helped local communities secure millions in grants and landowner gifts to complete these projects; but none of this would have been possible without our members since most of the grants that we receive go directly to acquisition and transaction costs. Contributing to Bear-Paw will ensure that you and your town continue to have a local resource to help protect the natural areas that you love when you think of your town. Please consider becoming a member today by returning the enclosed reply envelope or online at www.bear-paw.org.
Bear-Paw is a new member of the NH State Employee Workplace Giving Campaign!
Give at the office and make every day Earthday! NH State employees can now take advantage of one of the easiest and most convenient ways to support us! You can make a gift to Bear-Paw by payroll contribution through your workplace giving program by selecting us on your pledge form.
Bear-Paw is also a member of EarthShare, a nationwide federation of the country’s most respected environmental and conservation charities. To find out more about how you and your workplace can support Bear-Paw through an EarthShare New England charitable giving campaign, you can visit www.earthsharenewengland.org.
"Fall 2014 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2014 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2013 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2013 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2012 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2012 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2011 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2011 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2010 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2010 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2009 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2009 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2008 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2008 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2007 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2007 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2006 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2006 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2005 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2005 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2004 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2004 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2003 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2003 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2002 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2002 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Fall 2001 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)
"Spring 2001 Bear-Paw Print" (PDF)