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Sullivan County Conservation District

 95 County Farm Rd. Unity, NH 03743

 603-542-9511 x269

Natural Resources

Conservation of natural resources is important to us.  For that reason, we host natural history programs, guided hikes, lectures, and community discussions throughout the year to connect people to the natural world and each other.   We provide workshops, consultations and technical assistance for landowners focusing on best practices for conservation in New Hampshire.  And we support and are involved with county, regional, and statewide conservation projects. 

Check out our projects and programs below and get out and enjoy Sullivan Counties natural resources.  

Conservation

Topics & Projects

Naturalist Series

Programs & Workshops

County Lands

Trails & Workdays

Conservation

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

               

~Lorax (Dr. Seuss)

 

Water Health

Pond in winter

Soil Health

students exploring soil

Wildlife

moose calf marshall pond_edited.jpg

Cultural Resources

students in cemetery, marshall pond
Water Health

Water is essential for the health of people and the environment.  We help protect and improve water quality through education programs and projects.  If you would like to learn more or get involved with an of the following projects, let us know. 

Our Projects

  • Water Quality Monitoring - Volunteers help us monitor the 5 ponds on County Lands in Unity by testing water chemistry and surveying aquatic life.

  • Long Island Sound Regional Conservation Partnership Program (LISRCPP)We are partnering with all the Conservation Districts along the Connecticut River and Upper Valley Land Trust to reduce nitrogen & phosphorus inputs that accumulate in the Long Island Sound.  We are looking for farmers in the CT River watershed to partner with on this project. Contact us to learn how you can get involved.

  • Riparian Restoration - We helped procure shrubs at a low cost for Goshen Conservation District to plant on the banks of the Sugar River to prevent erosion and preserve a historic building. We are working at Fruhlingsfarm in Claremont on a riparian buffer spring 2020. Let us know if you would like to help with the planting in late April, early May!

  • Rainwater Retention - We work with Black River Action Team (BRAT) and Voices of Water for Climate to slow down run-off from main roads that flow into waterways around Charlestown, NH and Springfield, VT.

 
Soil Health

Healthy soil is the foundation for healthy people and ecosystems. We provide workshops and resources for landowners, farmers, and schools to improve soil quality and build healthy soils. 

Our Projects

  • Cover Crop Trials 

    • We are partnering with Fruhlingsfarm in Claremont, NH & NRCS to find new types of cover crops that improve the soil while meeting other agricultural needs. 

    • The SCCD Community Garden keeps the soil covered in unplanted beds and after harvest.

  • Soil Amendments - We have a micronutrient depot and use some of these nutrients in the high tunnels at the Eco Ag Center

 
Wildlife
Wildlife

Healthy habitats are important in supporting a diversity of wildlife. We support land owners and organizations to create, improve, and sustain habitats - meadows and edge habitat for pollinators and song birds, stream habitat for fish passage, and forest health for the home it provides a diversity of wildlife. 

Our Projects

  • Grassland Bird Conservation - Groundnesting grassland birds such as bobolinks and savannah sparrows often need protection from agricultural activities.  We are actively partnering with farmers to find compromises between the birds habitat needs and working farms. 

  • Pollinator Promotion 

    • Pollinator Garden - We continue to add native plants to our pollinator garden at the Eco Ag Center​.  We planted common milkweed this year to become a Monarch Waystation and we have a bee house for native bees to overwinter at the garden.

    • Monarch Monitoring and Tagging - We participate in two citizen science programs, Mission Monarch & Monarch Watch, in which we collect data on the breeding and migratory monarch populations respectively. We also set up monarch observation stations where we raise monarchs at nursing homes, schools, and on our own.

    • Seed Saving - We save the seeds of the native plants that benefit pollinators, package and sell them at the Spring Plant Sale and give them to local schools & education organizations.

  • Invasive Plant Control -  Japanese knotweed,​​multi-flora rose and autumn olive are actively being removed from the Eco Ag Center area.  We also host workshops to teach others about managing these and other invasive species. 

 

Take it a Step Further

If you are interested in getting involved with any of these conservation projects or know of some we could help out with, please contact us

 

The members of your local Conservation Commission are another great resource if you are interested in what is going on with conservation in your town.  You might even consider becoming a member!

We also facilitate Community Conversations related to these topics.  If you would like to host one of these discussions, let us know.  

 

Cultural Resources

It is important to understand the history of a place including land-use and cultural history to best manage the land today and for future generations. We strive to maintain the cultural resources on the County Lands and to share the story of these special places with others. 

Our Projects

  • Historic Graveyard Restoration - We are partnering with the Sullivan County Natural Resources Dept. and NH Old Graveyard Association (NHOGA) to learn more about restoring the stones in the cemeteries on County Lands. We are also inventorying the cemetery. Information from each gravestone is stored on the Find a Grave database. 

  • Valley Quest - We work with schools and Vital Communities to create scavenger hunts that highlight historic, cultural, and natural resources in Sullivan County. Check out the Marshall Pond Quest.

 
 
 
Programs & Workshops

NATURALIST SERIES

Become a better naturalist and land steward by learning about the ecology and natural history of the Upper Valley. Workshops and field courses are added throughout the year as funding and staffing allows.  All programs meet at the Ahern Building at the Sullivan County Complex on County Farm Rd. in Unity, NH unless otherwise stated. 

2020 Series
We are taking a break this year from a formal series, but will announce naturalist type talks & programs as they pop-up below and on our events calendar.  In the meantime, we are planning the 2021 Series: Wild Edibles! and supporting programs of other conservation organizations that serve Sullivan County.

Contact Dawn if you would like to schedule any of these talks.

What topics do you want to learn about?  

Let us know!

 

What leads us to care for living things and what do we learn from such experiences?  Consider the answers to these questions with Dawn as she shares the lessons she has learned while raising monarch butterflies over the past 3 years.  

Grantham Garden Club

Grantham Town Hall

October 9, 2020

9:30 - 11:30am

RAISING MONARCHS: LESSONS IN CARING

GARDENING FOR NATIVE BEES

There are over 100 native bees in NH.  Learn about the different kinds, their ecology, and how you can promote them through gardening.  Then, share your knowledge with others during National Pollinator Week - June 22-26, 2020. 

Cornish Garden Club

June 16, 2020

7-8pm

Cornish Grange, above the Cornish Town Offices

PEOPLE AND THE PLANET

The collective actions of people have begun to change major planetary systems in profound and undesirable ways. Crossing tipping points will lead to truly existential challenges for many species, including us. But incorporating ecological principles into our decision-making would reverse this trend and help to maintain the planetary balances we rely on.  Join Lionel for a talk about the world's natural systems and the importance of ecological thinking.   

Cornish Garden Club

October 20, 2020

7 -8pm

Cornish Grange, above the Cornish Town offices

OTHER TOPICS FOR PRESENTATIONS

  • Our Changing Climate

  • What's the Deal with Microplastics

  • Manmade Chemicals: PFOAs and PFOs

  • Agri-Forestry: Wild Edibles, Medicinal plants, Mushrooms, and how to grow food without cutting down a forest.

  • Responsible Use of Road Salts