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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 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.

  • Rainwater Retention - We connected Charlestown Middle School teachers and students to Voices of Water for Climate, and are working on a project intended to slow run-off from Route 12 that goes into Clay Brook, the school's outdoor education site. 

 
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.

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

 
 
Programs & Workshops

NATURALIST SERIES

Become a better naturalist and land steward by learning 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. Make sure to RSVP as space is limited. Let us know which program and how many people you are signing up.  Starting in 2019, we will be charging a nominal fee of $5/person or $10/family for these programs (unless otherwise specified).  You can pay by cash or check.  Please talk to us if you would like to attend, but can't afford the fee. 

What topics do you want to learn about?  

Let us know!

 

Lichens

January 12, 1:00 - 4:00pm

Lichens are stalwarts, withstanding New England winters and bringing some much needed color to the winter landscape.  Learn about the different types, their amazing life cycles, and how they are used by people today. 

We will meet at the Ahern Building and weather permitting explore the County Farm for some of the time.  Make sure to dress for being outdoors.  Hot chocolate will be provided. Lichens of the North Woods will be available to purchase for $12.  Please let us know if you would like a copy.  

 

Cost: $5/person; $10/family

Trees & Tracks                                        

Discover the winter world with Lynn Levine, educator, forester, and author from Vermont.  Take a hike and learn about winter tree identification and how to tell the story of animals from tracks and signs found along the way. This class is limited to 15 people. 

We will meet at the Ahern Building and roam the forest and field observing what we can.  Make sure to dress for the weather and bring a set of snowshoes if you wish.  Hot chocolate will be provided.    

Cost: $20/person; $25/family (includes 1 copy of Lynn's book, Mammal Scat & Track)

 

March 9, 1:00 - 4:00pm   

Songbirds

May 18, 8:00 - 10:00am

Songbirds are beloved the world over for their bright colors, joyous songs and fascinating life histories.  Join us as we learn about these amazing animals from Leonard Reitsma, Professor of Zoology at Plymouth State University.  Hopefully, we will get to see a bird or two in the hand.

The Eco Ag Center at the Sullivan County Complex in Unity, NH will be our homebase for the morning. Please bring water and dress to walk through fields and forest.    

Cost: $5/person; $10/family

 

Plant Communities

August 24, 1:00 - 4:00pm 

There are a variety of forest and wetland habitats in Sullivan County.  Join us as we traverse County lands to explore and experience a diversity of natural plant communities including spruce-fir and hardwood forests and a black ash swamp.  

 

We will be meeting at the Ahern Building and may carpool to one of the trailheads on county lands from there.  Bring water and muck boots, but wear comfortable walking shoes and be sure to dress for the weather.  

Cost: $5/person; $10/family

 

Changing Climate

November 22, 5:30 - 7:30pm

Have you noticed changes in the weather patterns over the years (more rain, hotter summers) or seasonal changes (earlier maple sap runs). Climate change is happening now and its impacts are starting to be felt here at home.  Join us to learn how the climate is changing globally and locally and some of the things that are being done to address the challenges.   

 

This program will be held at the Ahern Building and is presentation style.  Hot chocolate will be provided.  

Cost: $5/person; $10/family

 
 

What leads us to care for living things and what do we learn from such experiences?  Consider the answers to these questions with Dawn Dextraze as she shares the lessons she has learned while raising monarch butterflies over the past 2 years. A slide show of her photos of monarchs will accompany this talk. 

Contact Dawn if you would like to schedule this talk.

RAISING MONARCHS: LESSONS IN CARING