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PLC conserves 71 acres in Lyndeborough

  • A map shows the two recently conserved parcels in Lyndeborough, formerly belonging to the Proctor Trust. Courtesy images

  • A map shows the two recently conserved parcels in Lyndeborough, formerly belonging to the Proctor Trust. Courtesy images

  • Cold Brook stretches behind Lyndeborough Conservation Commission Chair Sharon Akers when Akers was walking the Proctor land last year. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Cold Brook runs through a piece of land purchased on June 29 by the Piscataquog Land Conservancy. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, July 12, 2018 12:9PM

The Piscataquog Land Conservancy completed the purchase of the second of two parcels in Lyndeborough that preserve sections of Cold Brook and Scataquog Brook.

According to PLC Executive Director Chris Wells, the conservation organization closed at the end of June on the second property. Both were previously owned by the Proctor Trust. 

“We are incredibly grateful to everyone who helped protect this special place, including the Proctor family for giving us the time we needed to raise the funds,” said Wells.

The smaller of the two properties, about 41 acres, was purchased last year, and the PLC always planned to also purchase the other Proctor Trust property, which is 71 acres. Both pieces are forested, and the newest purchase includes a key stretch of Cold Brook that the PLC is interested in doing stream restoration work on. 

That involves doing planting along the stream edge, to encourage the growth of shrubs and trees that will shade the brook.

“You can just let it go, and it will become forested and shady on it’s own, or you can help the process along,” said Tom Jones, a land protection specialist with the PLC. 

There are two reasons to hurry that process along: First, the shading on the stream will help lower the temperature and encourage cold water species. Second, it creates a stable soil on the bank, preventing runoff and securing water quality. 

Jordan Bailey, a stewardship coordinator at the PLC, said the PLC was approached by the Merrimack River Watershed Council, who had received grant funding to assist in riparian (the zone where land and water meet) restoration in New Hampshire. There’s a particular stretch of Cold Brook that came to mind immediately that would be suitable, Bailey said.

“It’s not a huge area, but it’s an older field that has been cleared and is only just starting to regrow and vegetate, and it is letting direct sunlight on the stream,” Bailey said.

The PLC hopes to plant between 30 to 40 trees and shrubs on the Cold Brook shoreline, including maples, birches, dogwood and witch hazel in September.

Though the brook is a key feature of the property, Jones said, it’s not the only reason the PLC was interested in preserving it. 

“It has upland habitat, and it helps to connect and expand some significant conservation land,” said Jones. “And it was highly developable. That piece was under significant threat of development, and it was on the market. The brook is the focus, but keeping the land around the brook undeveloped is how you protect the brook.”

The PLC purchased the 41-acre tract in December for $50,000, and closed on the 71-acre tract on June 29 for $207,000. 

The funding for the project came from multiple sources, including the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), which provided half of all funding for the project, the town of Lyndeborough, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the State Conservation Committee’s Conservation “Mooseplate” Grants Program, the Merrimack Conservation Partnership, the Davis Conservation Foundation, and the Preston Family Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the 2017 Rose Mountain Rumble bike benefit. 

 

Ashley Saari  can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com.

She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.