Dublin Rotary Park event on Saturday to familiarize visitors with overlooked gem

  • Dublin Rotary Park in Dublin offers hiking, picnicking, and access to Howe Reservoir Staff Photo by Abbe Hamilton—

  • Dublin Rotary Park in Dublin offers hiking, picnicking, and access to Howe Reservoir Staff Photo by Abbe Hamilton—

  • Dublin Rotary Park in Dublin offers hiking, picnicking, and access to Howe Reservoir Staff Photo by Abbe Hamilton—

  • Dublin Rotary Park in Dublin offers hiking, picnicking, and access to Howe Reservoir Staff Photo by Abbe Hamilton—

  • Dublin Rotary Park in Dublin offers hiking, picnicking, and access to Howe Reservoir Staff Photo by Abbe Hamilton—

  • Dublin Rotary Park in Dublin offers hiking, picnicking, and access to Howe Reservoir Staff Photo by Abbe Hamilton—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/8/2021 10:50:19 AM

The Dublin Conservation Commission is hosting a Park Spring Celebration at the Dublin Rotary Park this weekend, where visitors can familiarize themselves with the 40 acres of town-owned recreation land beside Howe Reservoir off Route 101.

The event is coming in advance of Dublin’s Town Meeting, which features an article that seeks to appropriate funds for the park’s maintenance and formalize the Conservation Commission’s stewardship of the site.

The park features hiking trails, picnicking spots, and area for launching kayaks and canoes onto the adjacent Howe Reservoir, Conservation Commission member and longtime park steward Jerry Branch said. Despite its substantial size, trails, and impressive views, the park’s been “kind of overlooked,” Branch said, and Saturday’s event is an opportunity for locals to familiarize themselves with the public asset.

Dublin has owned the land since 1978, when it was donated to the town, Branch said. There wasn’t much going on with the site despite it being deeded for recreational purposes, Branch said, so he made a project of improving the site shortly after moving to town from Houston in 2004.

“I just love being out in nature,” Branch, who had seen the benefits of a similar project in his former neighborhood, said. As a member of the former Dublin Rotary Club, Branch spearheaded trail building and maintenance, constructed trail signs and kiosks, and installed picnic tables on the site. The trails formally opened in 2011, when Branch was awarded “Citizen of the Year” in town for his efforts.

Currently, visitors to the park sometimes park on the south side of Route 101 and cross the highway to access the park via an unpaved drive, which curves uphill past a gate, and runs behind a private residence before branching off into trails. Article 7 on this year’s warrant asks for $5,250 to conduct a partial survey of the property to confirm its boundaries, Branch said, as well as to improve the driveway and parking options on the north side of the road. It also officially transfers management to the Conservation Commission, Branch said, since the Rotary Club stopped managing it last year around the time the Dublin and Peterborough Rotary Clubs merged to form the Grand Monadnock Rotary Club. Volunteers of all kinds have helped maintain the park over the years, Branch said, including many unaffiliated with the Rotary or from out of town.

“I’ve been around it hundreds of times and I still like it,” Branch said. Saturday’s celebration runs from 2 to 4 p.m. and includes tours and park history, as well as refreshments.


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