Expansion of Red Hill River Conservation Area Brings LRCT Conserved Land Total Over 24,000 Acres
LRCT recently acquired a 44-acre parcel of land in Sandwich (Map R11, Lot 9B) lying east of Great Rock Road and west of LRCT’s 372-acre Red Hill River Conservation Area. The property includes a large wetland with rich wildlife habitat, as well as forested upland and a small area of farmland. The parcel adjoins and expands LRCT’s Red Hill River Conservation Area, which in turn abuts the 176-acre Myers-Schneider property on which the Town of Sandwich holds a conservation easement.
The land was owned by the family of the late David Leach, and the family agreed to sell the land to LRCT so that it could be conserved in perpetuity. We feel fortunate to have had worked with landowners so committed to conservation.
LRCT will now be working to construct a trail to be named after the late Jocelyn Gutchess, who lived nearby and worked on this conservation project prior to her passing in 2014. Jocelyn served as LRCT Trustee for many years and was devoted to conservation and to the well-being of her town. We are now beginning the process of creating the trail so that all can enjoy this special area as much as Jocelyn. We will be receiving valuable assistance from Brendan Sica of Boy Scout Troop #69 in Laconia. Brendan inquired about a potential Eagle Scout project on LRCT conserved land, and this newly acquired parcel provided an ideal opportunity. With the help of LRCT Land and Stewardship Director Dave Mallard, Brendan will be mapping the trail route, clearing the trail, and building a kiosk
The Red Hill River Conservation Area not only provides a scenic woodland and wetland complex for passive public recreation, but also contributes significantly to the area’s water quality and wildlife communities. The Red Hill River and its tributaries flow from and through areas, such as Red Hill Pond, Red Hill, and Garland Pond, where significant land has been conserved by the Town of Sandwich, LRCT, and The Nature Conservancy, and the Leach parcel will be an important addition to these conserved lands. This area provides habitat for bear, bobcat, beaver, fox, moose, and many other animals and plants. This project expands the protected lands that benefit the Town of Sandwich and surrounding communities.
We want to thank all those that made this project possible including the Sandwich Conservation Commission, the Alfred Quimby Fund, and many area residents who have provided strong support for the project.