Families Had Fun Under a New Moon with Moose Mountains Regional Greenways

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways
Box 191, Union, NH  03887
603-473-2020
info@mmrg.info

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: 9/30/2019

Families Had Fun Under a New Moon with Moose Mountains Regional Greenways

What can you do outside in the dark? A lot, it turns out, as discovered by a dozen parents and children who joined Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) for a Family New Moon Walk on a warm September evening at Branch Hill Farm in Milton Mills. The outing was part of MMRG’s ‘MOOSE-ies for Families’ program of six nature-related activities per year, designed for families to have fun outdoors together and to encourage a new generation of conservationists.

As twilight fell, families walked along a woods road through the Branch Hill Farm forest. One child picked up a pine cone, which became an opportunity to identify and learn about pine trees. When the forest transitioned from softwoods to deciduous, trip co-leader Tom Gardner pointed out the differences between leafy trees and trees with needles. Other senses came into sharper focus as twilight deepened. When co-leader Kari Lygren pointed out the soft moss under their feet, one little girl opted for the full sensory experience and lay down in it. Further along, where the path opened up to a field, everyone spontaneously grew quiet and listened.

The destination was a secluded meadow enclosed by woods, perfect for stargazing while lying on blankets or for frolicking around on the grass. Kids had a great time chasing and capturing crickets while adults enjoyed seeing the stars gradually appear in the darkening sky and learning to identify various constellations. Everyone was interested in trying the red flashlights (red cellophane taped over the light bulb end), which made it easier for eyes to adapt to the dark.

Earlier, Gardner had discussed how our eyesight is based on rods and cones and why red and white light has different effects. He gave examples of animals with different types of sight: nocturnal animals, such as owls, bats and raccoons, that come out and hunt only at night; crepuscular animals such as deer, active at dawn and dusk; and the many diurnal animals that humans are familiar with because we’re all out and about during daylight hours. By the time families made the walk back from the field to their cars, night had fallen and children noticed they could see better when the lights stayed off or only red lights were used.

Reflecting on the evening, Lygren reported, “We threw out most of the structured activities we had planned, because kids were having so much fun playing in the field and being outside in the dark. That’s the point after all, for us to enjoy and value what nature has to offer us!”

‘MOOSE-ies for Families’ stands for Members Only Outdoor and Social Events for Families, a membership benefit for MMRG member families. Upcoming MOOSE-ies events include a Bonfire Evening of stories, music and games on Friday, October 25 and a Saturday morning walk to gather greens and make natural decorations on December first. Families can join MMRG for $25 per household per year at www.mmrg.info/become-a-member/ or call (603) 473-2020 to inquire about available scholarships. MMRG would like to thank MRP Manufacturing, LLC in Pittsfield, NH for sponsoring the 2019 ‘MOOSE-ies for Families’ series, and the Dorr Foundation, which supported the program with a grant.

MMRG, a non-profit land trust, works to conserve and connect important water resources, farm and forest lands, wildlife habitats, and recreational land in Brookfield, Farmington, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Wakefield, and Wolfeboro.  MMRG also offers educational opportunities to inform all ages about the benefits of our region’s natural resources; see www.mmrg.info. Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust works to protect open space and working forests and to educate the public about sound forestry, conservation and agricultural practices; see www.branchhillfarm.org.

 

Two year old toddler in grass by Amy Gardner

New moon walk group entering the field at twilight by Amy Gardner

Little girl in grass at twilight by Amy Gardner

Kids running in field at twilight by Amy Gardner

‘Walking Through Time in a Local Forest’ with Forester Charlie Moreno

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways
Box 191, Union, NH  03887
603-473-2020
info@mmrg.info

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: 9/21/2019

‘Walking Through Time in a Local Forest’ with Forester Charlie Moreno

 

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) and Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust (BHF/CSFCT) will offer a free forestry workshop on Saturday, October 19 from 9:30 to noon at Branch Hill Farm’s Salmon Falls Woodlands in Milton Mills. The natural history tour, titled ‘Walking Through Time in a Local Forest,’ will be led by consulting forester Charlie Moreno, who has offered many previous popular workshops for these partner conservation organizations.

For this workshop, Moreno will lead participants on a walk along the trails through the Salmon Falls Woodlands and will invite you to take a simultaneous stroll through time. His goal is to share a long-range perspective of New England forests, offering a narrative of how the forest, wildlife and land have changed over millennia.

Along the way, Moreno will point out possible signs of early Native American use of this land as well as indicators of nineteenth century agricultural use. The main trail across the parcel was once the main road from Milton to Milton Mills, with historic landmarks, the Applebee cellar hole and cemetery. Rubbings of the old grave stones will be available.  The journey will also include stops showcasing characteristics of today’s sustainably-managed forest and a stop on the peninsula between the Branch and Salmon Falls rivers, where Moreno will discuss how glaciers shaped the land and how ice age geology still influences the forests of today.

As a consulting forester, Charlie Moreno manages over 30,000 acres of forests for private landowners, conservation organizations, and communities in southern New Hampshire and Maine, including the BHF Salmon Falls Woodlands site of this workshop. He expects this natural history workshop to be of interest to woodlot owners, natural history buffs, conservationists, and outdoor enthusiasts.

The workshop is free and the public is invited but pre-registration is required. For more information, directions, and to register, contact MMRG’s Education Coordinator Kari Lygren at (603) 978-7125 or email info@mmrg.info. Participants are asked to leave pets at home.

MMRG, a non-profit land trust, works to conserve and connect important water resources, farm and forest lands, wildlife habitats, and recreational land in Brookfield, Farmington, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Wakefield, and Wolfeboro. Throughout the year, MMRG offers many educational opportunities to inform all ages about the benefits of our region’s natural resources. For more information and a calendar of upcoming events, visit www.mmrg.info.  Branch Hill Farm/the Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust works to protect open space and working forests and to educate the public about sound forestry, conservation and agricultural practices; see www.branchillfarm.org.

Charlie Moreno talking to workshop group (Photo by Kate Wilcox)

 

Family New Moon Walk with Moose Mountains Regional Greenways on September 21

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways
Box 191, Union, NH  03887
603-473-2020
info@mmrg.info

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: 9/2/2019

Family New Moon Walk with Moose Mountains Regional Greenways on September 21

 

On Saturday, September 21, Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) and Branch Hill Farm will offer a New Moon Walk for families.  The activity is part of MMRG’s ongoing nature series for kids and their families called “MOOSE-ies for Families”, intended to engage children with the natural world and encourage a new generation of conservationists. MMRG staff and volunteers will lead the New Moon Walk from 5 to 7 pm at Branch Hill Farm in Milton Mills.

 

Lorrie Drake, Chair of MMRG’s Educational Outreach Committee and one of the outing leaders, was enthusiastic about the variety of fun things that can be done when the moon is hidden and the sky is dark. “Activities will include stargazing and learning about constellations, listening for night sounds and using our other heightened senses, and learning about animals that can see in the dark. We’ll provide red cellophane to cover flashlights for night vision, and diagrams of easily identified constellations. I’m sure we’ll have a great time!”

 

Children of all ages are welcome with their families. Families are asked to bring their own snack, a blanket for stargazing, bug repellant, and flashlights or headlamps. The outing is free for MMRG member households (see below) but pre-registration is required. For more information, directions, and to pre-register, call MMRG Education Coordinator Kari Lygren at (603) 978-7125 or email info@mmrg.info.

 

‘MOOSE-ies for Families’ stands for Members Only Outdoor and Social Events for Families. The program of six ‘MOOSE-ies for Families’ activities per year is a membership benefit for MMRG member families. Upcoming MOOSE-ies events include a Bonfire Evening of stories, music and games on Friday, October 25 and a Saturday morning walk to gather greens and make holiday decorations on December first. Families can join MMRG for $25 per household per year at www.mmrg.info/become-a-member/ or call (603) 473-2020 to inquire about available scholarships. MMRG would like to thank MRP Manufacturing, LLC in Pittsfield, NH for sponsoring the 2019 ‘MOOSE-ies for Families’ series, and the Dorr Foundation, which supported the program with a grant.

 

MMRG, a non-profit land trust, works to conserve and connect important water resources, farm and forest lands, wildlife habitats, and recreational land in Brookfield, Farmington, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Wakefield, and Wolfeboro. Throughout the year, MMRG offers many educational opportunities to inform all ages about the benefits of our region’s natural resources. For more information and a calendar of events, visit www.mmrg.info. Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust works to protect open space and working forests and to educate the public about sound forestry, conservation and agricultural practices; see www.branchhillfarm.org.

Walking in the woods with MOOSE-ies for Families (Photo by Kari Lygren)

 

Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival: A Day of Fun and Learning

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways
Box 191, Union, NH  03887
(603)-817-8260
info@mmrg.info

Submitted: August 19, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival: A Day of Fun and Learning

Attendees, volunteers, and presenters were all smiles by the end of the 17th annual Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival at Branch Hill Farm in Milton Mills, held on a beautiful Saturday in August. This annual festival is presented by Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) and Branch Hill Farm (BHF) as a day for families to connect with nature, helping ensure that the next generation appreciates and strives to conserve the region’s natural resources.

 

An informal poll of what kids had learned that day elicited a common animal theme.  Recounted one smart young girl, “I learned that skunks can spray six times and then they have to wait ten days.” Fascinating facts like this were presented during the ‘Wildlife Workshop’ offered by Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, where Center staff showed a rescued owl, skunk, and opossum and discussed their habits. Other children were captivated by what they learned from Athena’s Bees, which displayed a hive made from a white pine column, simulating a tree. Reported one child, “Bees huddle up in their nest during the winter like penguins and eat their honey.” A Horseshoe crab shell provided by naturalist Jon Batson, a snake to hold from the Funny Farm, as well as the chickens, goats and a miniature horse brought by 4H for kids to pet were also popular.

 

Children had many opportunities to get physically active, engage with nature and make things. One little girl caught six fish while fishing in the Branch Hill Farm pond. Volunteer instructors from NH Fish & game were on hand to lend poles and bait and fishing advice. Down at the Salmon Falls River (one of the hayride destinations), kids used dip nets to look for water creatures. Dozens of families tried out the self-guided treasure hunt called ‘Kids Discover the Forest’ and the green gym in the woods called ‘Nature’s Playground’. Children  jumped at the chance to use a crosscut saw to cut a ‘Tree Cookie’ (slice of pine log) and decorate it, they inserted  hollow day lily stems into a recycled milk carton to make a home for wild pollinators at the ‘Build a Bee House’ activity, and learned to make cork boats with Acton Wakefeld Watersheds Alliance. Both toddlers and older kids played at gardening, digging and carrying dirt in wheelbarrows alongside Sheehan Gardens Permaculture Garden, where everyone delighted in samples of Mexican sour gherkins, a small round cucumber.

 

In addition to being MMRG’s biggest yearly outreach event, the WWW Festival also serves as the organization’s leading annual fundraiser, with proceeds supporting its land conservation and outreach missions. MMRG is grateful to festival underwriters, BHF/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust, Siemon Company, and D. F. Richard Energy, and to major festival sponsors, the Hays Dombrower Family, Peter & Susan Goodwin, Norman Vetter Inc. Poured Foundations, Bruce & Jennifer Rich, S&S Plumbing & Heating, LLC, Carl & Beth Ann Siemon, Henry and Junko Siemon, the Wyatt Family, and Philip Zaeder & Sylvia Thayer, as well as to many more sponsors, co-sponsors and supporters.

 

Moose Mountains Regional Greenway is a non-profit land trust serving Brookfield, Farmington, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Wakefield, and Wolfeboro (see www.mmrg.info). Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust is a private operating foundation (see www.branchhillfarm.org).

 

Branch Hill Farm is the venue for the Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival each year; photo by Kate Wilcox

Fishing in the Branch Hill Farm pond is a favorite activity at MMRG’s annual Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival; photo by Kate Wilcox

Kids love playing in the dirt at the Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival; photo by Kate Wilcox

Mother and child build a bee house out of hollow day lily stems. Mount the house horizontally for native pollinators to live in; photo by Kate Wilcox

Family-friendly Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival on Saturday, August 10

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways
Box 191, Union, NH  03887
(603) 473-2020
info@mmrg.info

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date submitted:  August 1, 2019

Family-friendly Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival on Saturday, August 10                                                                                                          

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways and Branch Hill Farm will present the 17th Annual Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival on Saturday, August 10 from 10 am to 3 pm at Branch Hill Farm, 307 Applebee Road in Milton Mills, NH. This family-friendly celebration of the great outdoors provides children and adults an opportunity to enjoy, understand and appreciate the natural world.

An abundance of activities are available for grandparents, parents and other family members to enjoy time outside with kids, with an emphasis on having fun, exploring and getting a close look at nature. Families get to watch rescued wild animals and learn about their habits, try fishing in the pond, or take a hayride to the Salmon Falls River. Kids can venture on a discovery walk to find natural treasures in the woods, try out a logger’s crosscut saw, meet Sunsquatch and Smokey Bear, build a bee house for native pollinators, or swing on a rope swing in the woods.

There’s lots to learn for adults too, with demonstrations and information on permaculture gardening, apple tree grafting and cider-making, beekeeping and collecting honey, low impact horse logging, food composting, solar power, landscaping for pollinators and wildlife, controlling invasive species, and more topics in forestry, agriculture, and sustainability. Live fiddle and guitar music is also a big attraction.

The festival takes place rain or shine. Admission is $5/person or $10/family and free to ages 12 and under; all events included; food concessions available. Rest rooms and most events are wheelchair accessible. No pets, please. A program of the day’s activities is at www.mmrg.info/festival.

 

Larry Hersom meets hayride (Photo by Jenn McKown)

Kids digging (Photo by Bonnie Dodge)

Families in haywagon (Photo by Jenn McKown)

Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival: A Day of Family Fun and Learning

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways

Box 191, Union, NH  03887

(603) 473-2020

info@mmrg.info

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date submitted:  July 23, 2019

 

Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival: A Day of Family Fun and Learning

The 17th Annual Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival will take place on Saturday, August 11 from 10 am to 3 pm at Branch Hill Farm, 307 Applebee Road, Milton Mills, NH. This day-long celebration of the great outdoors regularly attracts more than 600 participants, who make the most of this chance for families to have fun, explore and learn about the natural world together.

Jocelyn Smith, a native of Milton Mills, has been attending the festival for many years with her son Cameron. She enjoys visiting all the different Festival events and couldn’t choose just one favorite. But eight-year-old Cameron was decisive about his favorite activity: ‘fishing!’ He has hung on to his Festival fishing ‘license’ and wants to try again this year to catch a fish.

Cameron also likes the ‘lumberjack event’, where he gets to use a crosscut saw to cut a piece of pine log. Some kids choose to paint their pine log tree cookies in the Tree Cookie/Craft Corner but Cameron prefers his as ‘natural wood’ and he uses it at home as a cup holder. He likes the treasure hunt called Kids Discover the Forest as well as Natures Playground where he gets to play on swings or tree stumps in the woods. When asked what he has learned at the Festival, he responded, “People shouldn’t take straws at restaurants” after finding out at the Zero Waste Initiative last year that plastic straws are not recyclable.

MMRG Educational Outreach Coordinator Kari Lygren encourages people to check out the new Festival educational offerings this year. “Come learn about composting made easier at Mr. Fox Composting.  Get an introduction to raised beds for Permaculture Gardening from Sheehan Gardens. At Here Comes the Sun from Revision Energy, discover the potential of solar panels and meet Sunsquatch, who’s on a mission to spread solar power to schools.”

Lygren is also excited about the return of All About Apples, at which Branch Hill Farm and Jug Hill Cider Orchard will announce the start of a Regional Heritage Orchard in the ‘hayride’ field across from the barn. Orchardist Jared Kane explains, “This holistic preservation orchard will preserve important biological diversity and provide a site for educational workshops and sustainable orcharding practices. We plan to add over 100 traditional varieties of apples and pears as well as newly-discovered wild varieties selected for their eating, cooking, or cider attributes.  Do you have an old apple or pear tree on your property? It could qualify for being cloned and included in our Orchard.  Please come to All About Apples to learn more!”

Homemade salads, hot grilled food, ice cream, and blueberry smoothies will be on sale along with T-shirts and raffle baskets of local fresh produce and other items. The festival takes place rain or shine. No pets please. Rest rooms and most events are wheelchair accessible. The cost is $5/person or $10/family; free for ages 12 and under; all events included in the admission price. Proceeds and business sponsorships support MMRG’s land conservation and educational outreach mission.

MMRG is grateful to its festival underwriters, Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust, the Siemon Company, and D. F. Richard Energy and to its early major sponsors, the Hays Dombrower Family, Peter and Susan Goodwin, Norman Vetter Inc. Poured Foundations, Bruce and Jennifer Rich, Carl and Beth Ann Siemon, the Wyatt Family, and Philip Zaeder and Sylvia Thayer. Thanks are due to many more businesses, organizations, and individual sponsors, co-sponsors and supporters and to numerous dedicated volunteers. More volunteers as well as business sponsors are needed! For more information, call 603-978-7125, email info@mmrg.info or visit www.mmrg.info/festival to see a Festival program of events.

 

Cameron Smith and his father take a turn with the crosscut saw to cut a ‘tree cookie’ from a pine log at the 2018 Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival. Photo by Jocelyn Smith.

Nature’s Playground at the Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival fetures a swing, hammock, a log to walk on, stumps to hop, and more outdoor play opportunities. Photo by David O’Connor

Poles and bait are available at the Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival for kids to try fishing in the Branch Hill Farm pond. Photo by David O’Connor. 

Poles and bait are available at the Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival for kids to try fishing in the Branch Hill Farm pond. Photo by David O’Connor.

Save the Date! Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival on August 10

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways

Box 191, Union, NH  03887

(603) 473-2020

info@mmrg.info

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: please publish last week of June, if possible

Date:  June 21, 2019

Save the Date! Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival on August 10                                                                                                                       

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) and Branch Hill Farm will present the 17th annual Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival on Saturday, August 10 from 10 am to 3 pm at Branch Hill Farm, 307 Applebee Road, Milton Mills, NH. This popular celebration of New Hampshire’s natural world and rural life is an opportunity for families to get outside and have fun together.

The festival name, Woods, Water & Wildlife,  sums up the themes of many of the interactive events on offer. Volunteer instructors from NH Fish & Game provide poles and bait to kids for Let’s Go Fishing in the Branch Hill Farm Pond! Nature experts display and teach about rescued wild animals at Squam Lakes Wildlife Workshop. Junior Ecologist Hayrides stop at the scenic Salmon Falls River for a lesson about the importance of keeping our stream water clean for people and for animals. Nature’s Playground is a green gym for kids set among the ferns and tall trees. The Mountain Man’s Mansion has a stack of fur pelts to identify and feel. A MOOSE-ies for Families: Orienteering Walk provides a fun learning adventure in the woods of Branch Hill Farm. The Low Impact Horse Logging demonstration teaches about forestry principles and is fascinating to watch.

Agriculture, crafts and rural life in New Hampshire are additional themes. Sheehan Gardens’ Permaculture Garden grows numerous heirloom vegetables and herbs and shows how to do backyard composting. 4H Comes to the Festival! brings educational and motivational activities such as animal husbandry and leadership programs for kids ages 5 to 18. Funny Farm rescued animals are fun to pet and feed. Jared Kane of Jug Hill Orchards discusses grafting and cider-making in All About Apples! Kids get creative in the Tree Cookie Craft Corner or can try building their own bee house of natural materials.  Many more favorite events will be back this year and new ones are being planned.

Homemade salads, hot grilled food, ice cream, and blueberry smoothies will be on sale along with T-shirts and raffle baskets of local fresh produce and other items. The festival takes place rain or shine. No pets please. Rest rooms and most events are wheelchair accessible. The cost is $5/person or $10/family; free for ages 12 and under and MMRG members; all events are included in the admission price. Proceeds and business sponsorships support MMRG’s land conservation and educational outreach mission.

MMRG is grateful to its festival underwriters, the Siemon Company, Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust, and D. F. Richard Energy and to its early major sponsors, Norman Vetter Inc. Poured Foundations, Carl and Beth Ann Siemon, the Wyatt Family, and Philip Zaeder and Sylvia Thayer. Thanks are due to many more business, organizational, and individual sponsors, co-sponsors and supporters and to the dedicated volunteers who have already signed up to help out. More volunteers as well as business sponsors are needed! For more information, call 603-978-7125, email info@mmrg.info or visit www.mmrg.info/festival.

Branch Hill Farm in Milton Mills is the venue of the annual Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival, presented with Moose Mountains Regional Greenways.

Poles and bait are available for kids to try fishing in the Branch Hill Farm pond

Nature experts from the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center fascinate adults and kids with rescued wild New England creatures and discussions of their habitat.

 

 ‘Moose Mountains Trail Race’ got enthusiastic response

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways
Box 191, Union, NH  03887
603-473-2020
info@mmrg.info

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Date: 6/8/2019

 

 ‘Moose Mountains Trail Race’ got enthusiastic response

 

The first annual Moose Mountains Trail Race took place on June 1 at Branch Hill Farm in Milton Mills, NH with an enthusiastic assortment of runners eager to try out a new scenic 10K course. The Trail Race organizing committee was pleased with the turnout of 26 participants for the first iteration of this fundraiser benefiting Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG).

 

The first place male finisher was 24-year-old top regional runner Cameron Cook of Dover, NH who finished the 10K course with a time of 37:39.  The top female winner was another experienced racer from Dover, Deanna Ruland, at 54:15. Participants ranged in age from thirteen to sixty, with times up to 1:45:30.

 

Locals who ran the race include Jonathan Miller (Sanbornville; 40:21), Jason Denver (Sanbornville; 42:26),  Deborah Miller (Sanbornville; 54:45),  Julie Andrews (Wolfeboro; 55:17), Barbara Malm (Sanbornville; 56:14), Thomas Zotti (Wolfeboro; 59:09), Paul Haines (Wolfeboro; 1:05:51),  Kaylie Tek (Wolfeboro; 1:11:7), and Kelly Colby (Milton; 1:14:24).

 

There was much enthusiasm expressed by racers for the event as a whole and for the race course,  which traversed fields and woods roads, with one particularly scenic section following the Branch River. Kaylie Tek remarked that “the event was very well organized and the course was beautiful.”  Others commented “thanks for the great event!” and “loved it!”

 

MMRG Board Chair Nicole Csiszer volunteered at the race and expressed appreciation for the many people who helped out, saying “There was a bunch of really good volunteers who showed up early and braved mosquitoes, wet grass and mud to help make the event run smoothly. Sarah Canney in particular did a great job overseeing the race and taking charge of the registration and timing.”

 

The Moose Mountains Trail Race was presented by land trust Moose Mountains Regional Greenways in partnership with Branch Hill Farm (BHF), on a route traversing conservation land owned by BHF, a portion of which is open to the public year-round – the Siemon Access property on Applebee Road. The event will help raise funds to create a continuous regional greenway, connecting existing pathways and developing new trail systems to increase recreational opportunities in the Moose Mountains region. Topo Athletics donated the winners’ athletic shoes prizes; Cabot Cheese, Darn Tough, Grandy Oats and LL Bean donated other prizes; Trager Massage and the Pink House donated food items and ice cream certificates.

 

They’re off! (photo- Dan Coons)

Winner Cameron Cook out front from the start (photo- Dan Coons

Cameron Cook winner (photo – Kari Lygren)

Branch River Paddlers enjoyed the day and learned about stream ecology

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways

Box 191, Union, NH  03887

603-473-2020

info@mmrg.info

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Submission Date:  5/31/2019 

Branch River Paddlers enjoyed the day and learned about stream ecology

On Memorial Day weekend, approximate forty paddlers turned out for an opportunity to glide down the lovely winding Branch River in Milton Mills while enjoying sightings of wildlife and basking in the sunshine of one of the first warm days of the season. The Branch River Paddle is offered annually by Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) and Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust (CSFCT).

Colin Lawson and Joel DeStasio of Trout Unlimited were guest presenters. The two work to restore Eastern brook trout habitat in key New England watersheds and were a wealth of information about stream ecology.

Lawson pointed out that while all the fish species seen that day were warm water species (bass, sunfish, shiners, and fallfish, including pebble nests), the significant amount of undeveloped and protected landscape along the Branch River means that there is likely cold groundwater influence on the river. In forested land, where rain water can sink slowly into the soil rather than running off the surface, the water cools and adds to the groundwater resource. He also talked about how healthy river systems require unimpeded flow and the importance of installing the correct size infrastructure, such as culverts, under roads or other stream crossings.

DeStasio called attention to large-wood structures present at different locations along the river, which resulted from natural processes of trees falling and jamming as they floated downstream, so that they are now secure during high flows. He explained the habitat benefits for fish of such instream wood, including refuge from predators, the development of deep scour pools, and relief from higher velocity flows.

Paddlers were delighted to spot a mother mallard duck and her many fuzzy-looking chicks in the reeds at the edge of the stream and bright yellow marsh marigolds on the river banks. One father and son team energetically scooped up an old tire and other trash into their canoe, greatly appreciated by those who live along the Branch River. Another young man couldn’t resist trying out a rope swing hanging over the water.

After the Paddle, local Governor’s Inn owner and paddling enthusiast Herman Ejarque expressed his pleasure. “We really enjoyed the Paddle! A very well planned and organized event. The Branch River is beautiful and it was a fun day. Count us in next year!”

MMRG, a non-profit land trust, works to conserve and connect important water resources, farm and forest lands, wildlife habitats, and recreational land in Brookfield, Farmington, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Wakefield, and Wolfeboro. Throughout the year, MMRG offers many educational opportunities to inform all ages about the benefits of our region’s natural resources; see www.mmrg.info. MMRG thanks business sponsor of this event, M&M Boat Storage of Sanbornville.

Branch Hill Farm/CSFCT is a private operating foundation whose mission is to conserve land, produce quality timber products, and educate people about sound forestry practices and conservation. For more information, visit www.branchhillfarm.org.

 

Photo taken by Amy Gardner

Mallard duck and chicks – Photo taken by Amy Gardner

Photo taken by Amy Gardner

Weeds in current – Photo taken by Amy Gardner

 

‘Moose Mountains Trail Race’ on June 1 for the whole family

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways
Box 191, Union, NH  03887

603-473-2020

info@mmrg.info

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Date: 5/3/2019

 ‘Moose Mountains Trail Race’ on June 1 for the whole family

A new local trail race for the whole family, the first Moose Mountains Trail Race, will take place on Saturday morning, June 1 at Branch Hill Farm, 307 Applebee Road, Milton Mills, NH. A 10K Trail Race starting at 9 am will be immediately followed by a Kids K around 10 am. Volunteer opportunities are plentiful for those eager to participate in ways other than racing.

The 10K Trail Race traverses a loop course of woods roads appropriate for both seasoned and beginning trail runners. Volunteer race assistant Sarah Canney, an avid trail runner and champion racer, encourages runners of all experience levels to come try it out. “Test your mettle against the woods roads of rural New Hampshire! Are you bored with your usual route or tired of treadmills? This course has winding trails, moderate elevation change and unique features like an active beaver pond. The race promises fun and a supportive atmosphere for all. Whether it’s your first time competing on woods trails, or you want an experience for the whole family, or you’re here for a warmup race and a high energy way to start your day, please join us for the first annual Moose Mountains Trail Race.”

The Kids K immediately following the 10K Trail Race gives a chance for the whole family to participate in this fundraiser. During the 10K, children can try out the 1K fun run course or explore ‘Nature’s Playground’ in the Branch Hill Farm woods, under adult supervision.

10K Trail Race registration is $25 in advance or $35 on race day. Awards will be presented to the top 3 finishers in each gender and 10-year age groups, as well as to overall winners. Kids K registration is $5 and all children who finish their race will receive small prizes. Advance online registration is available at www.mmrg.info/moose-mountains-trail-race/. Race registrants may order exclusive race T-shirts with the Moose Mountains Trail Race logo for $12 from Calico Graphics, with a pre-order deadline of May 24. A post-race party will feature complimentary food for racers; food trucks will also be available.

The Moose Mountains Trail Race is presented by Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) in partnership with Branch Hill Farm (BHF) on BHF’s private conservation land. The event will help raise funds to create a continuous regional greenway, connecting existing pathways and developing new trail systems to increase recreational opportunities in the Moose Mountains region.

Volunteers are needed in many capacities to help the race run smoothly and make it a successful fundraiser. Help will be needed with parking, registration, road crossing safety, directing and timing racers, water stops, food, cleanup and recycling for the BHF Zero Waste Initiative. Interested volunteers may contact MMRG Education Coordinator Kari Lygren at 603-978-7125 or info@mmrg.info. MMRG is grateful for the time and effort donated by volunteers and holds a Volunteer Appreciation event each year.

 

Sarah Canney running

Boys running at MMRG family activity (photo by Emily Lord)