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Concord – Winant Park

winant-pageTrail Map
Fisk Road
85 acres of forest and trails
Public access
February 2009

In 2009, this scenic 85-acre city park astride one of Concord’s highest hills was created in honor of former New Hampshire Governor John Winant and his wife Constance. The park is a gift to the City of Concord from the late governor’s son, Rivington Winant, and his wife Joan. The transfer and conservation of the property was made possible through collaboration among the Winants, the City, St. Paul’s School, and Five Rivers Conservation Trust.

The City owns and manages the public park, subject to a conservation easement held by Five Rivers Conservation Trust that ensures the property will be protected in perpetuity. Rivington and Joan Winant generously donated the conservation easement to Five Rivers and then conveyed their property ownership to the City. St. Paul’s School, through a separate easement conveyed to the City with an executory interest to Five Rivers, graciously allowed construction of a parking area, trailhead, and an access trail from land the school owns along Fisk Road to the landlocked Winant property.

Former Governor Winant attended, taught at, and is buried at St. Paul’s School and served for three terms as Governor of the State. He cared deeply for both, noted his son Rivington Winant in announcing the gift to the City, and with views of both the school and the capitol, it serves as a fitting memorial.

Rivington Winant grew up on the Winant property near what is now Concord Hospital. The 85 acres is the remnant of a larger estate on Pleasant Street. The land encompassed by the new park is dominated by pine-oak forests, and includes the former estate’s bridle trails. Over the years, nearby residents have privately maintained and used the property’s extensive trail network for hiking, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking.

Construction of an official park entrance on St. Paul’s land off Fisk Road included an off-road parking area, a foot bridge across Miller’s Brook, and an informational kiosk recounting the history of the park and a biography of Governor Winant. The Unitarian Universalist Church, located on Pleasant Street, also kindly provides user access through its driveway across an existing right-of-way.

As set forth in the conservation easement developed by the parties, the park is intended solely for non-motorized recreational uses such as hiking, skiing, and bicycling. The intent of the gift is to preserve the wild nature and native habitat of the park; no park buildings, sport facilities, or other formalized structures or fields will ever be built there.

In addition to the land gift and easements, Mr. and Mrs. Winant generously funded the initial construction costs for the parking lot and clearing the trails, the kiosk, and trailside benches. The city assumes responsibility for maintaining trails and the parking area, and for other park management. Five Rivers has responsibility for monitoring and enforcing the terms of the two easements.

Winant Park provides a special open space resource for Concord, with its forested lands, trails, and open summit with views of Concord and distant countryside. It is an island of peacefulness, located right in the heart of our state’s capital city, enriching the fabric of this community.

A Brief Biography of John Winant

John Gilbert Winant was born in New York in 1889 and attended St. Paul’s School, graduating in 1908. He attended Princeton and returned to St. Paul’s, where he taught history. He left to serve in World War I, then returned to St. Paul’s to teach. While there, he became interested in politics, served in the State Legislature, and in 1925 became the country’s youngest governor. After Winant completed his governorship, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed him as the first chairman of the Social Security Board. In 1937 Roosevelt asked Winant to go to Geneva as the senior US member of the International Labor Organization, of which Winant later became director-general.

As World War II loomed, Roosevelt appointed Winant as the American ambassador to the Court of St. James in London. Winant and Prime Minister Winston Churchill became close friends. On Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, Winant was in the room when Churchill turned on the radio and heard that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor.

Throughout the war, Winant frequently traveled throughout England and is still remembered for his likeable and reassuring nature. He was presented with the ceremonial keys to a number of English cities, and at the end of the war King George VI presented him with the Order of Merit, Great Britain’s highest civilian honor.

After the war, Winant retired to Concord to write his memoirs. He is buried in St. Paul’s School cemetery off Hopkinton Road.

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Concord – Triacca Fields

triacca-pageHopkinton Road adjacent to Dimond Hill Farm
24 acres of farm fields
Public access
September 2012

The original owner of Dimond Hill Farm, Newton Abbott, sold these fields to one of his employees in 1932. Ever since, the land has been owned by the Triacca family and for decades, they grew corn and other crops on it.

In 2011, the Triacca family wanted to put their land up for sale and approached the City of Concord and Five Rivers about the possibility of buying it. Five Rivers led a successful fundraising campaign to save the fields. Help came from the National Resource Conservation Service, the Russell Piscataquog River Watershed Foundation, and individual donors.

In 2012 Five Rivers closed on the deal to purchase the fields and donated them to Equity Trust, the non-profit that owns Dimond Hill. In the process, a conservation easement was put on the property, making Five Rivers the steward of both Triacca and the adjacent fields of Dimond Hill.

The soil is rich in nutrients and Dimond Hill uses the land primarily to grow corn. Those ears of corn generate solid sales that make the Dimond Hill operation more viable. There is a section of the property that is wooded with the trees surrounding a small marsh. The fields can be seen while passing along Hopkinton Road and, from the top of Dimond Hill, you can look out over them with a beautiful mountain vista in the background.

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Concord – Sewalls Falls

Locke Road and West Locke Road
Three parcels comprising 3 acres
No public access
September 1992

An easement on West Locke Road, Concord was donated to the City of Concord in 1992. An executory, or back-up interest in the easement was accepted by Five Rivers. In effect, this allows Five Rivers to enforce the easement terms in the event that the grantee, the City of Concord, fails to do so.

The easement protects an area between some commercial development and a large wetland complex. It provides protection to the edge of this wetland, owned by the City of Concord, which has been shown to provide valuable wildlife habitat.

Subsequent to this donation, significant additional acreage was placed under easement in this general area near the Merrimack River. Multiple conserved parcels now combine to protect a variety of wetland and flood plain habitat, as well as expansive river frontage and productive agricultural lands.

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Concord – Reno

Weir Road
21 acres
No public access
April 1993

In March of 1993, Robert Stickney Reno and Nancy Jackson Reno elected to preserve the physical and visual attributes of their three lots in the Horse Hill area of Concord by donating a 21-acre conservation easement to Fiver Rivers Conservation Trust.

The easement protects 14 acres of mature hemlock and white pine forest and 6 acres of productive hayfield, which continues to be maintained. The Renos have enjoyed sightings of deer and bear on the property, and their generous donation also preserves scenic views from the height-of-land.

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Concord – Pierce

pierce-pageStickney Hill Road
18 acres of open fields
No public access
August 2016

The Pierce property is a key part of the “Stickney Hill Agricultural Neighborhood”, as defined by a 2008 report by New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources for the Concord Heritage Commission. The report states the neighborhood retains “an exceptionally high degree of integrity of location, design, materials, setting, workmanship, feeling, and association.” It is very unusual to have such an intact historical agricultural area, especially one within the city limits of a major city. The neighborhood has been a conservation priority, in part because it provides a unique window into the City’s agrarian roots.

The Pierce farm is one of three farms with open fields that define the Stickney Hill Agricultural Neighborhood. In 2012 Five Rivers Conservation Trust and the City of Concord purchased a conservation easement on Maplewood Farm, which lies immediately east of the Pierce farm. In 2013 Hope Butterworth donated a conservation easement on her farm, to the west of the Pierce farm.

The Pierce farm is very visible in the center of the agricultural fields and was the last, critical piece to be protected.

Stickney Hill Road is located in an isolated part of Concord, cut off from the rest of the city by Turkey Pond and Route 89. Access is by Exit 4 off Route 89 and also by the bike path and bike bridge beside Route 89. The area is heavily used by cyclists, walkers, and runners due to the open, scenic landscape and rural, 19th century feel of the neighborhood. The Pierce field is highly visible from Stickney Hill Road.

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Concord – Swope Park

Trail Map
swope-park-pageLong Pond Road
77.2 acres
Public access
December 2011

For many years John and Marjory Swope lived on Long Pond Road and the area that was their backyard is now the park. Back then there were a few woods roads and rough trails that the family and their neighbors frequently used for walking, jogging, and cross-country skiing. When Marjory passed away in 2007, John decided to donate the land to the City of Concord to create a place that people could enjoy as a memorial to her. Marjory was a long time member of the City Council and served as the chair of the Concord Conservation Commission. The city welcomed the offer.

John Swope entrusted the easement of the park to Five Rivers to ensure that the land would be properly maintained. The park was dedicated and “officially” opened in June 2012.

The City of Concord worked with the Swope family, Five Rivers, and St. Paul’s School to create the park that can be visited today. There are three connecting trails that are open for non-motorized recreation such as walking and biking. There is a loop trail (1.45mi) up Jerry Hill, marked in blue, leading to one of the best views of Penacook Lake. The yellow trail (0.56mi) cuts through the park from north to south and goes past the foundation of an old observation tower. From the center of the yellow trail cutting west to the blue trail is the orange trail (0.18mi) that will take you past a large granite outcrop called Gilfillan Rock.

Marjory Swope Park serves as the gateway to an already considerable area of land conserved by the State, City of Concord, Society for the Protection of NH Forests, St. Paul’s School, and Rossview Farm. There is a plan to someday connect these properties to create many miles of uninterrupted hiking. John hopes that as people walk through the park, they appreciate the uniqueness of our state capital — to be able to enjoy a downtown with restaurants and a movie theater and, not five miles away, find trails to get out and explore the natural world.

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Concord – Maplewood

maplewood-pageStickney Hill Road
78 acres of open fields
Public access, no formal trails
December 2012

Situated at the top of Stickney Hill, on land first settled in 1807, Maplewood Farm has been in the Bunten family for three generations. The now elderly owners, Bill and Wayne, grew up milking cows and haying the fields as part of the dairy operation run by their father. Although the Buntens no longer have a working farm, their land is still part of the local farm scene.

Bohanan Farm (another Five Rivers conservation property), which is nearby, hays the Maplewood fields to feed its dairy herd. Stickney Hill Road runs through an historic agricultural district on the border of Concord and Hopkinton that has remained tranquil and undeveloped.

Bill and Wayne planned to retire after selling the farm but wanted to honor their father’s wishes to preserve the fields. Five Rivers worked with the neighbors, City of Concord, and the National Resource Conservation Service to raise the necessary funds to buy an easement. Under the terms of the conservation easement, Maplewood’s fields can never be developed or subdivided.

The easement protects the land on both sides of the road. Across from the farmhouse there is a large hay field with a view of the mountains to the west. Behind the house is another large field flanked by forest stretching back to I-89. There is also a small wetlands area in the northeast corner of the parcel. Currently, there are no trails on the property because the fields are still in use. However, Stickney Hill Road is just off of Concord’s walking/biking trail that runs parallel to the highway and Maplewood Farm is a beautiful sight for those passing by – as it always will be.

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Concord – Lang

Both sides of Josiah Bartlett Road
10 acres of meadows and woods
No public access
June 1991

The Lang family donated an easement on their property on Josiah Bartlett Road in 1991. Having moved to Concord in 1970 after years in urban and suburban areas, they felt they had found their true home in this rural corner of Concord. As a tribute to their connection to the land, this easement will preserve the land that had become so special to them.

A mixture of meadows and woods on both sides of the road will be retained in their natural state, providing scenic enjoyment to those driving by. The fields are mowed only once late in the year to encourage the growth of wildflowers. The Langs have also planted numerous shrubs and trees to attract songbirds and other wildlife.

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Concord – Butterworth

butterworth-pageStickney Hill Road
19 acres of open fields
No public access
June 2013

In the fall of 2011 Hope Zanes Butterworth sat before the Concord City Council and promised that if they approved funding for the Maplewood Farm Conservation Project, she would donate to Five Rivers Conservation Trust, a conservation easement on her neighboring 15 acre farm also on Stickney Hill Road.

This property is an historic farm property of 15.67 acres. The conservation easement that is now held by Five Rivers covers the portion of Hope’s property that is mostly hay fields. These fields are actively mowed and baled and provide food for local livestock farms. Hope’s farm joins with Maplewood Farm in preserving the open space and majestic views of the Stickney Hill Historic Farm District.

hope-signingWith the conclusion of the Stickney Hill transaction, Hope became a member of Five Rivers’ double donor club because in 2005 she donated a conservation easement on a 24 acre property in Hopkinton. “This is a proud and happy moment for me”, she shared, as documents were signed on an outside picnic table, under an apple tree at her Stickney Hill homestead.

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Concord – Hardy

On the North and South side of Elm Street
11 acres and 16 acres of woodland
No public access
October 1996 and March 2002

Two Protected Properties

Hardy #1, Penacook, 11.5 acres
Russell Hardy donated his first easement on 11.5 acres of the back portions of 3 lots on Elm Street, Penacook to protect the open space portion prior to their sale. The easements abut the Boscawen Town line, and the Boscawen Town Forest. The land is forested with a mixture of dry-site oak species, and expands on the block of protected space in Boscawen and other undeveloped land nearby.

Hardy #2, Concord, 16 acres
A property near the Contoocook River in north Concord has been protected from development by an easement donation from Russell Hardy. Known now as the Hardy Memorial Forest, the land is a mix of forest and meadow areas, which are a haven for wildlife such as deer, grouse, turkey and songbirds. Cellar holes and boulder piles are a testament to the agricultural past of this area which was known by the old road that intersects the property, Horse Hill Carriage Road. The 16 acre property was conveyed to the City of Concord after the placement of the easement.

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Concord – Foss

26 Penacook Street
14 acres of forest and wetlands with existing trails
Public access, no formal trails
March 2005

A variety of natural habitat, as well as early New Hampshire history have been preserved with a conservation easement on land in Penacook. Carol Foss and her husband Flip Nevers’ dream of protecting the land became reality on March 18, 2005 when Five Rivers accepted an easement on 14 acres of land near her home in the intervale of the Merrimack River in Penacook, a village in the north part of Concord. As a child growing up in Penacook, Carol spent many hours wandering the bluffs, woods and wetlands, and acquiring over time a deep love of the natural world.

Carol and her husband Flip Nevers have made numerous wildlife observations on the land. It has supported nesting pileated woodpeckers and broad-winged hawks, as well as a fox den. The varied habitat is attractive to many species of migratory songbirds, including scarlet tanager, sandpipers, ovenbird, rose-breasted grosbeak, warblers, grouse, thrushes and flycatchers. Moose, deer, turkey and even the occasional bear have been spotted there as well.

Two springs on the property that run year-round in even the driest years were utilized by the earliest European settlers in the area, who built granite boxes to collect the water. These stone boxes are still visible today.

The property has undeveloped frontage on both Cross and Penacook Streets, and expands an existing network of conservation lands that abut to the south. Trails crossing the Foss/Nevers property connect to trails on City land, providing a connection from Penacook Street to the Rolfe Park lands.

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Concord – Fournier

fournier-pageOak Hill Road
26 acres
September 2010
No public access

The Fournier easement, which sits just north of Turtle Pond in East Concord, comprises what remains of the original family farm, purchased back in 1924. Ray Fournier grew up on the farm. He and his wife Kathleen turned to Five Rivers to keep the land wild and undeveloped.

What used to be a chicken farm, with its share of fields for other livestock, is now largely overgrown meadows and new forest growth. However, it is still possible as you walk the grounds to come across the old stone walls and barbed wire fences that marked the edges of the fields. The old pastures on the hill behind the house remain, and in the winter, when the trees have lost their leaves, the top of the hill offers a lovely view of Turtle Pond. Along the southern border of the property there are wetlands that run all the way down to the water.

The rest of the property consists of woodlands that are frequently traversed by a variety of wildlife. The Fourniers have seen moose, bears, and a bobcat, along with plenty of deer and turkeys. The proximity of the property to Turtle Pond has been invaluable to the well-being of this little ecosystem as turtles often leave the pond to lay their eggs within the boundaries of the easement.

fournier-truckWith his donation, Ray actually follows in the footsteps of his father who, years ago, gave a section of wetlands right on the water to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The Fourniers have cemented their place in the city of Concord’s history by ensuring that the property that came into the family nearly a hundred years ago will remain intact well past the next one hundred years.

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Concord – Dimond Hill

dimond-hill-pageTrail Map
Hopkinton Road
Farm easement: 74.8 acres of fields, forests, and wetlands – with recreational trail
Forest easement: 34.3 acres of forest and brook – with recreational trail
Public access
June 2006

Dimond Hill Farm is one of the premier farm landscapes in the region. A working farm since the late 1700s, it consists of large open fields, both north and south of Hopkinton Road in Concord. Sitting atop a sloping hillside, the farm has panoramic views, and it serves as a visual milestone for travelers entering and leaving the city.

Under special conservation easements signed in June of 2006, the farm will remain a working farm, with Equity Trust serving as the owner and NH Preservation Alliance serving as the Historic Easement holder for the farm buildings.

Five Rivers Conservation Trust holds conservation easements for both the 74.8 acre Farm Easement portion and the 34.3 acre Forest Easement portion of the property.

The farm consists of open fields, an historic barn, and several greenhouses. Located on the Farm Easement is a wetland with nesting ducks, as well as a hidden, very-attractive field of wildflowers near the south border. On the north side of Hopkinton Road are pastures, a clearing with nice views, and forests of pine.

Also on the north side is the property’s 34-acre Forest Easement. It consists of a mixed hardwoods and softwoods, graced by a huge old ash tree near one of the property’s many stone walls. Traversing this Forest Easement section is Ash Brook, a hemlock-lined stream that tumbles its way downhill. A unique structure is an old ice pond dam of granite slabs, a structure used to collect ice in the winters which was sawed, stored under sawdust in a barn, and used during the summers.

Traversing the entire property is an attractive trail used by walkers, snowmobilers, skiers, and horseback riders. A variety of wildlife abound throughout this interesting property, including deer, fox, and many species of birds.

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Concord – Clark

Broad Cove Road
15 acres with wetland, forest, and frontage on the Contoocook River
Public access, no formal trails
November 1993

In 1993 Eunice Clark donated a conservation easement on 15 acres of land on the Contoocook River to Five Rivers Conservation Trust. The land was subsequently given to the City of Concord, which manages the property for timber and allows public recreational use. The easement, which remains in effect, protects 825 feet of frontage on the Contoocook River and 800 feet of frontage on Broad Cove Drive.

The sandy soil is excellent for growing white pine and oak. Beavers have created a wetland on the brook that flows through the property into the river. The river frontage, with its majestic pines and overhanging silver maples, will remain an unspoiled scenic and ecological feature for all to appreciate.

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Concord – Carter Hill

carter-hill-pageTrail Map
West side of Carter Hill Road
155 acres, including 45 acre orchard, forest, trails and observation platform
Public access
July 2001

The former owners of Sunnycrest Orchard also owned an orchard in Londonderry, and they needed to consolidate their operation. Rob Larocque, who had managed the orchard for many years decided he wanted to own it. Through a collaboration between Five Rivers Conservation Trust, the City of Concord, the Friends of the Orchard, the Trust for Public Lands, the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), and the Federal Farmland Protection Program, this 155 acre property and its agricultural, forestry and recreational resources was preserved.

The orchard project exemplifies the goal of protecting not only open space but a quality of life that is rapidly disappearing. From picking berries in the spring and apples in the fall, to skiing the trails in the winter, to taking in the spectacular views from the top of the hill, the orchard offers something for everyone throughout the year.

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Concord – Bois de Brodeur

On Hoit Road
33 acres comprising wetland, forest, and a certified tree farm with frontage on Hackett Brook
No public access
April 1990

This conservation easement on Hoit Road in Concord was the first property protected by Five Rivers Conservation Trust. Bois de Brodeur is the name given to this property by the Brodeur family as a tribute to their father.

The property provides them with forest products from standing timber of white pine, hemlock and mixed hardwoods. It protects 1,270 feet of undeveloped road frontage on Hoit Road and 1,100 feet of frontage on an old Class 6 road in an area that is facing increasing development pressure.

Portions of an extensive wetland and a section of Hackett Brook are protected by this Five Rivers easement. Wildlife benefits from the property’s widespread lowbush blueberries. Bois de Brodeur also enhances the other protected lands in the immediate area, including the Hoit Marsh Wildlife Management Area, which is held by NH Fish and Game.

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Concord – Bass

Off of the northwesterly side of Via Tranquilla
18 acres of field, forest and beautiful views
No public access
December 1996

Patricia Bass placed a conservation easement on 17.7 acres of her property on Via Tranquilla in 1996. This property, which adjoins watershed protection land owned by the City of Concord, helps to maintain the water quality of Penacook Lake, Concord’s primary water supply. It also helps achieve the goals of the Concord Open Space Plan, which identified this property as a priority for conservation.

The easement, which allows agriculture and forestry, will protect open hayfields and hardwood forest from development in an area that is seeing increasing pressure from residential subdivisions. It will enhance the wildlife habitat value of nearby protected lands such as Walker State Forest by maintaining open space corridors. It also protects the scenic view of the property from Lakeview Drive.

Thanks to this easement donation, Via Tranquilla will continue to live up to its name as a tranquil place.

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Concord – Backwoods

Off of Fisk Road
28 acres of mixed forest
Public access
December 2003

The Backwoods Preserve is a landlocked 28 acres that abuts Walker State Forest in Concord, NH. A ridge runs through the land making it unsuitable for building houses but the terrain does make for excellent wildlife habitat. Moose, deer, bear and coyote use this land as part of their territories.

In 2002 a group of neighbors (the Backwoods Group) began the process to preserve this open space which is ideal for low impact recreational uses such as hiking, cross country skiing and mountain biking.

In 2003, with donations raised by the Backwoods Group along with funds from the City of Concord’s land use change tax fund, the property title was acquired by the city of Concord and the easement was placed on the land.

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