Stone Farm, Dunbarton Conserved

Stone Farm partners celebrate conservation of the Stone Farm in Dunbarton: L to R: Tim Britain, Chair, Five Rivers Conservation Trust (5RCT); Brett St Claire, Chair, Dunbarton Conservation Commission; Margaret Watkins, 5RCT Project Manager; Judy Stone, Stone Farm Owner; Beth McGuinn, 5RCT Executive Director; Paula Bellemore, Natural Resource Specialist, Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP); and Ian McSweeney, Director, Russell Farm and Forest Conservation Foundation.

January, 2017 – Five Rivers thanks the great team of donors and partners who made January 2017’s conservation of 237 acres of the Stone Farm in Dunbarton possible!

The rich history of Stone Farm goes back to the 1780’s when the first Stone ancestor farmed this land and is evidenced by spectacular foundations and cellar holes that tell the story of two centuries of life and farming in this corner of Dunbarton. Generations of the Stone Family raised agricultural crops from hops to apples to dairy cows. Today, hay from the farm feeds beef cattle. Logs and firewood are harvested sustainably. Visitors can see relics of buildings from long ago. Wildlife roams freely through the Stone Farm and surrounding conserved lands – now over 600 acres in all.

To learn more about the history of the farm, click here.

Project History

The success of this project belongs to a great team of collaborators:

  • Stone family members whose commitment to keep this property available for farming and forestry made conserving the land possible
  • Friends of Stone Farm (Dunbarton Conservation Commission, Five Rivers Conservation Trust and the Dunbarton Congregational Church) who wrote grants, organized events, and has produced over $350,000 to conserve the farm
  • 151 families who contributed over $ 58,000

Organizations also made significant funding available to conserve the farm:

  • LCHIP (Land and Community Heritage Investment Program)
  • Thomas W. Hass Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation
  • Dunbarton Conservation Commission
  • Russell Farm and Forest Conservation Foundation
  • NH State Conservation Committee (Moose Plate Program)
  • Merrimack Conservation Partnership
  • Davis Foundation

The Dunbarton Conservation Commission plans to create a public trail on the property in the near future, exploring some of the remarkable stone foundations and stone walls that speak to the land’s past use.

With the farm conserved, Five Rivers Conservation Trust will shift our role from guiding the conservation process to ensuring that the conservation restrictions will forever keep the land from being subdivided and developed. Five Rivers will monitor the property annually, staying in touch with Judy Stone and all future landowners to answer questions about what can be done on the land, and if it ever becomes necessary, Five Rivers will take any action needed to protect the important farm soils and productive forest land, historic resources, wetlands and streams, wildlife habitat, and public access on this property.