Wedick Nature Reserve
John P. and Jean L. Wedick Nature Reserve
John and the late Jean Wedick made a tremendous donation to the community of Bethlehem and the entire region when they permanently protected their land in late 2009. Their land on Wing Road in Bethlehem includes a mile along the Ammonoosuc River, which their conservation easement ensures will be open for public access – forever. This stretch of Wing Road along the Ammonoosuc is one fo the most beautiful and easy to get to places along the whole river.
The Wedick land is unusually diverse. Most prominently, it lies at the bottom of an ancient glacial lake. A gravel pit, once operated by John and now closed, offers unmistakeable evidence of our region’s geological past, with layers of sand and gravel (varves) very apparent. The preponderance of gravel offers habitat for unusual plants and birds, and the turtles love it – the Wedick pond has a very robust population. The 120-acre property includes mixed northern forest, early successional forest, and wetlands.
Unlike the riverfront, the main part of the Wedick property is not ordinarily open for public access. But John welcomes schools and other organizations to use the land for field trips, and many White Mountains geology courses have had students there (contact him directly). ACT was very pleased to host a bird and wildlife walk this year on May 21. Photos, a bird list, and an account of the walk can be found under Travels & Musings.