Herbert G. Whipple Conservation Area
Read Tim Williams’ report on the State of the Whipple Farm.
With the generous support of more than 110 community members, ACT completed the purchase of the Whipple Farm land in the summer of 2005. The 20 acres, the last undeveloped land from one of Sugar Hill’s early farms, is located on Route 117 just up the hill from Polly’s Pancake Parlor.
The land was cleared about 200 years ago and much of it has been maintained as field ever since. At its northern edge the property abuts a large beaver pond and marsh, most of which has also been conserved.
The land has not been actively farmed for many years, but has been mowed to provide habitat for field nesting birds and other wildlife. Its preponderance of native grasses also attracts an unusual variety of butterflies and moths.
Special thanks to Tim and Janet Williams for helping organize and financially support the project, and to Polly’s Pancake Parlor for gift certificates for contributors.
The Sugar Hill Conservation Commission also made a significant contribution to the project. ACT is currently in negotiation with the commission on a conservation easement to be held by the town of Sugar Hill.
ACT will maintain the land as it is today, mowing the fields in the fall to maintain the habitat for field nesting birds and other wildlife that require grassland for foraging, shelter, and breeding. Native grassland is a disappearing type of habitat in the region as old farm fields are abandoned and grow into forests or housing developments.
ACT invites the public to enjoy the Whipple Conservation Area land for walking, skiing, snowshoeing, etc. We have also offered the schools in SAU 35 to use the field as an outdoor classroom for science.
This year we plan to place a bench near the height of land so that people can relax and enjoy the splendid views of the mountains to the east.
Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the property, except for mowing and other maintenance. In the spring and summer we will continue mowing a path from Route 117 through the field to the marsh area for easy walking.