The Center is managing public engagement and outreach for the Mink Brook Community Forest project in Hanover, N.H., which will protect 250 acres containing the headwaters of Mink Brook, mature forests and a scenic hay field.
Project partners include residents of Hanover, the Trust for Public Land and the Hanover Conservancy.
Community participation was very strong, even though much of the process had to be on screen rather than in person. Center staff facilitated three public meetings on Zoom hosted by the Hanover Conservation Commission, with each one attended by 30 to 45 people. Ninety people toured the property — 10 at a time to maintain social distancing — and 147 people participated in an online survey about the project.
In October, the New Hampshire Land & Community Heritage Investment Program awarded a $200,000 grant to support the project.
In the next stage of the project, Center Program Director Julie Renaud Evans will work with the Hanover Conservation Commission and consultants to write a management plan for the property. The plan will integrate all the science and natural communities data with input from the community about how they would like to use the property, as well as highlight the ecological, economic, and social benefits of this community project.