Conservation Lands at The Community School
When the old Perkins Farm was purchased by The Community School, the historic property was immediately put under conservation easement, with only a small percentage of buildable land left out for expansion. The easement allows agricultural uses, including the construction of farm-related structures, like our new farm stand or animal housing. We maintain trails for public use, permit hunting and fishing (though the areas directly surrounding the school house are posted as a reminder to hunters that kids may be out and about), and encourage animal trackers, Nordic skiers and other winter enthusiasts to enjoy the property. The easement does restrict recreational, non-farm related motorized vehicles–atvs, snow machines, and the like–from the fields and forests. We currently have just under 340 acres, 316 of which are under easement.
Beaver Brook Parcel Conserved
In late 2010, a group of active citizens with deep roots in the Bearcamp River Valley banded together to purchase the Beaver Brook Parcel owned by local farmer, Bob Floyd. The land was donated to The Community School, which will act as its steward in perpetuity. This rich habitat, with frontage on Routes 25 and 113, is home to many species of interesting plants and animals, and adds to the protected land forming a natural by-way for migration between the Ossipee and Sandwich Ranges. The terms for use of this land remain consistent with TCS’ agricultural easement on the Perkins Farm.
Partnerships with NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Services)
For years now, we have partnered with NRCS to tackle conservation projects which improve our land, while providing habitat for
native flora and fauna. We clear trails, make timber stand improvements, mow our fields, plant native species to tempt wildlife (who share with us), build bird and bat houses, and reclaim spent sections of terrain. Some of this work is subcontracted by professionals, but much of it is done as part of our science curriculum, stewardship classes, or community service. The students gain a real love of place when they not only watch the patterns of growth and change over time, but work hard to keep Mother Nature in check!