High Mowing School 150-Acre Conservation Project
High Mowing School Partners with the Town of Wilton, U.S.D.A, Russell Foundation and Yggdrasil Land Foundation
Wilton, NH — On Friday, September 25, at 4:30 PM, the High Mowing School community, and representatives of its conservation partners will gather to celebrate the protection of approximately 150 acres of prime forest and farmland on Abbot Hill in Wilton, NH. Speakers at the event will include Wilton Selectman and State Representative Kermit Williams. The public is invited to a presentation on the school’s new role as a steward of conserved land, beginning at 7:00 PM in the Auditorium in the school’s Science Building.
This ceremony will mark the close of a 2 ½-year effort by the school to purchase and place conservation easements on the land. High Mowing intends to manage the preserved land in an ethical and sustainable way, while creating suitable access for educational and recreational use by students and the wider community.
The purchase of this land continues a long relationship between High Mowing School and the Frye Family. After starting the school, founder Beulah Hepburn Emmet purchased 100 acres of land from the Frye Family to expand the campus. Several members of the Frye Family have attended High Mowing, including Gary FRYE ‘66, who sold 101 acres to High Mowing as part of the current land preservation effort. “Frye Field has been part of a legacy of Frye family farming on this land dating back 7 generations,” said High Mowing Executive Director Rea Gill. “We have been honored to work with the Fryes to fulfill their wish that High Mowing become owners and stewards of this land.”
The project was made possible by a partnership between High Mowing School, the Town of Wilton, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) Forest and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP), the Russell Farm and Forest Conservation Foundation, and Yggdrasil Land Foundation. USDA/NRCS participated through a matching program that funded one-half of the fair market value of the conservation easements on High Mowing School land and Frye Family land. Citizens of the Town of Wilton voted in March 2014 to contribute $80,000 towards the purchase of conservation easements, which ensured public access and passive recreation rights, and gave the Town a voice in the easement process. The Russell Foundation also donated to the project and assisted with strategic advice and assistance. Yggdrasil Land Foundation will hold the conservation easements and will be responsible for enforcing the terms of the easements.
“Natural beauty and rural character are two of the reasons people come here to live,” said Wilton Selectman and State Representative Kermit Williams. “Assisting in putting this land into conservation helps to create approximately 460 contiguous acres of conserved land on Abbott Hill with tremendous benefits to wildlife and habitat protection, farmland soils, and wellhead protection for the town, in addition to managed public access for hiking, fishing and passive recreation.”
The High Mowing School community raised $440,000 from nearly 600 donors for the purchase of the land and the conservation easements. “This has been an incredible collaborative effort,” said High Mowing Executive Director Rea Gill. “Our Alumni, families, students, faculty and staff and the local community all recognized how important it was to preserve this land, and all came together to make this happen. We are so grateful to everyone who helped make this possible.”
UPDATE: photos from the ceremony
For more information please contact:
(603) 654-9408. x139.
About High Mowing:
High Mowing School is a Waldorf high school serving day and boarding students. The school, founded in 1942, is a place for young people to grow intellectually, artistically and socially, while living and learning with students from across town and around the world. High Mowing is situated on Abbot Hill in Wilton, N.H.
For additional news on New Hampshire Farms, agriculture,
and seasonal events, follow us on Facebook