Grants Meadow III in Beaver Dam Heath

May 2011

Great Works Regional Land Trust is well on its way to purchasing 28 acres next to the 117 acres it owns in Beaver Dam Heath in Berwick. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant of $75,000 to Great Works towards the purchase of the property.

In addition, Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership has notified Great Works Regional Land Trust that $10,000 has been awarded to the Grants Meadow III project. The Trust must match this grant with non federal dollars and is actively fundraising.

Voters in Berwick will decide May 10, 2011 whether or not to appropriate $10,000 to the project, which will make the reality of public access trails in Berwick that much closer.

When Bill and Carol Bryan donated 113 acres of property in the Beaver Dam Heath to Great Works, they requested that we name it Grants Meadow. This is the description on the earliest survey known, 1855. Bill related how the land had been managed for hay into recent times, but when a wildfire burned long and deep in 1941, the peat that had built up over the centuries was lost, the land subsided and was flooded by Beaver Dam Creek.

Bill and Carol recognized the natural resources of the Heath and the wonders hidden in its deepest interior. Their vision for protecting the heath included a desire to make the public aware of this amazing habitat by establishing hiking trails and wildlife viewing areas. The public investment was confirmed when Berwick voters approved the donation of an adjacent lot that had been held for back taxes. This small parcel has been designated as Grants Meadow II. See the Winter 2008 issue of the newsletter on our website for more about the Bryan donation and the Heath.

Now, GWRLT has a new project in Beaver Dam Heath, thanks again to Bill and Carol. Grants Meadow III consists of 28 acres of upland, vernal pools and wetlands, offered to the Trust at a bargain sale. With frontage on Diamond Hill Road, a parking lot and trail head is envisioned for public access. Fundraising is under way to purchase the property.

Interested in helping out? Contact Great Works Regional Land Trust at 207-646-3604 or info@gwrlt.org.

Link to more information about Beaver Dam Heath under Focus Areas.