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Chesterfield

Conservation Commission

Welcome!

Chesterfield Conservation Commission is a town commission as authorized under RSA 36-A for the Town of Chesterfield, New Hampshire. It is an advisory and educational body.

The Chesterfield Conservation Commission focuses on environment protection, educational activities, hiking trails, enhancing visual and wildlife characteristics in town, collaborating with the zoning/planning board and assisting the State of New Hampshire through the wetland and shoreland permit process.

Chesterfield Conservation Commission meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month at 7:30 pm at the Chesterfield Town Office (unless otherwise posted).

Our mission has been to preserve and enjoy the town’s incredible natural resource, its land. The Commission feels strongly that access to our public lands is essential to the appreciation of their value, and has helped establish and maintain trail networks throughout town. Maps are provided on this site.

Chesterfield Conservation and Recreational Trails Map

Updates & Announcements

 Next Commission Meeting   

The next Conservation Commission meeting will be on Monday, May 20 at 7:30 pm.  Please contact Amy LaFontaine if you would like to attend and be added to the agenda.

Chesterfield Color Run   

Join us for this year's Chesterfield Color Run on Sunday, May 19, 2024. More details here.

The Chesterfield Conservation Commission would like to thank the following donors and volunteers who worked on the naming of the Tom Duston Trail:

Paula and Tom Duston, Bob and Lynne Borofsky, Jeff Scott, Ray Dunn, Lew Shelley, Paul Link, Patti and John Hudachek, Pam and Ken Walton, Jon and Kathy Thatcher, Susan and Jeff Newcomer, Linda and Ken Gobbo, Mike Darcey, J.C. Woodward, Jim Barker, Nathaniel Nose

Please visit the trail on Plain Road and experience the journey of a patient, persistent, inspiring, dependable soul who has been driven to keep the woods of New Hampshire protected, preserved and enjoyed for all the hikers who pass through.   

The Draper Campsite located on the WMT at the end of Stones Mill Road has a Privy!

Thanks to the design of Ray Dunn and his crew John Hudachek, Reggie Fleming and Paul Link, the Draper Campsite has a proper privy. Please continue to follow the use expectations (leave no trace including, no fires) but enjoy the luxury of a privy reminiscent of an old outhouse. Note: the cutting of the toilet paper ceremony.

Thanks to Wayne Dingman for the use of his land.

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Chesterfield Town-wide Biodiversity Project

Have you ever wondered what that strange bug crawling on the rock wall is called, or what the name of a plant is that you often see while hiking? What about that fluffy-looking moss on the side of that maple, or the energetic songbird singing away in the canopy? You can answer all these questions and more through a new, community-driven field guide of Chesterfield’s flora, fauna, and fungi. The project, called Town of Chesterfield: A Living Field Guide, collects observations of living organisms that people submit to the community-science database iNaturalist. 

iNaturalist is an easy-to-use, free app that can help identify what you are seeing and hearing. When a photo or sound recording is shared to iNaturalist, expert naturalists help identify what was observed. As of April 2021, beginner and master naturalists alike have used iNaturalist to document over 300 wild species in Chesterfield. Among these, are one of New Hampshire’s only records of Wulf’s peatmoss and North America’s largest native moth, the Cecropia Moth, which has a colorful wingspan measuring seven inches.

The town-wide living field guide project arose out of a natural resource inventory conducted by Moosewood Ecological, a regional consulting group based in Chesterfield. This project, supported by the Chesterfield Conservation Commission and the Chesterfield School Outdoor Education Committee, not only contributes directly to the town-wide inventory, but participants will gain a stronger connection to nature and new discoveries await.

 

iNaturalist continues to deepen our understanding of nature, and many of Chesterfield’s public lands remain to be documented. Places like Friedsam Town Forest, Pisgah State Forest, and Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area eagerly await your exploration. Similarly, nature knows no bounds, and observations of wild, uncultivated plants and animals from your own yards are welcomed by the living field guide. 

To learn more about this exciting project, get involved, or see a list of all 320 species, visit the project website. (Under community: projects: Town of Chesterfield) 

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New Bridge in Friedsam Town Forest

The Chesterfield Conservation Commission is excited to announce that a new bridge has been built in the Friedsam Town Forest. We are very fortunate to have an amazing group of volunteers who are giving their time and expertise to this much needed project: Ray Dunn, Darlene Dunn, Jeff Scott, John Herrick, Kim Nilson, Erik Shifflett and Steve Sherman have all been busy building the new Ravine Bridge located on the Doug Sargent Trail. They are also adding new benches and walkways throughout the forest.

The Ravine Bridge was originally installed in 1990 by local boy scouts, Chesterfield School students led by Mary Grove, who taught middle school science and community volunteers. 

In 2005, Tom and Shire Morgan-Hunt (who had just completed the bridge at the Chesterfield Gorge and got married on that bridge) built a magnificent 35 ft hemlock bridge primarily using wood from the forest. Their work was paid for from a Trails Bureau Grant. Repairs were made in 2015 by Rob Koning replacing the decking and side rails after several trees landed on the bridge. Now in 2024, a new bridge!!! Much thanks to our talented and devoted volunteers!!!

The Doug Sargent Trail is accessible from the Lower Lot and the Upper Lot on the Twin Brook Road. The trail is a moderate hike with some ups and downs. The trail has some narrow footings near the bridge and expect some muddy areas this time of year. The trail includes old stone walls, quartz outcroppings, rushing streams and a beautiful ravine view. 

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