KEENE, N.H. — Decades ago, when John “Jack” Pratt arrived from California with his three dogs in the back seat of the car, he decided he’d found the perfect place to retire.
Sargent Hill Farm, located on a dead-end dirt road, is a quiet spot with scenic views of Vermont. By going through the process of land conservation with the Monadnock Conservancy last year, Jack has permanently protected 42 acres of this property.
It includes open fields, stone walls, maple trees, forested slopes, a stream and two ponds. It’s a place with a lot of country character and charm, and now Jack can relax knowing that future generations can continue to enjoy the beauty and solitude.
“[The land’s] isolation makes it a dream property,” Pratt said. “I had no intention of seeing this land developed. I’m glad to conserve it.”
Over the years, he’s had more dogs, chickens and a couple of peacocks. His nephew Steve Flessa; Steve’s wife, Bobbi Flessa-LaRoche; and their son, Justin, together moved in next door and pasture a couple of horses here.
The now-conserved property, located on the west side of Reservoir Road, is mostly wooded, but recently about 3 acres were cleared to expand the views.
“We were so excited about this project because the land is so scenic. It has great views to the west, where you can really see the hills of Vermont,” said Monadnock Conservancy Deputy Director Stacy Cibula.
The property abuts Hooper Forest, a 200-acre town property. It is also in proximity to the conserved Watershed Town Forest, the Hubbard conservation easement, the conserved Reservoir Town Forest and the Conservancy’s Skofield property.
One of the Conservancy’s goals is to expand upon other properties whenever possible. “It’s important to us to protect land that is near other conserved lands. This property fits that bill,” Cibula said.
By linking together conservation lands into blocks of hundreds of acres, or conservation corridors, wildlife benefit from being able to freely roam about with less interference from humans.
To learn more about conservation opportunities in the Monadnock region, please visit http://www.MonadnockConservancy.org or call 603-357-0600.
The Monadnock Conservancy, founded in 1989, is the only land trust dedicated exclusively to 39 towns in the Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire. Its mission is to work with communities and landowners to conserve the natural resources, wild and working lands, rural character and scenic beauty of the region. Based in Keene, N.H., the Conservancy is an accredited organization that has protected 21,000 acres of forest, farmland, shoreline, wetlands, wildlife habitat and recreation trails in the region. For more information or to sign up for the monthly e-newsletter, visit http://www.MonadnockConservancy.org or call 603-357-0600.
Horses graze on recently conserved land along Reservoir Road in Walpole. Photo courtesy of Monadnock Conservancy, © Stacy Cibula.