HAMPSTEAD – The Conservation Commission spent time looking to the future and deciding where its efforts should go in the coming year.
In the immediate future is Earth Day, and the commission plans to take part in that event by piggybacking on the Fishing Derby, when downtown Hampstead attracts a crowd. On Saturday, April 19, from 8 to 11 a.m. in front of Town Hall, the commission will be giving away 4-year-old balsam fir seedlings. Trash bags will also be available and residents are encouraged to begin the spring roadside pick-up in their neighborhood. Maps for the conservation land trails will also be available.
The commission has also started an event for youngsters 12 years of age and under. Member Bill Guest has placed a geocache on conservation property off Golden Meadows Road. The coordinates of the “Billy Goats Gruff” geocache are N 42 degrees 51.983 minutes and W 071 degrees 08.014 minutes. Several websites can be used to convert the coordinates to a map location, or placed into a GPS.
Inside the geocache is a notice about the Hampstead Conservation Area Earth Day event, with a secret word. Any child age 12 and under who finds the geocache and knows the word will be given a free Earth Day patch on April 19.
At the commission’s meeting last week, chairman Tim Lovell said the Gilmartin land being given to the town for conservation had hit a few snags but they are being dealt with. The property is 8.5 acres but the town map has it as 3.5 acres, so this discrepancy needs to be corrected and the size adjusted to what is on the property deed. The taxes owed on the property will be waived by the town in lieu of the property’s being given to the town. However, a small piece of the land is in Sandown, and the deed must be checked to see if this is a two-piece parcel. If it is, the Sandown parcel can be given to Sandown; otherwise some other arrangement will have to be worked out. The property, Lovell said, is very wet but is a good habitat for wildlife.
Lovell said he is looking at another parcel whose owner might be interested in selling to the town for conservation purposes. The land is not buildable but there is a question regarding access.
The parcel has 9 acres in Hampstead and 3 or 4 acres in Plaistow. Lovell suggested the possibility of subdividing the parcel, and while buying the whole parcel, Hampstead would keep only what is in Hampstead. To make the deal palatable, he said his offer was to pay the amount for the whole property and allow the owner to donate the Plaistow parcel to that town. A survey would be required, the deed must be researched, and the subdividing of the parcel has to be further investigated, but the commission members agreed Lovell should continue to look into this.
Lovell provided the commission members with bridge construction and design guidelines he developed so as to provide liability-free bridges for the Conservation Commission lands. The commission will review the guidelines at its next meeting.