Esther Currier Wildlife Management Area at Low Plain

  • 200.00 acres
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Esther Currier Wildlife Management Area at Low Plain

Route 11, New London

The conservation of the Low Plain area can be attributed to the diligent work of Esther Currier, a local science professor at Colby Jr. College and known to many as the "Bog Lady" or the "Bird Lady."  Her discovery of the Cricenti Bog and the Low Plain area and her work as the chair of the NL Conservation Commission, as well as her work to create many of the town trail networks is well known and forever appreciated. 

The effort to restrict development at the Low Plain began in the late '70s when the Town of New London acquired the first parcels of the marsh. In 1993 the largest piece (108 acres) was purchased as the result of a major fundraising effort organized and led by Ausbon Sargent.

In the summer of 1993, the Low Plain Alliance was formed with a three-year mission: to purchase the 108 acres of marsh and adjoining upland on Route 11 in New London, place a conservation easement on it, and transfer title to the Town of New London.  The Low Plain Natural Area would remain a "significant wildlife habitat and wetlands site," as recognized by the State of New Hampshire and become a permanently protected property for the use and enjoyment of the public. Two years ahead of schedule the Low Plain Alliance achieved its goal. The land was purchased by Ausbon Sargent in the role as transition titleholder on August 3, 1993, with financing from New London Trust and the security of 18 guarantors. The New London Conservation Commission, which has maintained public trails on the property for 17 years, provided seed money. A $54,000 National Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant, a $25,000 donation by the State of NH, and a significant contribution by the Natalie P. Webster Trust were all key reasons this project moved forward quickly. The Pleasant Lake Protective Association, Elkins Fish & Game Club and McKenna’s Restaurant generously supported the Alliance and private donations were strong and steady. The Town of New London overwhelmingly supported the effort at the 1994 Town Meeting by appropriating $76,000. On January 9, 1995 Ausbon Sargent transferred ownership of the property to the Town of New London. On May 6, 1995 the property was dedicated as the "Esther Currier Wildlife Management Area at Low Plain". The New Hampshire Fish & Game Department holds a permanent conservation easement on the property.

In April of 1998 another fundraising effort led by Ausbon Sargent successfully raised $63,000 in private donations and $75,000 in town monies to purchase the remaining 12.7 acres of pond frontage and woodlands. The entire shoreline of the marsh and the surrounding acres are now protected!

The Town of New London owns and manages the property and continues to maintain access and trails.

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