The Frank H. Simpson Reserve protects a vital Lake Sunapee tributary, ranked "number one" in the watershed. Red Water Creek lies west of Route 103B in Sunapee and flows into Lake Sunapee south of Fishers Bay. The Frank H. Simpson Reserve includes 44 acres of Red Water Creek wetland and more than 70 acres of upland buffer. The area is highly visible and is accessible to the public by the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway, which has almost a mile of trail across this property.
This land was protected by the joint efforts of four like-minded organizations. The Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust, the Lake Sunapee Protective Association, the Sunapee Conservation Commission and the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition working in partnership, launched a major fund raising effort and were able to raise $140,000 to purchase the easement.
This reserve is important in a variety of ways. Not only does it provide superb wildlife habitat for deer, moose, finfish and a host of other species, but it also has flood control potential, and the ability to retain and trap excess nutrients and sediments both of which would travel downstream toward Lake Sunapee if not for the wetland. This area remains relatively undisturbed and had a high level of ecological integrity. Its location, close to four conservation easements (Harrison, Johnson, Neilson and Webb Woods) is significant. Many wildlife species depend on large tracts of undeveloped land for their survival. Evidence of remains of an 18th and 19th century mill site contributes to the property’s historical significance.