Open Space Committee, Town of Peterborough, New Hampshire

The DuBois Otter Brook Farm Easements

The DuBois Otter Brook Farm Easements in Peterborough were conserved by Phil Dubois, a longtime member of the Peterborough Conservation Commission, who died in 2014.  He left a legacy of land conservation in Peterborough with no equal.  Specifically, he permanently conserved 711 acres in the northeast of town along with a contiguous 842 acres across the town line in Greenfield, land that included undisturbed forest and wetlands that contain several exemplary natural communities of statewide significance as determined by an extensive Natural Resource Inventory.

Among the towhees and Nashville warblers – a Harris Center field trip along Otter Brook Farm trails, May 5, 2012

These photos are representative of the Otter Brook/Harris Center school programs in forest ecology. One day each term the students have a volunteer day in addition to their regular forest ecology field trips.. Here they tend the American Chestnut seedlings and distribute lady bugs in the greenhouse.

Through Phil's association with the Harris Center, his beloved Otter Brook Farm has served as an outdoor forest ecology classroom for the Harris Center's school program offerings to ConVal District middle- and high-school students (see below).

The easements are held by the Harris Center for Conservation Education and the Monadnock Conservancy.

In conserving the land, Phil placed a "Forever Wild" designation on a portion of it (limiting human impact to research and education purposes), and persuaded the Peterborough Conservation Commission and Select Board to do the same on the Town conservation land that shared the wetland complex and associated lowland forest.

This is from the "wildlands" section of Otter Brook Farm. It is wonderfully remote land far from roads or trails. Most likely these fallen trees are from the Hurricane of '38 given their direction (NW). The fact that they're elevated slowed decay.  

Photo by Swift Corwin