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2016Five Ideas for Celebrating Aldo Leopold Weekend in 2016

The Aldo Leopold Foundation

A picture of NALMC’s 2011 Leopold Bench Workshop was featured in this list under #3, Build Something.

Once you know what the design for a Leopold bench looks like, you will start seeing them everywhere! Nature centers, parks, and private citizens all over the world use this classic style of bench to provide a welcome place to rest along the trail. The Aldo Leopold Foundation has not developed official bench plans, but a quick Google search will turn up plenty of results. People often ask for Aldo’s “official bench plans,” but he never wrote them down. In fact, the originals were constructed from scrap lumber, so each one was a bit different. The good news is, that means that Leopold bench building is an activity that definitely allows room for you to be creative!

A proud crew of builders stands before a group of freshly minted benches, built during an Aldo Leopold Weekend event hosted by Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative (NALMC) in New Hampshire.


Northwood Landowner Leads by Example
Society for Protection of NH Forests Blog, May 22

Carl Wallman recently donated his third conservation easement to the Forest Society, protecting an additional 40 acres of his picturesque Harmony Hill Farm in Northwood. In doing so, Carl has added to a protected block of 2,310 acres within the neighborhood of the Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative (NALMC) that he founded five years ago.

Based on principles espoused by Aldo Leopold, NALMC promotes landowners working across boundary lines on community-based land conservation and stewardship projects. This gift follows two prior easements that Carl gave to the Forest Society protecting 164 abutting acres. The Northwood Conservation Commission holds an executory interest in the easement and assisted with some of the transactional expenses of the project.

Fall fun and foliage in Northwood Meadows State Park
NH Family Adventures Blog, December 19

There were several quaint benches placed strategically along the trail side in locations best suited to sit and enjoy the views of the water or relaxing spots to take a break if needed. They were all hand crafted from trees and were such a nice surprise to find along the trails. Upon researching the park more, I learned that the benches were placed there as symbols of what the park represents. As found on the Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative website, it quotes, “They are all natural, created from local forest products, and will one day bio-degrade returning nutrients back into the soil.”

As a busy mom of three that does not have a lot of extra time to do a lot of individual things with each child, this place was wonderful as it only took us around an hour to complete the inner circle loop, but offered a great learning experience for my son, wonderful memories to carry forward, and we had a lot of fun! It made me feel good to take that hour out for just the two of us and allowed us to bond together without the rest of the family there that day.


Northwood Meadows State Park
Parks & Recreation NH Blog, August 16

From the parking area I unloaded my bike and started along the Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative (NALMC) Loop Trail. Smooth, flat, and wide the loop trail is perfect for dog walkers and those looking for a leisurely stroll through the woods. Not far form the trailhead I pointed my bike off the loop and on to a smaller trail that snaked up and down along a brook until I reached the pond.

Riding to the far end of the pond I found a grassy little beach and parked my bike for a dip in the water. Not too cold or too warm, the water felt great this late in the summer, and I took my time floating on the surface watching the clouds roll by. After drying off I jumped on my bike and headed for the group of picnic tables on the east side of the pond.

Leopold Bench Workshop
The Suncook Valley Sun (front page), October 19

On Saturday, October 1st, 18 hardy souls gathered in the drizzling rain at the NALMC (Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative) kiosk at Harmony Hill Farm to build benches. Though the weather was dreary, the coffee was hot, the homemade pastries were delicious and there was a vibrant, barn-raising atmosphere. At the end of the day, all that was left of the 3 hemlock trees that were donated from the NALMC neighborhood was a small pile of sawdust, a few scraps of wood, a few remaining slabs and 22 beautiful Leopold benches.

A Leopold Bench
Spicebush Log Blog, November 15

I learned more about Leopold’s bench from my friend Carl Wallman, who owns Graylag Cabins and Harmony Hill Farm, and is chair of the Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative (NALMC). Carl hosted a Leopold bench making workshop in October. I could not attend the workshop, but recently Carl showed me how to make one and provided me with sturdy 2-inch thick hemlock from his property.


Landowner Collaborative Receives $20,000 Grant
The Suncook Valley Sun, January 21, 2009

The Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative (NALMC) is pleased to announce a $20,000 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to support an ecological assessment and landowner outreach. The grant comes from the Otto Fund, a philanthropic partnership of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

NALMC Expands Information and Outreach Efforts
NALMC Press Release, March 31

The Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative (NALMC) is pleased to
announce its recently expanded programs to develop and share information about
lands within the NALMC neighborhood. NALMC seeks to build understanding and
appreciation of the local landscape by encouraging public and private landowners to
connect with their land, with their neighbors and with appropriate tools and
resources to support collaborative land stewardship.

NALMC Northwood Meadows Discovery Day: July 11, 2009
The Forum, June 20

The Northwood Meadows Discovery Day, a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Northwood Meadows State Park, and of the legacy left to present and future generations by M. Edward Burtt when he sold this park to the State – will take place July 11, at the Park. This grand event is an opportunity to discover and interact with the natural and cultural resources in and around Northwood Meadows State Park – lands which now form the core of the NALMC neighborhood. The day will be hosted by the Town of Northwood, in partnership with The Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative (NALMC), the Northwood Crankpullers and the NH Division of Resources and Economic Development.

Bear Brook & Northwood Meadows
Mountain Wandering Blog, July 4

Racing against the clock to maximize coverage, I drove north to Route 4 and then east to Northwood Meadows State Park, one of the newest parks in the system. Trails have been under development here in recent years, and I found a map produced by the Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative. Among the trails built here is a wheelchair accessible route down to the shore of Meadow Pond.

A half-mile walk along a gravel road led to the beautiful pond. A graveled wheelchair-friendly path parallels part of the road and rejoins it near the pond.

A smooth path leads along the west shore to three accessible viewing platforms on a small peninsula. Nice!

As the evening fog settled down, I went down to the south end of the pond.

From here I followed a white-blazed trail to a a dirt road called Old Mountain Road, from which there was a misty view of the “Betty Meadows.”

The NALMC map and other sources note a vista from a snowmobile trail on the north ridge of Saddleback Mountain, which rises just south of the meadows. On the map the climb to the outlook appeared to be about a half-mile. By measuring wheel, in gathering darkness, the wet and rough trail turned out to be almost twice that long before it reached the ledge. Maybe there’s a decent view here on a clear day, but not at 8:30 pm on a foggy night.

After decending back to the Old Mountain Road, I followed a wide gravel road a mile north – no need for a headlamp here. Then, with headlamp on, I followed a path down to the east shore of Meadow Pond. I turned off the light and lingered a while by the foggy shore as fireflies flickered around me. An easy mile’s walk led back to the car at 10 pm. I had certainly extended the trip, but it was worth it to sample this small gem of a park.


Honorable Mention
Foster’s Daily Democrat, June 8

NORTHWOOD — On May 21 members of Coe-Brown Academy’s Young Environmental Activists Club worked on the new Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative trail that will connect Northwood State Park to privately-owned land to create a five-mile trail. Members Brianna Jean, Becca Davis, Meghan Bousquet and Robert Correa, with adviser Wini Young, raked the 500-yard connecting section of the new trail.

The trail will officially open on July 19 at 9 a.m. with hikes beginning at the Northwood Meadows State Park, and continue in a westerly direction across the land of Harmony Hill Farm through a variety of fields, hills and woods that have been managed for ten years to encourage many species of wildlife. Maps are available to show the exact route.

For more information, contact Fred Borman at 603-679-5616 or or Wini Young at

New 5-mile Hiking Trail to Open in Northwood
The Forum, July 19

The Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative (NALMC) is pleased to announce the opening of a new five-mile hiking trail. In celebration of New Hampshire Trails Day, NALMC invites the public to join them at Northwood Meadows State Park on Saturday, July 19 at 9:00 am to hike the trail and learn about the wildlife and habitats seen along the trail.

The trail begins at Northwood Meadows State Park and continues in a westerly direction across the privately owned Harmony Hill Farm, before returning to the State Park. The trail meanders through a variety of fields, hills and woods that have been managed to encourage habitat for wildlife.

What’s New

Recent NALMC Announcements

NALMC Welcomes New Landowner Outreach Coordinator

Dear NALMC Community:

I am excited to be working with NALMC as its Landowner Outreach Coordinator.  I have been fortunate enough to have worked in land stewardship for the past 15 years.  During that time I worked with many different landowners, all with different views on what open space meant to them and with varying management goals.  When I was first introduced to NALMC’s vision and goals, I was immediately drawn to the idea of using natural communities as our guide rather than property boundaries, and at the same time respecting the goals of the individual landowner.  I am looking forward to promoting their vision both within their own community and introducing their innovative approach to others.

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