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Trail Party Celebrates Natural Resources

This Years Moose Mountains Regional Greenways Event Held at Branch Hill Farm in Milton Mills, N.H.

Trail Party

Branch Hill Farm, a 3,000-acre award-winning tree farm, was the product of "Big Carl" Siemon's passionate love for New Hampshire, the natural world and his sense of responsibility to help preserve them both. Today the farm is both a tree farm and a working agricultural farm producing hay. The land is open to the public for multiple recreational uses, and the Siemon Family encourages people to visit. Today Branch Hill Farm is a not-for-profit family trust, managed by Cinny Wyatt, sister of Carl, Hank, John and CK Siemon. Inspired by Big Carl's commitment to conservation, Branch Hill Farm became a founding member of Moose Mountain Regional Greenways, an advocacy group for protecting the surrounding area's network of public and private land.

Hike a greenbelt, tour a tree farm and discover the creatures that make their homes along the edge of the Salmon Falls River. Participants at Moose Mountains Regional Greenways second annual Trail Party had the opportunity to do just that on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This fun, family-friendly event featured guided nature walks with natural resource experts, hayrides, kids' crafts, pony rides and live music performed by the band Hoi Polloi, plus a barbecue lunch.

"This was our second annual trail party," said Moose Mountains Regional Greenways Chairman of the Board Cynthia Wyatt. "We've tried to build on the most popular activities from last year's event to create an experience that's fun and educational for both children and adults."

Other outdoor recreational groups and conservation organizations partnered with Moose Mountains Regional Greenways to ensure the day's success. Educators and experts from N.H. Estuaries Project, the N.H. Farm Museum, Strafford Rivers Conservancy and the UNH Cooperative Extension Services agreed to lead discussions and nature walks.

Trail Party

The Wentworth Hunt held their annual pacing event on site and agreed to donate all proceeds collected at the event, and the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests, which holds a conservation easement on Branch Hill Farm, is also promoted the event to its members.

The Trail Party is Moose Mountains Regional Greenways' main fundraising event of the year. "We received challenge grants from The Siemon Company and Branch Hill Farm/The Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust," Wyatt said. "The local business community has been incredibly supportive."

The Trail Party was sponsored by D.F. Richard, Downeast Energy, Eastern Boat, Meetinghouse Data Communications, Middleton Building Supply, Ransmeier & Spellman, PC, and W.C. Colbath Electrical. "We're thrilled with the support," said Wyatt. "This was a great opportunity to generate interest and awareness of the uses of undeveloped lands, from recreation to wildlife habit, farming and sustainable forestry.

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways is a non-profit conservation organization that works to conserve and connect the most special undeveloped lands of northern Strafford and southern Carroll counties. For more information, visit www.mmrg.info.