The first easement was finalized at the end of 2022 and comprises 15 acres of farmland along Rogers Road in Alstead. The second was finalized on March 2023 and protects 77 acres of Kroka’s headquarters campus on Route 123 in Marlow and Alstead.
Kroka is a nonprofit wilderness expedition school that offers a variety of educational programming for youth of all ages, both onsite at their organic farm and further afield in locations across the globe. They
also produce about a third of the school’s food and sell their own milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and vegetables at their farm store. The school uses the land protected by these easements in its curriculum and farm.
“It is only fitting that we partner with the Monadnock Conservancy to ensure that Kroka’s land will be secured as a long-term agricultural and recreational resource for our neighborhood,” said Nathan Lyczak, Kroka’s executive director.
The majority of the conserved acreage on Rogers Road features soil classified as “prime” by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a division of the US Department of Agriculture. The designation is reserved for the most fertile and productive farmland in the country. The larger tract is thickly forested and includes hiking trails open to the public, 1,700 feet of streams, a beaver pond, and eight acres of wetlands. The land drains into Grassy Brook, an important headwater stream of the Ashuelot River.
“Prime farmland soil is uncommon in rocky New Hampshire,” said Pete Throop, conservation project manager for the Monadnock Conservancy. “Because it is so flat and easily developed, it’s also highly threatened by conversion to other uses.”
“Kroka has given a tremendous gift to future generations by ensuring this land will always remain available for farming, recreation, and wildlife habitat,” added Throop.
Generous funding support for the easements came from the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP); the Thomas W. Haas Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; the Marlow Conservation Commission; the Alstead Conservation Commission; individual donors; and the Quabbin-to Cardigan Partnership, a public/private effort to protect the Monadnock Highlands of western New Hampshire and north central Massachusetts. To learn more, visit www.q2cpartnership.org.
About Monadnock Conservancy The Monadnock Conservancy, founded in 1989, is the only land trust dedicated exclusively to the Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire. Serving 38 towns and the City of Keene, its mission is to work with communities and landowners to conserve the natural resources, wild and working lands,rural character, and scenic beauty of the region. Based in Keene, the Conservancy is an accredited organization that has protected more than 23,000 acres of forest, farmland, shoreline, wetlands, wildlife habitat, and recreation trails. For more information, please visit www.MonadnockConservancy.org