Skip to main content

Hanover Conservancy: Protecting Hanover's Land and Water

If you like the way Hanover looks, with its rural feel and easy access to public green space, then you can thank the Hanover Conservancy. As the oldest local land trust in New Hampshire, begun in 1961, it has a long history of stewardship that remains strong, creating the Hanover we see today.

For the past 57 years, the Hanover Conservancy’s (HC) mission has been twofold: to protect land and water in the Hanover community and to nurture a love for those resources.

Since its beginning, it has protected over 940 acres in Hanover and influenced the future of more than 2,000 acres of land in the Upper Valley, including in Lyme, Norwich, Plainfield, and Grafton.

Here are some fun facts about the Conservancy:

  • Member households: 603, from 56 towns and 12 states plus the District of Columbia
  • Participants in trips and events in the last 12 months - 965
  • Number of volunteers – 96
  • Staff - 2
  • Natural Areas owned and open to the public (as of August 2018) – 6, totaling 375 acres
  • Mink Brook Nature Preserve
  • Balch Hill Natural Area
  • Greensboro Ridge Natural Area
  • Jim & Evalyn Hornig Natural Area at Lower Slade Brook
  • Tunis Brook Mill Lot
  • Mayor-Niles Forest
  • Conservation Easements on land owned by others – 552 acres


Here’s a brief look at some important history:

  • 1961 Five citizens begin to plan for Hanover’s future
  • 1962 Sponsored Nature Preserve zoning
  • 1963 Incorporated as Hanover Conservation Council
  • 1964 Completed first project: 43 acres on the Connecticut River in Lyme
  • 1965 Started Greenup Day with scouts; opened Julius Mason Fund for Hanover beautification
  • 1966 Helped establish the town conservation commission
  • 1967 Secured the Tanzi Tract; trip and film series underway
  • 1969 Planned Ray School Nature Area
  • 1970 Purchased summit of Balch Hill
  • 1971 Secured Mink Brook/Connecticut River area
  • 1972 Bought books and equipment for area schools and library
  • 1973 Purchased Rinker Tract; helped buy South Esker
  • 1974 Sponsored conference on community land-use planning
  • 1975 Led 23 outdoor trips and Audubon Film series
  • 1976 Held conferences: Open Space Protection, Energy/Environment
  • 1977 Secured Marshall Brook Wetlands
  • 1978 Sponsored Transportation and Traffic workshop
  • 1980 Secured 25.5 acres at Balch Hill
  • 1982 Promoted statewide Bottle Bill and recycling
  • 1983 Contributed funds to the town’s elm tree program
  • 1984 Guided Master Plan work on groundwater, old roads
  • 1985 Helped form the Upper Valley Land Trust
  • 1986 Represented New Hampshire for Acid Rain Partnership with Ohio
  • 1987 Early promoter of household hazardous-waste collection
  • 1989 Gave money for Connecticut River water-quality testing
  • 1991 Led efforts to conserve Fullington Fields
  • 1993 Secured the 125-acre McKinley Tract
  • 1997 Secured 42 acres in Hanover Center
  • 2000 Purchased Mink Brook Nature Preserve with 500 donors
  • 2001 Hired first paid staff
  • 2002 Conserved 34 acres on Moose Mountain Road with the town
  • 2005 Protected 38 acres of Lower Slade Brook; created a guide to the Ray School Natural Area
  • 2006 Launched invasive species control at Mink Brook
  • 2007 Published trail maps of Balch Hill, Mink Brook, Slade Brook
  • 2008 Successful $500,000 capital campaign, fund for Hanover’s Future; acquired 112 acres on Greensboro Ridge; hired part-time stewardship coordinator
  • 2010 Conserved Rinker-Steele Natural Area; hired first full-time executive director
  • 2011 Adopted a new name: Hanover Conservancy

You can find trail maps and explore our natural areas, download Hanover hikes, discover upcoming events and more on their website at

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Here in Hanover's free newsletter to catch every headline