Anyone who has been here on campus knows how fundamental the rural landscape and expansive setting is to the education and community at High Mowing School. Students walk the land, find inspiration in the view, study the plant and animal life, participate in growing their own food and conduct real-time studies and experiments.
Last year Gary FRYE ‘66, whose family has owned the land for seven generations, began planning, with his wife Gail, for retirement and it became clear that they would need to sell this land. Where Gary and Gail saw security for their future, developers saw opportunities for profits. The High Mowing community saw something much more valuable — the necessity of beauty, sanctuary and connection to place for the human spirit — and decided to act to preserve this legacy for the future.
This project provides for the possibility of 154+ acres of newly conserved land on Abbot Hill. This acreage includes 90 acres of federally designated farmland, 800+ feet of Souhegan River frontage (NH Wildlife Action Plan's highest ranked habitat in the biological region), four of the seven town-designated Well Head Protection Areas and scenic vistas from the property along the public road view sheds. The conservation of this land will connect existing conservation land that is part of The Temple-Wilton Community Farm and create approximately 240 contiguous acres of conserved land on Abbot Hill that will protect and expand trails for recreation, education and other public benefits.
Many entities have come together to make this possible. The Russell Farm and Forest Conservation Foundation, a private foundation, has helped Yggdrasil Land Foundation secure a generous allocation of funding from the Federal Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program (FRPP) for the conservation of the 101+ acres of Frye land that include this vista, plus 53 acres of High Mowing School land, for a total of 154+ acres to be placed in a conservation easement and held by the Yggdrasil Land Foundation. The FRPP funding will provide half the purchase price for the conservation easements on both parcels. In addition, the Fryes have given HMS the exclusive option to purchase the land and Yggdrasil Land Foundation the exclusive option to purchase the conservation easements.
However, we need to raise over $447,000 from grantors and individual donors like you in order to make this a reality.