Projects

Stratham, Mill Brook Salt Marsh, (2010): Large diameter culvert replacement, salt marsh restoration, and invasive species control.  RCCD involvement included design, permitting.  Partners included RCCD, Piscataqua Regional Estuaries Partnership, Stratham Conservation Commission, and landowners.

Odiorne Point State Park Phases I-III (2009-2013): Design, permitting, and implementation of critically imperiled and other sensitive habitat restoration.  Phase I completed in 2010, Phase II is ongoing, Phase III was recently awarded funding.  Partners include RCCD, NH Dept of Resources and Economic Development, NH Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, US Forest Service, Seacoast Science Center, NH Coastal Program, NHDES Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund, Coastal Watershed Invasive Plant Partnership, and many volunteers.

Derry, Shepard Park Phase I (2010-2011): Invasive species control design and implementation for forest management and sensitive wildlife habitat.  Partners include RCCD, Town of Derry/Derry Conservation Commission, NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, & Food (IPM), and many volunteers.

Rye, Goss Farm (2010-2013): Important farmland and salt marsh buffer preservation, invasive species control, restoration of soils and farmland.  Includes design, permitting, and implementation.  Project partners include RCCD, Town of Rye/Rye Conservation Commission, NH State Conservation Committee Conservation Grant (“Moose Plate”), Piscataqua Regional Estuaries Partnership, with additional partners currently being sought.

Brentwood, Exeter River (2011-2013): Design, permit, and implementation of water quality renovation, streambank stabilization, and buffer.  Project recently received funding from three grant sources.  Project partners include RCCD, NH Department of Environmental Services (High Quality Waters Grant), NH Department of Environmental Services Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund, NH State Conservation Committee Conservation Grant (“Moose Plate”), Exeter River Local Advisory Committee, and Great Bay Trout Unlimited, and landowners.

New Castle, River Road Salt Marsh (2010-2013): Saltmarsh restoration, invasive species control, mosquito control, reduced culvert maintenance.  Includes alternatives analysis, design, permiting, and implementation.  Project Partners include RCCD, NH Department of Environmental Services Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund, and landowners, with additional partners currently being sought.

New Castle, Great Island Common (2002-2010): Restoration of rare pitch pine and related habitats.  Project has been ongoing since 2002.  Project partners include RCCD, Town of New Castle/New Castle Conservation Commission, Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Fish and Wildlife, and many volunteers.

 

The Rockingham County Conservation District is involved in a number of habitat restoration projects across a variety of habitats in southeastern New Hampshire.  A great example of one of these projects is The Great Island Common restoration, which was our first upland habitat restoration project, beginning in 2002 in partnership with the New Castle Conservation Commission.  The Great Island Common is owned by the Town of New Castle and includes a recreation area with a beach and picnic area, as well as important natural habitats such as a coastal overwash pond, sand dunes, and pitch pine forest.  Unfortunately, the native habitats have become overrun by invasive plant species such as oriental bittersweet and black swallow-wort, which reduce diversity and threaten the persistence of the native plant communities.  Since the project began, the invasive species have been systematically controlled and native species have been planted, beginning with the pitch pine habitat.  New plantings included lupine, lowbush blueberry, highbush blueberry, and pitch pine.  The native vegetation is now thriving in this area, with hundreds of new pitch pine seedlings establishing on their own where invasive species once predominated.

In the late summer and fall of 2010 the focus of the project has been on reducing invasive species outside of the pitch pine area.  The plan includes the use of a skid-steer mounted flail mower and small hand equipment for cutting and stump treating the larger woody invasive species with herbicides.  Smaller invasive plants are treated using backpack sprayers to apply low volume foliar applications of herbicides.  Once these species have been controlled, additional native vegetation will be planted.  This effort will not only benefit the native vegetation, but will enhance the aesthetics, wildlife habitat, and educational opportunities for visitors to the park.

This project has been possible with the assistance and support of a variety of project partners including University of New Hampshire, Urban Forestry Center, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), the Rockingham County Conservation District (RCCD), the Town of New Castle, the New Castle Board of Selectmen and staff, its volunteer Conservation Commission, and numerous volunteer groups including local schools and a local green team.

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