Derry's Broadview Farm set for mowing

JULIE HUSS/File photoPink flowers accent a community garden plot at Broadview Farm in Derry. The town conservation property will get some mowing done soon and is also home to the longstanding community garden project.

DERRY — A popular town conservation property will get some mowing done this summer to help maintain the land's habitat for animals, while keeping the historical characteristics intact.

The Derry Conservation Commission will commence a mowing operation of the main field at Broadview Farm conservation area in early August.

The purpose of the operation is to control invasive plants, improve habitat for grassland birds, and restore the historical characteristic of the field as pasture.

In addition to Broadview, the town has several conservation and/or easement sites including Ballard Forest, Weber Town Forest, Shepard Family property, Corneliusen Farm and others that have their own specific uses listed for recreation.

Broadview Farm was acquired back in 1998 through a Town Council approved measure to preserve town open space. The land was formerly a working dairy farm.

The upcoming mowing operation was developed in consultation with Dr. Matt Tarr, wildlife specialist at the UNH Cooperative Extension, and will be conducted by Field of Dreams Mowing, which has performed this function at many other conservation areas in New Hampshire.

For safety reasons, all Broadview Farm Conservation Area trails will be closed to the public during the mowing.

Signs will be posted to alert the public about any property closures during the mowing project.

Right now, the town website lists Broadview Farm allowed uses as camping at a designated area, hiking, cross-country skiing, nature trails, and fishing.

No hunting is allowed on the property. Local Boy Scouts and other organized groups often use the land for camping or other projects. Scouts and other volunteers have also pitched in through the years to help maintain the property through trail work, building camping/tent platforms, and other projects.

Broadview Farm is also a popular spot for the annual community garden project, where individual plots are used by gardeners who plant their own crops and tend their spots throughout the summer.

That program has been going on for more than 10 years, with dozens of tilled plots offered to those wanting to plant and till their own gardens every summer.

Conservation Commission member William Lowenthal said at a recent meeting the gardens are doing well with a group of very dedicated people taking on the plots this year.

"The garden is in terrific shape," he said, adding the most pressing challenges right now are rodents and rabbits often making a meal out of some planted crops.

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