Lucky and Barb Evans of Chesterfield, New Hampshire, believe that there is more to gain from conserving farmland than by developing it. While they are not farmers themselves, they lease the fields for hay production, and the maple trees on the property are tapped each year. It’s this passion for agriculture that motivated them to voluntarily agree to a conservation easement.
“I think it’s a choice for the future of the land. Most of the land like this is described as being good for house lots, which is nice for people, but then Mother Nature becomes very secondary,” Lucky said. “I want to keep the fields in Chesterfield.”
Helping the Community
“We want to see the land stay a hay field for a farm,” Lucky said. “We hope people enjoy it, not just driving by but to walk or snowshoe or ski around too.”
The Evans Farm has been home to numerous community events such as the annual town corn roast.
“We think it’s beneficial for the town and the state to dedicate this land to conservation,” he said.
Helping the Wildlife
Not only is the conserved land good for people, but many animals have also taken a liking to it.
“The deer come here and raise their young,” Lucky said. “It's a real treat to see. The bobolinks and meadowlarks, birds declining in number, nest in the field.”
“A former Boy Scout Christmas tree plantation, now grown to an evergreen thicket, is an island for wildlife,” he continued. “There are coyotes, mice, rabbits, and a bunch of other wildlife that take refuge here.”
Funders who supported this project include the USDA’s Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) program, the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), the Thomas W. Haas Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Town of Chesterfield, and anonymous donors. Thank you!