More than 300 people joined in on the festivities at our annual Woods, Water, and Wildlife Festival earlier this month, at the beautiful Branch Hill Farm in Milton Mills, NH.  MMRG’s most popular event of the year, the Festival offered attendees a chance to participate in interactive activities while learning about the wonderful natural resources our region provides. This year’s Festival also included a special celebration of MMRG’s recent merger with Dan Hole Pond Watershed Trust. By offering nature-themed entertainment, the Festival promotes the conservation and stewardship of our shared environment.

Cheryl Giguere, Festival volunteer and planning committee member, said:“The Festival is one of the area’s major events for learning about our natural resources and how to enjoy and preserve them for generations to come!  This year’s Festival was no exception. After having to cancel in 2020, we were thrilled to be able to offer a slightly scaled back version in 2021.”

Many favorite activities from past years returned, including the extremely popular live presentation by Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, highlighting their work in rescuing and rehabilitating native animal species. Children enjoyed fishing in the Branch Hill Farm pond, guided by NH Fish and Game’s “Let’s Go Fishing” program. Families had the opportunity to learn about bees and honey making while making DIY bee houses out of simple natural materials. Lively fiddle and guitar tunes played by the Moose Mountaineers provided cheerful background music. 

“I think the most valuable part of the Festival is the educational aspect, from learning about the forest ecosystems, to how we can encourage bees to come to our yard, to examples of organic gardening. It all comes back to how this creates a healthier way of living for us and the world,” Giguere added.

UNH Cooperative Extension, Nature Groupie, and many other organizations were at the fFestival, offering information and activities for both adults and children. For organizations and businesses in attendance, the Festival offers a fun and unique way to share their work with new audiences.

This was a great chance to introduce the concepts of protecting water quality to residents that might not have it on their radar. We do a lot of outreach to homeowners, but it’s also important for us to reach out to visitors, and the Festival is a great avenue for us to do that,” said Jon Balanoff, Executive Director of Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance.

The Festival is also one of MMRG’s largest fundraisers – all Festival proceeds and business sponsorships support MMRG’s non-profit land conservation and educational outreach mission. MMRG is grateful to its Festival Underwriters D.F. Richard, the Siemon Company, and Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust. We appreciate our Major Sponsors for their contributions: Dottie Bean, Beverly Siemon, Carl & Beth Ann Siemon, Bruce & Jennifer Rich, Sylvia Thayer, Margarete Hays Dombrower, Cynthia Wyatt, Philip Zaeder, Janet Wyatt, S&S Plumbing and Heating, the Wentworth Hunt Club, and many more local businesses and community members.