On September 22, 2023, the Lebanon Conservation Commission and Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT) achieved a long-standing goal of protecting the headwaters of Martin Brook.
The Martin Brook wetland complex is one of the largest and most important wetland systems in Lebanon. The protected parcel comprises approximately 180 acres of forested, scrub-shrub, emergent or “grassy” wetlands, and upland forests studded with vernal pools.
One of the most significant ecological areas in the City, and one of its highest-functioning wetland complexes*, the Martin Brook property is an important habitat for moose, bear, and beaver. It serves as a breeding area for mink, otter, and other riparian wildlife, is a deer wintering area, and hosts rare plants and seldom-seen mosses.
This amazing place was recently slated to be sold and was at risk of development. Upper Valley Land Trust was able to negotiate the purchase of the property, using both their own funds and a $500,000 donation from the Lebanon Open Space Trust Fund. UVLT will own and steward the property and protect it with a conservation easement to ensure that this area continues to function at its highest ecological potential, providing habitat for wildlife, acting as a sponge for rainwaters, and supporting an incredible diversity of plant species.
The Conservation Commission is extremely thankful that UVLT made this long-standing conservation goal possible and looks forward to partnering with UVLT in the stewardship of the Martin Brook headwater area and in future conservation endeavors. The primary access to this area is at the Class A Trail - "Hall Road" entrance off Poverty Lane (immediately south of 218 Poverty Lane). You can park along Poverty Lane ensuring not to block any driveways.
*See Natural Lebanon, the City’s 2010 Natural Resource Inventory for more on Significant Ecological Areas and the City’s wetlands.
For more on wetlands and wildlife, view the UNH Extension, Wildlife Habitat Improvement: Wetlands and Wildlife document.
For more information on woodlands and wildlife, view the UNH Extension, Wildlife Habitat Improvement: Woodlands and Wildlife document.