Conservation Commission

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The Wilton Conservation Commission presents:


A word from your friendly neighborhood conservation commissioners.

Wilton is in spring bloom and you can already hear mowing machines. Resist the temptation to do what you always do and attack that lawn. Think about limiting the May Mow to play areas, BBQ spots, or a pathway to a stream. Leave the rest til June or at least the last week of May.

May is the height of pollinator hatching in the grasses. They are struggling to thrive as it is, so one way we can help them is not to mow them down, as they are emerging from winter burrows.

Lawns support 5X the number of bees if they are left alone and 3x the number of pollinator species.
You’ll notice the difference in anything that blooms in your yard if you don’t kill off your resident pollinators

No Mow Lawn forms a dense sod that withstands moderate foot traffic and inhibits weed growth. The deep-rooted fescues (up to 9" deep) enhance drought resistance by reducing water loss and reaching deeper water reserves.

And we’re in for a hot, hot summer. So if you want a lawn that doesn’t burn out, DON’T MOW IT IN MAY.

Yes, a bit of a chore come June 1 for the first mow, but after that — no big deal. And the rest of your yard will flourish with more pollinators without the need for harmful and expensive fertilizers, and goodness forbid herbicides or pesticides that are killing us and the pollinators.

You might also rethink your entire lawn. Mow for recreation areas to reduce ticks and mosquitoes and create pathways and let the rest go wild. You can seed it with wildflowers and over time it’s glorious. Less fuel, less air and noise pollution. More time with the family.

Keep Wilton Wild.

Name the Great Blue Heron

Our Great Blue Heron, who fishes Stony Brook, has once again performed her fly over during the Wilton Gazebo project construction. At the opening ceremonies on Saturday, October 14th, we announced her naming contest.  Yes, we’ve decided she’s a female. Although their coloring is the same, females are smaller than males. You can research a number of reliable sites on line to find out more; and NH Fish and Game. As you consider your nominations of a name, maybe research all the folklore and beliefs about this magnificent bird.  What name might befit this silent, graceful bird that frequents the shores of Wilton’s protected river? She’s presented herself so often, we’ve come to think of her as a good omen and mascot for Wilton’s Riverwalk project.

"Name the Great Blue Heron Contest" entry form

Great Blue Heron Weathervane

The Wilton Senior Citizen Science Program

How many times have you told someone about the animal, strange plant, insect or frog that
you saw in your backyard? Maybe it was a hawk or eagle perched in a tree alongside a Wilton road. You got excited and even felt a little privileged to have witnessed one of nature’s miracles.
Well, you just qualified for Wilton’s new Senior Citizen Science Program and you don’t need to hike miles or hang out in a tree to participate.

Wilton’s new Senior Citizen Science (SCS) Program is for adults age 50+ who would like to help track the changes in Wilton’s ecology from birds to bears, woodchucks to wildflowers and even algae to ash trees.

To learn how to become involved, please see the Senior Citizen Science Program flyer.

Wilton Announces Completion and Grand Opening of the Riverwalk Gazebo

WILTON, NH – The town of Wilton is delighted to announce that it has completed construction of the new handicapped-accessible gazebo on the Wilton Riverwalk and will host a grand opening on Saturday, October 14th at 11:00 a.m.

The gazebo was made possible through a generous AARP Community Challenge Grant, with additional contributions by the family of Doctor Raymond Galloway, long-time Wilton physician, and the Wilton Alliance, a new non-profit organization focused on investing in the town of Wilton (

The 16-foot octagon gazebo sits on the bank of Stony Brook and will be a new gathering space in downtown Wilton, and serve as the observation platform for the new Wilton Senior Citizen Science Program. It has a wheel-chair accessible ramp and several interior benches. The copper-roofed cupola design reflects the historic Town Hall and is topped with a Great Blue Heron in flight - the Wilton Riverwalk project mascot.

The construction of the gazebo was made possible by the Town of Wilton road crew and by volunteers -- Jennifer Beck, Michael Dell’Orto, Randy King, Mike McGonegal, Frank Pavlik and Edson Skinner.

Grand opening festivities will include remarks by Wilton Select Board Chair, Matt Fish, and Economic Development Team Chair, Jennifer Beck. Refreshments will be served, and the rain date is Sunday October 15th at 1:00 p.m.

About Wilton
Wilton is a vibrant town nestled in the Monadnock region by the Souhegan and Stony Brook rivers in southern New Hampshire. Known for its natural beauty and community spirit, Wilton offers a rich history, picturesque landscapes, and numerous recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. The town is committed to fostering a strong sense of belonging and supporting the well-being of its residents.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Beck, Chair, Wilton Economic Development Team
603 654 5526
[email protected]

Local Groundwater Zoning and Other Source
Protection Actions

Pierce Rigrod, NHDES, presentation to Regional Open Space Team conservation commissioners. The presentation contains excellent information for planning boards, water commissions, zoning boards and conservation commissions.

Open the live stream and adjust the audio to your preference. It will open in a new tab or window. Then come back to this window and open the slides, which will likewise open a new tab or window.
This way you can hear Mr. Rigrod's presentation and view the slides as you choose.

The audio (live stream, "ROST, August 24" - video of the presentation but the slides are not visible. The presentaion begins at 1m 38sec).
The slides (PDF document.)

NH Dept. of Safety Denies Petition to Ban Petroleum-Fueled Watercraft on Sand Hill Reservoir.

On June 28, 2023, the NH Department of Safety held a public hearing in the Town Hall courtroom. The subject was a petition to ban petroleum-fueled watercraft from the Sand Hill Reservoir (SHR). Speakers speaking in favor of the ban cited the inappropriateness of water-ski or pontoon boats on the SHR; the entire shoreline being green-space; it's small size and popular use for swimming and floating.

On August 7, 20023, the town received the department's conclusion: the petition was denied "due to the lack of any existing problems to be remedied" and claimed that the public "will not benefit from establishing a ban on all vessels using gasoline powered motors".

Read the full report of the Department of Safety's hearing and its conclusion.

The Ten Commandments of Hiking

A lighthearted reminder about hiking safely and respecting the land, its creatures, and your fellow hikers; by Nikki Andrews.

Can You Find Both Herons?

Two Herons - can you find them?

Photo credit: Scott Hogan
- with our thanks for his permission to display it.

Your Wilton Conservation Commission (WCC) is responsible for protecting the farms, forests, wetlands, scenic vistas and historic resources that are such an important part of the overall character of our community.

Part of our charter is to educate our citizens about conservation issues and to provide access to public lands for recreation. Placing Blue Dragon Flyland in conservation doesn’t mean it’s "off limits". On the contrary, conserved lands are available to the public for their use and enjoyment. In Wilton, 69% of our town is in Current Use or designated as conservation land. That protection keeps us a small rural community with beautiful open spaces, clean water and abundant wildlife.

NH RSA-36-A:2 outlines what conservation commissions do for their towns and the state. In Wilton, the Conservation Commission (WCC) consists of 7 appointed residents, nominated by the commission, approved by the select board, and after taking a sworn oath, serving for a 3 year term.

In Wilton, your commission’s charter is centered around five activities: Advice, Coordination, Education, Protection and Stewardship.   

The Wilton Conservation Commission is a member of the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions (NHACC), "a nonprofit conservation organization that provides education and assistance to New Hampshire's local conservation commissions."

The commissioners are all volunteers. We depend on townspeople to work on projects and expand our capabilities. We need people to work on trails, monitor wildlife habits and native flora Geese Sand Hill Reservoirin the face of climate change. We need people to help raise funds for projects, work events, do presentations, pick up trash on roadways, or count cottontail rabbits and become citizen scientists. Would you consider volunteering with the Conservation Commission? Attending meetings is not required and we'd appreciate as much or as little time as you're willing to offer.

The Wilton Conservation Commission is only seven people; conservation takes a village.

Do you have a suggestion, question, or comment? Contact the Conservation Commission.

Board Members

Name Title/Term Expires
H. Alan Preston Chair (2024)
Jennifer S. Beck Member (2025)
Patrick Kenney Member (2024)
Randy King Member (2025)
W. Bart Hunter Emeritus
Bob Silva Member (2026)
William G. Mahar Emeritus
Leslie P. Tallarico Emeritus/Alternate
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