8-Year-Old Uses Birthday to Raise Money for Dragon Habitat

November 26, 2012

Groton, N.H. — The Forest Society’s effort to conserve 270 acres along the Cockermouth River in Hebron got a boost from an unexpected – and young – benefactor recently. Molly Lu McKellar, 8, of Groton, held a dragon birthday party at a skating rink as a fundraiser and donated $125 to the project.

“I dream about dragons using this land,” she wrote in a letter sent with her donation.

Friends and family members donated at her request, after she heard about the Forest Society’s fundraising campaign to conserve the Hazelton Farm and Forest. The picturesque farm is a well-known local landmark that features extensive frontage along the Cockermouth River and Wise Brook, as well as forest land on Tenney and Crosby mountains.

“This was one of the most gratifying letters I’ve ever opened,” said Martha Twombly, capital campaign specialist for the Forest Society. “To see the imagination of a child inspired by the natural world surrounding her bring forth a tangible action to conserve a beautiful forest near her home – isn’t this the most profound connection we hope to instill in all our future generations?”

Over 300 individuals have contributed to the Hazelton conservation project along with significant grants from N.H. Fish and Game and the John Gemmill Newfound Fund. The campaign is in the home stretch with several grants still pending. Purchase of a conservation easement on the property will protect it from development while keeping the land open for recreation and agricultural use.

Located at the north end of pristine Newfound Lake, the farm’s 35 acres of hayfield overlay a stratified aquifer that drains to the lake, so conserving the property will protect water quality. The property’s forest lands, wetlands, fields and brooks offer some of the highest quality wildlife habitat in the region.

The property, owned by the Hazelton family, will remain open to the public for hiking to Bald Knob, Crosby Mountain and Tenney Mountain. Ski and snowmobile trails pass through the land as well. A registered Tree Farm, the forest land is being sustainably managed for wood products and wildlife habitat under the guidance of a professional forester.