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Summer at the Harris Center

As the temperature rises and the world outside comes into full bloom, people are enjoying all that nature has to offer. With the summer approaching fast, we’re  lucky that we can turn our time out in the great outdoors into a learning and social experience at the same time thanks to the Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock NH. This amazing center offers so much for everyone of all ages to learn and enjoy with so many programs and acres of conservation land, we just had to share.

swallowtail butterfly on a purple flower
Nature is everywhere!

First, a little history on the Harris Center. Originally founded in 1970 by Eleanor Briggs, the Harris Center’s mission was to protect and conserve the gorgeous natural beauty of New Hampshire’s wilderness while also educating those that lived there. Named after her pet cat Harris, Ms. Briggs utilized her grandparents’ land and old home in the area to start the foundations of her organization. Educational classes and events began to spring forth, with school children being among the first participants to learn about their local wilderness at the center. Eventually the Harris Center sought to conserve more land in the area, adding onto their mission as they worked tirelessly to successfully conserve over 23,000 acres of land within the region!

child looking through binoculars outside with others
On the hunt for hawks.

Visiting the Harris Center is a treat in itself. Their commitment to sustainability is immediately apparent in the renovated education center, a green building featuring wood pellet boiler heat, solar panels, recycled and renewable materials and composting toilets. The beautiful landscape offers some great views, especially in the fall with leaves changing colors. Throughout the year, but especially in the summer various events, camps and programs get people out in the woods, learning in the classrooms, and bonding with other people invested in their landscape. If you’re just looking for a great place to walk in the woods, several trails spread out from the main facility, where you can park and pick up maps.

If you’re looking for some upcoming events or educational series, then you’ll be happy to know that the month of July will not disappoint! While their website offers a great list of events over the rest of June with updates coming for July and August, below are a few we thought sounded too cool to miss:

nighthawk flying across a clear sky

 June 11(Tue) Nighthawk Watch

Meet at 7 p.m. in the Putnam Science Center at Keene Stage College (Room 101). Done by 9:30 p.m. No experience necessary, but registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603) 358-2065 or by email.

July 13 (Sat)  Owl L’Amour

Romance is in the air as Harris Center naturalist Susie Spikol fills us in on what all that wild hooting is about in the woods .  A light hearted talk on owl romance, courtship and ardor. 11 a.m. to noon at the Harrisville Public Library. 

July 17 (Wed)  Nature on Tap: A Loon Ranger’s Life

Drinks on you, conversation on us!  One of the Loon Preservation Committee’s Loon Rangers will be at the Post & Beam Brewery in Peterborough for an evening of stories. 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Post & Beam Brewery, 40 Grove Street, Peterborough.

Aug 22 (Thu)  The Emerging LiDAR Landscape: Clearcutting with Lasers

Rick Chormann, NH state geologist, will provide an introduction to LiDAR technology and how it works. There will also be a segment on stone walls as landforms, their place in NH history, and the NH Stone Wall Mapping project. 7pm at the Harris Center.

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80 Concord St
Peterborough, NH 03458
Phone: (603) 924-7548
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