If you live in the Monadnock Region, chances are that your children or your neighbors’ children have participated in Harris Center programs. Since its founding in 1970, we have become a transformative force in the Monadnock Region, helping to build a strong foundation for an environmental ethic and appreciation of the natural world.
Our teacher/naturalists work with classroom teachers to plan age-appropriate programs for students in the elementary grades through high school. Topics range from local bird studies and interpreting mammal tracks and signs to observing the life cycle of frogs in a natural wetland (not in formaldehyde!) to geology and astronomy. At the high school level, students monitor water quality in the Contoocook River and work with local conservation commissions. During the summer, children can continue nature exploration through a variety of summer programs. In addition, Harris Center facilities serve as a field station for Antioch University New England’s Graduate Program in Environmental Studies.
As a land trust, the Harris Center works to protect the highlands of the Monadnock region and its treasured landscape for wildlife, residents and visitors. Our team works with towns, landowners, municipalities and other conservation groups, building on a connected conserved landscape of over 29,000 acres: a Supersanctuary. This greenway is home to far-ranging species such as bear, bobcat and moose. Land conservation efforts focus on protecting important wildlife habitat, scenic roads, viewsheds, shoreland and other water resources, as well as connecting and expanding existing blocks of protected open space. Conservation of room to roam for wildlife and hikers also protects air, soil and water quality, and a functioning natural landscape that we can pass along to future generations.
More than 100 programs and outings are offered each year throughout the region, free of charge, including workshops, naturalist slide shows, hikes and field trips. Program offerings are rich and varied, from animal tracking to stargazing on foot, snowshoe, bike, canoe or kayak. Come explore the beautiful and diverse natural areas within the Monadnock highlands, lowlands and waterways.
Whatever the offering, a common theme emerges: respect for the natural world assisted by dedicated Harris Center teacher/naturalists, camp counselors, hike leaders and program presenters, supported by a membership of like-minded people equally dedicated to furthering conservation in the Monadnock Region. See the Harris Center in action in this short video feature from New Hampshire Chronicle!