Dump Trucks Sought to Move Fill for Ossipee Overlook

Ossipee — Jan 10, 2010 — Dump truck owners are invited to help the Ossipee Conservation Commission create the area’s newest scenic overlook on Route 16. A driveway was cut last month from the highway to the “Window on the Ossipee Mountains” conserved open space, but fill is needed to build up the site.

“If we can get enough truck owners to pitch in, we will be able to build up the visitor parking lot so, if all goes as planned, it may be ready come warm weather,” Ralph Buchanan of the Ossipee Conservation Commission said.

The Commission seeks dump truck owners who will offer the use of their truck and a driver to haul donated fill a couple of miles to the “Windows” site south of Boulder Farm in Ossipee. Call Ralph Buchanan at (603) 651-8698 for details.

When the overlook is complete visitors will enjoy a stunning view of the Ossipee Mountains from the west side of the highway. Kiosks will relate the fascinating geologic history of the mountains where a volcano erupted over 120 million years ago.

Signs will describe the vital Ossipee Watershed and fragile, underlying aquifer that sustains the clean water on which thousands depend today. A map will indicate local centers of interest and services.

Buchanan drew up the overlook engineering plans to provide parking space for 12 cars and three buses. The N.H. Department of Transportation approved plans for the entrance to be located at the center of the property’s 1,250-foot roadway frontage for driver safety.

Truck owners will be among the latest in the community to support the “Windows on the Ossipee Mountains” project launched by the Conservation Commission in early 2007. Within 14 months commissioners raised $250,000 to buy and protect the 26-acre parcel for open space and to safeguard important wildlife habitat adjacent to the busy highway. Donations included $18,000 from community businesses and $18,000 from The Dan Hole Pond Watershed Trust, plus over $130,000 from individual donors.

Goods and services donated by local businesses are moving the project forward. A forest management plan donated by B.Keith Associates provides for rotational cutting that will retain early successional growth plus the mountain view. Land Tech donated a survey of the property adjacent to Route 16, and Berry Sand and Gravel donated gravel that enabled driveway construction to proceed on schedule. Other business owners have contributed goods or services at or well below cost.

The “Window” site conserves open, brushy habitat that is important “supporting landscape” to nearby NH Highest Quality Wildlife Habitat. Early successional habitat once dominated the NH landscape but today it is much diminished due both to development and to reforestation. The property connects nearly one mile of uninterrupted conservation land along Route 16. Later, a nature trail will complete the “Window” project. School bus parking will allow¬† students an opportunity to learn firsthand how critical open space enhances wildlife conservation.

The Dan Hole Pond Watershed Trust acquired an easement on the property that assures the “Window on the Ossipee Mountains” site will remain open space in perpetuity. For more information about the “Windows” project contact the Ossipee Conservation Commission at (603) 539-4181.

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