The Road to Hancock
Granddaughters can be powerful creatures. Such was the case with Stephen and Tricia Froling, who had been happily living in England since 1986, both enjoying active careers as attorneys.
Then they made a visit in 2001 to granddaughter Hazel in Dublin, NH. Lured by Hazel, Stephen and Tricia packed up and moved to Hancock a few months later, leaving their life in England behind them.
The Harris Center has been the fortunate beneficiary of that move. Since his arrival in New Hampshire, Stephen has contributed countless hours of legal counsel to the Harris Center. He also served on the Board from 2004 to 2010, one year as chair.
“I enjoyed it enormously. I started working on land transactions – everything from walking in the woods to mapping.”
A Leader in Land Protection
Stephen’s legal work on various land transactions has greatly enhanced the Harris Center’s land protection program and supported the growth of the SuperSanctuary. His contribution is laudatory, but Stephen views the time and effort he has given very modestly.
“The basic mission [of the Harris Center] is really worthwhile — to get people out in nature [and] to preserve enough of nature that you can do that.”
Stephen has also helped with much of the current mapping of Harris Center lands, and with converting our older, hand-drawn maps into modern GIS (geographic information systems). In his role on the Board, Stephen encouraged the Harris Center to hire our first staff person solely dedicated to land monitoring and management, and saw that the organization operated in compliance with the Land Trust Alliance’s Standards and Practices.
“A unique thing about the Harris Center is how concentrated the land program is. It’s a mosaic of private interests, but we have a large role in organizing and managing it. And we have remarkable local supporters.”
Blazing a Trail
Stephen’s favorite project was working on the Jaquith Rail Trail, which re-opened a neglected rail bed that was over 100 years old. The project transformed the path from an overgrown jumble of downed fences and trees into a beautiful, well-utilized trail.
“Now it’s a trail that old people can walk—it’s an easy grade the whole way. It’s an inviting place where ordinary people can go on a safe walk through the woods. It brought together an awful lot of people who contributed.”
Stephen and Tricia love watching the animals they see around their home: deer, fox, moose, bobcats, birds. Thanks to their move to Hancock years ago and Stephen’s generous donation of time and legal expertise, local wildlife has a greater chance to thrive and be enjoyed by all—not only by the Frolings and their granddaughter, but by many more generations to come.
For more information on the Harris Center’s 50th anniversary celebrations, please contact Lisa Murray at (603) 525-3394 or by email.