COVID-19 UPDATE: The Harris Center building will be closed to visitors until further notice. Our trails and grounds remain open.
Restoring Falls Brook
In 2016, an undersized culvert at Hale Hill Road in Swanzey was replaced with a new, flood-resilient and wildlife-friendly open-bottom arch crossing, reconnecting more than 20 miles of stream habitat in Falls Brook and the Ashuelot River for wild brook trout, dace, and other wildlife.
After the construction was completed, volunteers came together to revegetate the shoreline with native, edible plants, which were grown nearby in the Keene State College greenhouse.
BEFORE: The culvert under Hale Hill Road was only 6 feet in diameter. It was a severe barrier to fish and aquatic wildlife passge, and erosion was threatening the roadbed. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)
AFTER: A team of volunteers celebrates a successful restoration project. The new open-bottom arch crossing allows the brook to flow unimpeded under Hale Hill Road. (photo © Emily Lord/Nature Groupie)
The construction team prepares to set the footings for the new crossing structure. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)
A mother-son team takes a break from planting during a volunteer workday in 2016. (photo © Emily Lord/Nature Groupie)
A KSC student splashes in the newly-restored stream during a volunteer workday in October 2016. (photo © Emily Lord/Nature Groupie)
As with most things, partnership is the key to success, and we’re thrilled to have worked with the following partners to restore fish passage to Falls Brook. We’re also grateful for support from the NH State Conservation Committee, the NHDES Aquatic Resources Mitigation Fund, NHFG, the Town of Swanzey, and the NH Association of Conservation Districts.
For more information, please contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603) 358-2065 or by email.