307 Applebee Rd, Milton Mills, NH 03852

Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival: A Day of Family Fun and Learning

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways

Box 191, Union, NH  03887

(603) 473-2020




Date submitted:  July 23, 2019


Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival: A Day of Family Fun and Learning

The 17th Annual Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival will take place on Saturday, August 11 from 10 am to 3 pm at Branch Hill Farm, 307 Applebee Road, Milton Mills, NH. This day-long celebration of the great outdoors regularly attracts more than 600 participants, who make the most of this chance for families to have fun, explore and learn about the natural world together.

Jocelyn Smith, a native of Milton Mills, has been attending the festival for many years with her son Cameron. She enjoys visiting all the different Festival events and couldn’t choose just one favorite. But eight-year-old Cameron was decisive about his favorite activity: ‘fishing!’ He has hung on to his Festival fishing ‘license’ and wants to try again this year to catch a fish.

Cameron also likes the ‘lumberjack event’, where he gets to use a crosscut saw to cut a piece of pine log. Some kids choose to paint their pine log tree cookies in the Tree Cookie/Craft Corner but Cameron prefers his as ‘natural wood’ and he uses it at home as a cup holder. He likes the treasure hunt called Kids Discover the Forest as well as Natures Playground where he gets to play on swings or tree stumps in the woods. When asked what he has learned at the Festival, he responded, “People shouldn’t take straws at restaurants” after finding out at the Zero Waste Initiative last year that plastic straws are not recyclable.

MMRG Educational Outreach Coordinator Kari Lygren encourages people to check out the new Festival educational offerings this year. “Come learn about composting made easier at Mr. Fox Composting.  Get an introduction to raised beds for Permaculture Gardening from Sheehan Gardens. At Here Comes the Sun from Revision Energy, discover the potential of solar panels and meet Sunsquatch, who’s on a mission to spread solar power to schools.”

Lygren is also excited about the return of All About Apples, at which Branch Hill Farm and Jug Hill Cider Orchard will announce the start of a Regional Heritage Orchard in the ‘hayride’ field across from the barn. Orchardist Jared Kane explains, “This holistic preservation orchard will preserve important biological diversity and provide a site for educational workshops and sustainable orcharding practices. We plan to add over 100 traditional varieties of apples and pears as well as newly-discovered wild varieties selected for their eating, cooking, or cider attributes.  Do you have an old apple or pear tree on your property? It could qualify for being cloned and included in our Orchard.  Please come to All About Apples to learn more!”

Homemade salads, hot grilled food, ice cream, and blueberry smoothies will be on sale along with T-shirts and raffle baskets of local fresh produce and other items. The festival takes place rain or shine. No pets please. Rest rooms and most events are wheelchair accessible. The cost is $5/person or $10/family; free for ages 12 and under; all events included in the admission price. Proceeds and business sponsorships support MMRG’s land conservation and educational outreach mission.

MMRG is grateful to its festival underwriters, Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust, the Siemon Company, and D. F. Richard Energy and to its early major sponsors, the Hays Dombrower Family, Peter and Susan Goodwin, Norman Vetter Inc. Poured Foundations, Bruce and Jennifer Rich, Carl and Beth Ann Siemon, the Wyatt Family, and Philip Zaeder and Sylvia Thayer. Thanks are due to many more businesses, organizations, and individual sponsors, co-sponsors and supporters and to numerous dedicated volunteers. More volunteers as well as business sponsors are needed! For more information, call 603-978-7125, email info@mmrg.info or visit www.mmrg.info/festival to see a Festival program of events.


Cameron Smith and his father take a turn with the crosscut saw to cut a ‘tree cookie’ from a pine log at the 2018 Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival. Photo by Jocelyn Smith.
Nature’s Playground at the Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival fetures a swing, hammock, a log to walk on, stumps to hop, and more outdoor play opportunities. Photo by David O’Connor
Poles and bait are available at the Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival for kids to try fishing in the Branch Hill Farm pond. Photo by David O’Connor. 
Poles and bait are available at the Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival for kids to try fishing in the Branch Hill Farm pond. Photo by David O’Connor.

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