The Hippo


Apr 26, 2019








Live animal presentations will be held throughout the weekend. Courtesy photo.


Saturday, Sept. 23
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Petting Farm
11:30 a.m. Wildlife Encounters – live animal show
12:30 p.m. Honey Bee Talk
1 p.m. Harmonica Saints – live music
2 p.m. North American Birds of Prey presented by Wingmasters
3 to 4 p.m. guided hike
3 to 4 p.m. Tina & Sierra & Friends – live music
4 p.m.  North American Birds of Prey presented by Wingmasters
Sunday, Sept. 24
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Petting Farm – presented by Carriage Shack
Noon to 1 p.m. Robie Bones – live music
1 to 1:50 p.m. Eyes on Owls
2 to 3 p.m. guided hike
2 to 3 p.m. Kip Ferguson – live music
3 to 3:50 p.m. Eyes on Owls
4 to 5 p.m. Robie Bones – live music
Beaver Brook Fall Festival and Nature Art Show
When: Saturday, Sept. 23, and Sunday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: The Beaver Brook Association (117 Ridge Road, Hollis)
Cost: Free
Visit: or call 465-7787

Fall into festivities
Beaver Brook showcases art and nature

By Ethan Hogan

 Discover southern New Hampshire nature through hikes, tours through themed gardens, encounters with wildlife and nature-inspired art at the Beaver Brook Fall Festival and Nature Art Show.

The festival will feature nature-themed art from locally based artists alongside a weekend of nature activities and educational talks. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, and Sunday, Sept. 24.
Artwork from 60 local artists will be on display in the center’s 150-year-old barn, including pieces in mixed media, paintings, photographery and ceramics. According to Joyce Woodrow, finance director at the Beaver Brook organization, the barn is attached to a renovated 200-year-old farmhouse that the organization prides itself in preserving. 
“We really have stayed true to the structures and there is a lot of history here that many people who come are interested in,” said Woodrow.
The barn and farmhouse are part of the Maple Hill Farm complex, originally built in the 1700s and restored by the Beaver Brook Association. The artwork featured in the barn during the festival has to focus on nature.
“It has to be nature-themed, and there should be nothing manmade as the focal point,” said Woodrow.
The show was created by Ellen Nichols, wife of Beaver Brook co-founder Hollis Nichols, in 1981 as a two-week local-artist showcase. It has since morphed into a weekend fall festival with activities that include more than art. 
There will be interactive presentations to educate guests about wildlife in the area and a guided hike through the woods to teach guests about the work the Beaver Brook Association does with land preservation and stewardship, according to Woodrow.
The Wingmasters, a Massachusetts-based predatory bird rehabilitation group, will have two hour-long presentations on Saturday with live raptors, including eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. Carriage Shack Farms of Londonderry will bring rabbits, chickens and sheep for guests to interact with at the mini petting zoo. 
Tara Happy, an assistant education director at the Beaver Brook Association, will be giving guided hikes during the festival, taking guests through a section of  the 33 miles of trail at Beaver Brook.
The hour-long hike is intended to be a sample of the trails of the area. Happy said the hike will be easy and will focus on showing hikers the highlighting features of the forest, including the bridges, streams, ponds and bluebird nesting areas.
“It’s really easy to find a real challenging hike here but the one we’ll be doing at the festival is a little excursion to get a taste of what’s out there,” said Happy.
Working with school field trips and camps, Happy said, she has seen kids interact with nature in many different ways.
“It’s really fun seeing kids experience the outdoors and not having the stress of going to the next activity. They can just enjoy the wilderness at their own pace,” said Happy, “and you sometimes have the little kiddo who starts off maybe afraid of frogs but then finds one and then thinks it’s really cool and then is out there trying to find more frogs.”
Happy said the tour will likely scare away the bigger animals found around Beaver Brook, but hikers have reported seeing porcupines, snakes, orioles and chickadees. 
There will also be self-guided tours of the 12 themed perennial gardens, which Nichols said are tended to by volunteers who have green thumbs but no gardens of their own. 
Maple Hill Farm will be selling home-baked apple crisp, apple pie and soups over the weekend. Live music played by local bands will fill the weekend’s schedule during the ongoing activities, Woodrow said. On Saturday, the Harmonica Saints and Tina & Tierra & Friends will perform live, and Robie Bones and Kip Ferguson will play Sunday.
The Beaver Brook Association is a nonprofit preservation and education center that presides over 2,000 acres of natural forest, and its fall festival helps raise money for the organization while teaching guests about nature through art and activities. The buildings and grounds have remained true to the history of its barns and the forest that surrounds them. 
“It’s like stepping back in time,” Woodrow said. 

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