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Town Report recognizes trail, remembers local farmer

February 24, 2021
MEREDITH – The town's annual report is available online with a cover featuring the Laverack Nature Trail at Hawkins Brook and dedicated to a local man with a long history of agriculture and conservation.

A digital copy of the annual report can be found on front page of the town's Web site, medredithnh.org, and physical copies will be available the first week of March.

The front cover features an aerial shot of The Laverack Trail at Hawkins Brook and the back cover features its outdoor classroom.

The trail was completed and dedicated in 2020 after an eight-year effort by the Village Pathways Committee. The report features a brief history of the project, including how much of the $600,000 cost was helped by donations and grants and how a major donation by Meredith Village Savings Bank in the name of Sam Laverack resulted in the trail's formal name.

The nearly half-mile trail with 1,450 feet of boardwalk also features outdoor classroom. The back cover of the town report features students and teachers in that classroom.

The town report is dedicated to John M. Hodsdon, who passed away on Nov. 7, 2020. In the dedication written by Community Development Director John Edgar, his family has owned Longridge Farm since 1804 and he grew up on the farm. His nephew Ward Bird and his family now manage the farm as Picnic Rock Farm, the seventh generation of family members to do so.

In 2004 Hodsdon granted the town an easement on the property to preserve its agricultural, cultural, forestry, and scenic resources. He was also one of the first members of the Waukewan Watershed Committee, served on the New Hampshire Farm Bureau's State Policy Development Committee "and contributed to the development of water quality standards, Current Use law, and GMO legislation." He also received the Profile Award from the New Hampshire Farm Bureau.

"John's intellect, subtle disposition and deeply held commitment to conservation will be sorely missed by all that had the opportunity to work with him," Edgar wrote.

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Varney Smith
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