Twilight Meeting at Odiorne State Park

September 25, 2019 @ 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Odiorne State Park

NHLA / UNHCE are happy to announce their next Twilight Meeting, which will be at Odiorne Point State Park in Rye (570 Ocean Blvd.), 3:30-5:30 pm on September 25. There will be a tour and discussion about restoration work by the Rockingham County Conservation District and the State. They have been removing invasives and bringing back some of New Hampshire’s rarest native ecosystems such as coastal pitch pine forest, sand dunes, salt marshes, and barrier marshes. Light refreshments will be served.

Registration: Twilight Meetings are free, but registration is required. Please respond to Jon Batson.

2 Pesticide Credits will be awarded for attending this meeting.

More about the event and Odiorne Point State Park:
We’ll all meet at Sugden House at the Seacoast Science Center where the discussion and tour will begin, conducted by Tracy Degnan, Senior Project Manager, RCCD. Tracy has completed management of habitat restoration activities, invasive species control, and land protection projects for almost two decades with the District. Her work at Odiorne Point State Park spans almost one decade. Her primary responsibilities include project development, scheduling, and management of implementation for successful restoration/land protection projects.

Odiorne Point State Park covers 330 acres and is the largest undeveloped stretch of shore on New Hampshire’s eighteen mile coast. Located three miles south of Portsmouth on Route 1A in Rye, Odiorne offers an extensive array of habitats. On the south end of the park, sheltered tide pools of the Sunken Forest give way to an exposed rocky shore. Just north, the shore evolves into a pebble beach which shelters a fresh water marsh. Along the way to Frost Point where a jetty extends into Little Harbor, lies a small sand dune environment. At the end of Little Harbor, Seavey Creek feeds the neighboring salt marsh.

Extensive inland disturbances during World War II induced the growth of dense forests in various stages of succession. Large stone walls bound open fields. Fresh water systems are represented within the park by a man-made pond and marsh. Remnants of formal gardens and wildflowers grow side by side; and the man-made military bunkers lie hidden under mounds of earth.

The English came to the area in 1623 to fish and trade with the natives. In 1660 John Odiorne joined the settlement that would later bear his name. The area was farmed until after the civil war when farming gradually gave way to a colony of hotels and large summer homes

In 1942 the federal government purchased all the property from Little Harbor to the Sunken Forest, as well as the adjacent marshland and became known as Fort Dearborn. For nearly 20 years, it was part of the chain of coastal defenses that protected Portsmouth Harbor and the naval shipyard.

In the late 1950s Fort Dearborn was declared surplus property. It was sold to the state of New Hampshire for $91,000 in 1961 and became a state park in the mid 70’s.

Today, Odiorne Point State Park is open daily year-round. Picnickers can enjoy sweeping views of the ocean and rocky shore, and explorers can uncover evidence of past military occupation. An extensive network of trails, including a paved bike path, wind through the dense vegetation and traverse the park. The Seacoast Science Center, which is located in the park, has exhibits relating to the natural and human history of Odiorne and the seacoast area.

Light refreshments will be available.

Registration: Twilight Meetings are free, but registration is required. Please respond to Jon Batson.

Odiorne Point State Park
Odiorne Point State Park
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