A community gathering center. Four-season recreation. A center for conservation education. A tourism destination.
A working forest and Christmas Tree farm. An outdoor event venue. A living history site. A resource for forest landowners.
The Forest Society North at The Rocks will build on a tradition of conservation, education and innovation.
Assembled as a working farm by John Jacob Glessner in the late 19th century, The Rocks retains much of the grandeur of White Mountain retreats – exceptional period architecture, an Olmsted-designed garden, and a network of woodland trails. Since descendants of the Glessner family donated The Rocks to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests in 1978, the Forest Society has operated a vibrant Christmas tree farm and education center, while also managing the 1,400-acre property as a working forest. An average of 14,000 people annually visited The Rocks to participate in education programs, learn about maple sugaring, buy a Christmas tree, walk the dog and the kids, or explore its natural and cultural history in greater depth. But in February 2019, the main “Tool Building” that housed classrooms, offices and farm operations burned to the ground.
Now, the Forest Society has a vision for beginning the next chapter at The Rocks. The Tool Building left in its wake a panoramic view of the White Mountains and the potential for an exceptional outdoor event space. The 1884 Carriage Barn will undergo renovations that retain its grand stone and shingle-style character while converting the interior into an energy-efficient education center, with classrooms, event space, offices, and public facilities.
With the addition of a heated workshop at the “Red House," tree farm operations will be centered together in close proximity to the main Christmas tree fields, putting two great barns back into service. A covered pavilion, built from Forest Society-grown timber, will provide space for outdoor programs and Christmas tree and wreath sales.
Beyond the campus of The Rocks, the Forest Society’s investment in a headquarters north of the notches offers the opportunity for an expanded programmatic presence in northern New Hampshire. Over nine years of advocating for the forests and against the Northern Pass, the Forest Society heard the call – of conservation needs and opportunities to be met, and a more consistent role that the organization can play as a convener, educator, and economic engine to contribute to the North Country.
We hope you will help us answer this call. The Forest Society North at The Rocks campaign seeks to raise $7.5 million to invest in capital improvements at The Rocks and to create an operating endowment for the future. Over $3 million is committed to the project to date.
To expand and deepen the Forest Society’s presence in the North Country, to provide educational and recreational opportunities while also fostering a community of forest landowners and land stewards for generations to come
Capital Improvements will proceed in phases, including:
- Recontouring the landscape to maximize views of the White Mountains and provide spectacular outdoor venue space;
- Renovating the Carriage Barn as a Net-Zero energy-efficient public building with event space, classrooms, offices and Christmas tree sales;
- Constructing a new heated workshop and garage for Christmas tree farm operations, to be built by Garland Mill of Lancaster;
- Building a post-and-beam covered pavilion using Forest Society-grown red oak timbers, milled at Garland Mill's water powered sawmill.
We are certain that the next chapter at The Rocks will continue a story that weaves together both tradition and innovation, and a deep appreciation of the North Country.
For more information or to make a gift of stock or securities, please contact Anne Truslow, Vice President for Development, at email@example.com or (603) 224-9945