Backyard landscape

Nature in Your Backyard Tour - Durham, Dover and Newmarket

Durham Conservation Commission

25 Mill Pond Road
Durham, NH 03824
United States

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High Adventure




About the Event

Are you curious about pollinators? Or frustrated by invasive plants? Are you interested in sustainable approaches to landscaping that can improve wildlife habitat value on your property? Join Extension and the Durham Conservation Commission for a Nature in Your Backyard Tour.

The tour will highlight 4 properties in the Seacoast area that feature different approaches to ecological landscaping and enhancing wildlife habitat on small acreages. Landowners will guide participants on a walking tour of each property. Tours will last approximately 40 minutes.

The event will start at the Milne Sanctuary in Durham, where you will have the opportunity to hear about the history and stewardship of this town-owned parcel and its native plantings before heading out to visit the three additional tour properties.

Additional information on parking and tour locations will be provided upon registration. Tour attendees will rotate between the remaining three sites with tours beginning at 10:30 am, 11:30 am and 12:30 pm.

Tour Sites and Descriptions:

Durham: The landowners' primary goal in planting much of their one-acre landscape is to support "ecological effectiveness" - a successful relationship between and among insects, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, and the plants themselves; all existing in a harmonious relationship in support of a healthy ecosystem. Their original inspiration to develop this landscape was spurred by the work of entomologist and writer Doug Tallamy of the University of Delaware. The property was a cattle pasture as recently as the 1950’s, and the landowners have worked with several local native plant professionals and experts in its current design, planting, and efforts at invasive plant removal. They have also incorporated the surrounding woodland landscape into the design and functionality of the space.

Dover: This 6-acre property has been tended by the landowners for more than 5 years. The landscape is a mix of meadows, forest edges, wetlands, perennial gardens, honeybee hives, and a greenhouse for growing vegetables and native plants. Each year they have adapted their management strategies, letting seasonal meadows go un-mowed to increase forage for pollinators and managing invasive plants. This tour will focus on their technique for optimizing compost processing from onsite materials, such as grass clippings, and incorporation into their plantings. They will also discuss their process for native plant propagation.

Newmarket: The landowners have been creating and experimenting with landscaping for wildlife, beauty, and food on their one-acre yard for 25 plus years. They enjoy growing vegetables, herbs, fruiting shrubs and trees for themselves and to share with the local wildlife. To keep up with the needs of the wildlife that visit their property they have learned to adjust by overproducing or changing how or what they grow. They incorporate native plants as much as possible and let nature do its thing in some corners of their yard. They love to watch bees, flies, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators drawn to their yard. Turtles, turkeys, foxes, deer, bear, opossum, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, and many other wildlife visit too. As the climate changes, trees grow taller, invasives invade, and they are constantly thinking about how to be more sustainable and reduce our impact on the planet.

Cost: Free, but registration is required.

What to bring

The entire event will be held outside, please dress appropriately for the weather. Bring snacks and water.


Contact Rebecca DiGirolomo at or 603-749-2529.

Location Details