Tax Lot #409 64-1 33 acres
The following Intent of Use was approved by The Gilsum Zoning Board of Adjustment on September 14, 2006
The Sustainability Project Inc. intends to use its land holdings in Emerson Brook Forest to create a universally (wheelchair) accessible outdoor learning center inspired and informed by the presenting characteristics of the land. The purpose of the center is to:
a. promote an understanding and love of the natural world,
b. promote environmental stewardship and
c. offer learning opportunities for a continuum of skills that reflect the most conscious regard for the health of the planet and the well-being of future generations.
The new center will include a parking area, accessible interpretive nature trails, a yurt, 1-2 approved pit privies, a visitor center structure, 2 lean-tos, 1-2 tent platforms, a teepee, 1-2 small sheds to house tools and/or livestock, an outdoor performance area, a contained fire area and gardens; both perennial and annual.
The Sustainability Project will continue to develop collaborative relationships with educational institutions within the Monadnock Region, such as the Keene and Monadnock School Districts, The Monadnock Environmental Studies Academy, Keene State College and Antioch of New England. In the past we have conducted field trips, after school and overnight programming for the Gilsum-Sullivan-Surry Elementary School students at our existing center. In the coming years, with primary consideration for preserving the integrity of the Emerson Brook Forest, we expect to increase our capacity to serve as a local resource for nature studies.
Summer and after school youth programs, daylong and weekend workshops, designed primarily for groups of 12-18 people are planned. Larger group activities such as programs involving elementary school students, volunteer workdays and “open house” gatherings will also occur. During the larger events that will occur 8-10 times a year, we anticipate up to 75 people, generally for several hours at a time.
The variance for the new TSP property (for road frontage and non-profit use) shall include the following conditions:
a) no subdivision shall be allowed
b) no residential development or use shall be allowed
c) no permanent structures shall be allowed (ie no below grade continuous solid foundation)
d) maximum number of persons on site shall be 75
e) maximum number of vehicles parked on site shall be 6
f) no utilities shall be brought in to site
g) the parties acknowledge that changes in use are subject to ZBA approval