Student raises $1,000 for stewardship of Abe Emerson Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary

Posted on October 18, 2011

by Phil Brown, Director of Land Management

Those of you who regularly read the E-field journal may recall reading about Hannah Dukerschein. Hannah, a 16-year old student and Candia resident, decided to get creative in helping NH Audubon raise much-needed stewardship funding for the place she loves – Abe Emerson Marsh in Candia. This summer, Hannah asked friends and family to make pledges to sponsor her on a climb of Mount Washington. She succeeded, and was able to raise $1,000 for the sanctuary!

With the funds raised, Hannah has requested that some of it be used for development of a new kiosk and signage at the sanctuary. She believes that with additional visitor services, the sanctuary will become more used and cared for by those in the area. With Hannah’s help, NH Audubon will be able to lead spring field trips to the sanctuary next year and, hopefully, generate more stewardship of the property. NH Audubon is also planning a spring work day here next April that will address some of the blowdowns and beaver flooding that have made hiking here difficult in the recent past.

This place is special to Hannah for a number of reasons, and it has helped develop her interests in conservation biology. One such reason may be that she is a descendent of the Emerson family, who donated the 103-acre property to NH Audubon back in the 70’s – and have lived in Candia for 230 years. Hannah and her father, Doug, are the regular sanctuary stewards of Abe Emerson Marsh. They often work on the trails clearing downed branches, re-routing the trail when beavers flood the marsh (a chronic problem for public access here), and pick up garbage bags full of beer cans and the like from several hundred feet of road frontage (another chronic problem here). But, her interests at Abe Emerson Marsh don’t stop here. Next spring, Hannah plans to get involved with plant and animal monitoring through NH Audubon’s Phenology Project, which looks at the timing of natural occurrences on our sanctuaries in relation to a changing climate and other conditions.

Hannah’s initiative is truly inspiring, and it’s just one example of how sanctuary stewards can do more for the places they love. Please contact Phil Brown at (603) 224-9909×334 or at for more information about becoming a sanctuary steward or for details about volunteering at Abe Emerson Marsh.