Town of Norwich, Vermont

Town offices:

300 Main St.
(802) 649-1419


Milton Frye Nature Area Committee (MFNAC)

The MFNAC manages the 35 acre Norwich Nature Area which is owned by the Town of Norwich and conserved by the Upper Valley Land Trust.

From the center of Norwich, take Main Street toward I-91 and turn left at the east end of the green, in front of the Marion Cross School where a historic sign marks the Theta Chi Fraternity. Follow the driveway toward the Marion Cross School and turn into the 1st parking lot on the right. The trailhead is at the end of the lot.

MFNAC Members
Corin Benedict
Kristen Brown
Matt Buck
George Clark
Kate Emlen
Becky French
Bill Hammond
Justin Hybels
Phyllis Katz
Tracey Kawecki
Lindsay Putnam, Chair
Beth Ryan
Brie Swanson
Warren Thayer
Stan Williams

The Committee meets on the first Thursday of every month that school is in session at 3:30 PM in the Marion Cross School Library.  All are welcome.



UVLT’s Conservation Easement Monitor Training Sat, April 7, 8:30am – 2:30pm


19 Buck Road, Hanover, NH; Outdoor portion: Norwich Nature Area, adjacent to Marion Cross School, Norwich, VT.


Do you like hiking off trail? Do you enjoy visiting beautiful places? Join the Upper Valley Land Trust’s team of volunteer easement stewards to monitor conserved properties around the region. Join us Saturday April 7th 8:30am – 2:30pm at UVLT’s Office, 19 Buck Road, Hanover, NH. This training includes an indoor session with general easement information and instruction on using a map and compass; as well as an outdoor portion for hands-on field practice. To register please call UVLT’s Stewardship Coordinator, Jason Berard at (603) 643-6626 ext.110 or email

Recent Norwich program organized by the Milton Frye Nature Area Committee:

1) On Sunday January 24, 2010, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, Alcott Smith, a distinguished naturalist of the Upper Valley, is to lead a public snowshoe walk to see animal tracks and other highlights of winter natural history. This walk has been organized by the Milton Frye Nature Area Committee of Norwich. Donations of $15 per person or $25 per family are requested. Please preregister by calling (802) 649-1668. Road instructions are provided below.

Please bring snowshoes and expect to be snowshoeing off-trail over a variety of terrain including steep slopes. Clothing should enable moving at a good pace yet suitable to keep warm while standing at interesting sites. The presentation is at an adult level, and older children with an adult are welcome.

Road route: From Exit 13 on I-91, turn toward the village of Norwich. Upon entering the village, take the first right onto a paved road, which passes between the Town Green on the left and St Barnabas church on the right. Continue past the Marion Cross School on the left and then turn into the parking lot on the right. There the field trip is to begin at 1:00 PM. Depending on snow conditions at that time, carpooling might be needed to reach a favorable site for tracking.

Past programs from 2009 (Look for some of these to be repeated annually):

1) Old Apple Tree Pruning Clinic.  Held on March 22, 2009 12-3 PM.

2) Wildflower Identification and Photography, presented on Saturday April 25, 2009, from 10:00 AM to Noon. Bring a digital camera and garner tips on composition. Naturalist Donna Nelson will identify wildflowers in the Norwich nature area, while artist Kate Emlen will talk about different ways to compose your photos of them.
This program is free and open to the public. Any donations to support the programs of the Milton Frye Nature Area Committee will be gratefully received. To pre-register, please call 649-2523. Route instructions to the starting point are provided below. If unfortunately there should be steady rain on that morning, this program will be canceled.

3) Birdwalk, presented on Saturday May 16, 1009, from 7:00 to 10 AM. Bring binoculars if available; a field guide might be useful but not needed to participate. George Clark will be identifying spring migrants and other birds. This program is free and open to the public. Any donations to support the programs of the Milton Frye Nature Area Committee will be gratefully received. To pre-register, please email george.clark AT my Emails are to be acknowledged. The number of participants is limited, and preference given to the earliest pre-registrants.  Route instructions to the starting point are provided below.

4) Trail Work and Invasive Plant Control, presented on Upper Valley Trails Day, Saturday June 6, 2009, from 9:00 AM to Noon. Help with cleanup on trails in the Norwich nature area, and assist in removal of invasive plants such as buckthorn and barberry. Bring work gloves, shovels, clippers, and other digging and pruning tools.  This program is free and open to the public. No pre-registration required. Route instructions to the starting point are provided below.

To reach the Norwich nature area:
From Exit 13 off I-91, turn towards the village of Norwich. Entering the village along Main Street, take the first right onto a paved road which then passes between the Town green on the left and St. Barnabas Church on the right. Continue past the Marion Cross School on the left, and then turn right into the parking lot which will be the starting site for the program.

Vision Statement
The MFNAC strives to engage the community in the continuing restoration of the Norwich Nature Area into a place where the community actively experiences and learns about this beautiful diverse environment.

The management plan for the area states in part that the area is … “part of a buffer that helps define the transition from the automobile-dominated highways to the slower, more pedestrian-oriented village streets. (But) the land will be far more than a static buffer.  Norwich will treasure and use it as a convenient community resource, as a place to go to enjoy and learn about Vermont’s forests and fields.  It will also provide a scenic entry to our village. We recognize that previous stewards of this land cleared and used it as pasture, for maple sugaring and as an orchard.  Norwich will use this land to benefit the community while conserving the biological productivity of the site. Its undeveloped character and proximity to the Marion Cross School makes this land an ideal site for an outdoor classroom.  Faculty, staff and volunteers will use it as a real-life laboratory to help students explore a wide variety of topics.  For example, students gain a better appreciation of ecology, creative writing, environmental ethics, stewardship and management of forest, wetlands and open habitats when they are outdoors.  We mean for this close-to-the-land learning to extend to all members of the community. The land will also be used as a park where residents and guests can enjoy walks in the woods, picnics, and other low-impact recreation.  Sponsors may use the area as an outdoor site for community and social events such as the annual May Day celebration, Revels, outdoor performances, and other summer and cultural events.  It is permissible to erect temporary structures such as theater sets and maypoles, as directed herein. Past and present uses of the land include: farming (forestry, grazing, maple sugaring, orchard, agriculture, haying, etc), recreation (walking, jogging, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing), education (outdoor classrooms for nature, science, art, literature, social studies), guided nature walks, birding, tracking, wildlife inventory, orienteering, playing, picnics, stewardships studies, cultural events (Marion Cross School’s May Festival, Revels, assorted theatrical performances, occasional fire department-authorized launch of fireworks, etc). Similar uses of the land should be supported and encouraged in the future, when conducted in a manner that protects the natural attributes of the property.”

Support the Nature Area
Cards for sale from original oil paintings by Kate Emlen Chamberlin. Available at Dan and Whit’s in the card section, or the Marion Cross School office, proceeds from these beautiful cards go to support educational programming in the Nature Area. The cost is $12 for a pack of 8 cards; 4 each of two different Nature Area scenes.

Individual donations to support educational programming are always appreciated, and may be made payable to Norwich Nature Center, mailed to NNC, c/o Lindsay Putnam, Treasurer, PO Box 467, Norwich, VT. 05055

Milton Frye Nature Area

Norwich Nature Trails

Milton Frye Management Plan

Old Apple Tree Pruning Clinic