HISTORY OF BBA
Hollis Nichols was born and raised in the Greater Boston area spending his boyhood summers on the family farm in Hollis, NH. He was an Alumni, Treasurer and Trustee of Roxbury Latin School in Boston MA. He conceived the idea of affiliating Beaver Brook with Roxbury Latin to provide an outdoor natural science experience for the urban school.
Hollis had a passion for land stewardship practices and land protection. His particular interests in agriculture, horticulture, and land protection were demonstrated by his generous contributions to Beaver Brook over the years. The organization was started with his donation of the Nichols family summer home and surrounding 18 acres. Along with his wife Ellen, Hollis established funds dedicated to acquiring future parcels of land for Beaver Brook.
His other passion was fostering a greater awareness and appreciation of our heritage through innovation and practical restoration of old buildings. One excellent example is the Maple Hill Farm home of the Beaver Brook offices and its complex of buildings.
“Once an area is diverted to residential use the cost of its reclamation for natural purposes becomes prohibitive” HPN
Beaver Brook Association was established by cousins Hollis Nichols and Jeff Smith in 1964 as a nonprofit land conservation and environmental education organization. Today it is one of the largest land trusts and nature based learning centers in southern New Hampshire and neighboring Massachusetts. With 35 miles of hiking trails, 2.187 acres of protected land, and programming for 15,000+ visitors annually, Beaver Brook provides a unique opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and learn more about the natural world. BBA trails and gardens are open to the public from dawn to dusk 365 days a year.
Funding for Beaver Brook is made possible by public support through memberships and contributions, revenue from Educational Programs, Foundation Grants and an Endowment Fund.
Jeffrey P. Smith
Jeff Smith renowned Conservationist and Naturalist was born and raised in the Greater Boston Area. As a young boy he spent many summers with the family of his Uncle Charles Nichols in Hollis, NH. As an adult he made Hollis NH his permanent home as a farmer, forester, logger and horticulturist. He operated Buttonwood Farm in Hollis for more than 40 years and contributed a significant amount of his own land to help establish Beaver Brook.
Jeff was a man of action, a teacher who could inspire and motivate, and a self-taught naturalist of the first order. He shared his knowledge with an enthusiasm that was infectious. His teaching and work to protect the heritage of southern New Hampshire and neighboring Massachusetts has touched generations of area residents.
Over the years Jeff served as selectman for the Town of Hollis and was a founding member of the Nissitissit River Land Trust. He was a member of the Hollis Conservation Commission, Nashua River Watershed Association and Society for the protection of NH Forests along with many other statewide conservation organizations.
“Beaver Brook will become an island of green in a sea of humanity” JPS
35 miles of trails to enjoy, 12 theme gardens at Maple Hill Farm and programs for all ages year round.
Hiking, Gardens & Trails open to the public!
Beaver Brook Association is a non-profit nature education center and conservation area located in Hollis, Brookline & Milford, NH. Hike on any of our 35 miles of well-maintained, mapped trails. Beaver Brook promotes responsible natural resource management and environmental awareness through school field trips, scouting events, summer camps, birthday parties, adult workshops, guided hikes, Snowschool ™, letterboxing, gardening and volunteer opportunities.