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The Rocks Estate News

The Rocks Estate kicks off the summer season with its annual Wildflower Festival June 4. The day-long event will feature programs on the intriguing history of The Rocks, the flora growing there, beekeeping, and mushroom identification and foraging.

As part of the Wildflower Festival, The Rocks will offer two guided tours of the Mile Path, an area normally off-limits to visitors. Led by Rocks Estate manager Nigel Manley and wildflower enthusiasts Ann Gruczka and Ginny Jeffryes, the tours will include discussion of the estate’s storied history, the array of plants growing there, and the forestry work done as part of the property’s long-range forest management plan. “Guests will get to see some of the favorite places of the Glessner family, who built The Rocks Estate and spent many summers here,” said Manley. “We’ll also explain the forestry work done this winter as part of our ongoing effort to protect the cultural sites here and to enhance wildlife habitat on the property.”

Manley recommends reserving a spot for either the morning or afternoon tour. Each allows only 20 people, and they generally fill quickly. Beyond these tours, the Wildflower Festival will include presentations on beekeeping and mushroom foraging. Local beekeeping enthusiast Geoff Gadapee will share the insight and lessons he’s learned as an apiarist, focusing on the needs of our local ecosystem and explaining the materials and equipment needed for developing a backyard hive. Gadapee considers beekeeping a true vocation, with the synergy between apiarists and their bees sustaining for both. He started working with bees as a hobby in his spare time and, with his father and a few local friends, has developed a thriving North Country association that meets monthly. Weather permitting, a few volunteers may be able to assist in a hands-on hive inspection. Because bees may sting when provoked, participants who are or may be allergic, should be aware and prepared to take precautions.

Local naturalist Steve Sabre will present “A Walk in the Woods with a Fun gi,” his program on mushrooms. Sabre’s program will focus on locating, identifying, and collecting the amazing variety of mushrooms found in our own back yards. Sabre regularly leads naturalist walks and talks for conservation commissions, civic groups, schools and the general public on a wide variety of topics from mushroom foraging to animal tracking.

The Wildflower Festival is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on June 4. Cost for the program is $10 per person, and participants should bring a brown bag lunch to enjoy at the property. For more information, program times and to reserve a place on the tour, please visit, e-mail, or call 603-444-6228.


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