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2011 Self-Guided Quests

In this year's Great Park Pursuit, each team had the opportunity to earn bonus points by participating in NH Biodiversity Self-Guided Quests. Quests are bonus activities teams could do on their own time to add extra adventure and points to the Great Park Pursuit challenge. Teams only earned bonus points for completing up to four of nine Quests, but we invited them to take part in more for added outdoor fun.

Congratulations to team Barber Style for their adventurous spirit and outstanding effort in completing our Quest!
Team Barber Style - Outstanding Self-Guided Quest  

“We joined the Great Park Pursuit this year at the urging of a friend, but we were not prepared for what happened to us: after spending most of the last five years close to our home in Manchester we discovered what a wealth of unforgettable activities and experiences were available to us through the NH Division of Parks and Recreation! The Great Park Pursuit provided just the framework for us to take the plunge and throw ourselves into exploring the New Hampshire wilderness. Our three children (ages 5, 9, and 10) each took something memorable from the various Great Park Pursuit events and activities, and day treks are now a part of our monthly diet! Thank you, Great Park Pursuit, for inspiring us to get out and experience what a special state we live in. We can't wait to participate again next year!" - Team Barber Style

For more insight into New Hampshire's beautiful natural landscapes, check out The Nature of New Hampshire: Natural Communities of the Granite State, NH Natural Heritage Bureau’s new guide to the state’s natural communities, available through the University Press of New England!

North Mountain, Pawtuckaway State Park

Biodiversity Lesson:  Natural System; species that reach their northern limit in southern NH; nutrient-enriched soils
Challenge:  Locate the Appalachian oak rocky ridge system; photograph at least three of the commont tree species - red oak, white pine, shagbark hickory, white oak, white ash, and ironwood. 
North Mountain Guide 

Great Bay Discovery Center Salt Marsh

Biodiversity Lesson:  Communities within a system; tolerant of salinity and varying water levels

  Locate the intertidal marsh communities; photograph the high salt marsh, low salt marsh, and salt pannes and pools communities. 
Great Bay Discovery Center Guide 

Rhododendron State Park

Biodiversity Lesson:  Two closely related species from heath family, characteristic of acidic soil

Challenge:  Locate and photograph giant rhododendron and mountain laurel. 
Rhododendron State Park Guide 

Ponemah Bog

Biodiversity Lesson:  Natural community sequence from upland to bog center

Challenge:  Locate and photograph highbush blueberry - mountain holly wooded fen, leatherleaf - sheep lauel shrub bog, Sphagnum rubellum - small cranberry moss carpet, and floating marshy peat mat communities. 
Ponemah Bog Guide 

Philbrick-Cricenti Bog

Biodiversity Lesson:  Acidic and nutrient poor setting; bog depth

Challenge:  Locate and photograph at least one carnivorous plant - pitcher plant, horned bladderwort, or sundew; photograph a team member holding the wooden pole used to measure peat mat depth (sign post #8).  
Philbrick-Cricenti Bog Guide 

Hurlbert Swamp

Biodiversity Lesson:  Northern white cedar southern limit of range; northern forest communities; northern forest wetland communities

Challenge:  Locate and photograph lowland spruce - fir forest, alder wooded fen, black spruce swamp, and northern white cedar - balsam fir swamp communities.
Hurlbert Swamp Guide 

Franconia Notch Old Forest

Biodiversity Lesson:  Old northern hardwood spruce - fir forest community characteristics

Challenge:  Locate and photograph: dead and downed wood (e.g., rotting logs, downed branches), dead standing snag, forest seep, yellow birch "barber chair."
Franconia Notch Old Forest Guide 

West Branch Pine Barrens Preserve

Biodiversity Lesson:  Pitch pine - scrub oak woodland community; fire dependent community

Challenge:  Locate and photograph pitch pine epicormic sprouting or stump sprouting, scrub oak, gray birch, bracken fern.
West Branch Pine Barrens Preserve Guide 

Merrimack River Conservation Area, Floodplain Forest

Biodiversity Lesson:  Floodplain natural communities

Challenge:  Locate and photograph vines, climbing trees, sandplain terrace, silver maple - false nettle - sensitive fern floodplain forest, silver maple with high water mark bleaching.
Merrimack River Floodplain Forest Guide 

Samples of 2011 Great Park Pursuit Completed Team Quests

Green Machine Self Guided Quest