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WWW festival boasts some new attractions, many returning favorites

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A family enjoys petting a sheep brought by Ruth Scruton's Traveling Barnyard.(Courtesy/MMRG photo)

MILTON MILLS - The 15th annual Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival will take place on Saturday, Aug., 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Branch Hill Farm.

Presented by Moose Mountains Regional Greenways and Branch Hill Farm, this day-long celebration of the great outdoors is an occasion for families to have fun, explore and learn about the natural world together.

The WWW Festival will appeal to all animal and wildlife lovers, with many opportunities for both children and adults to get up close and personal with a variety of living creatures. Families can feed and pet barnyard animals or observe and learn about rescued wildlife. There are fish to be caught in the farm pond, draft horses to watch at work, animal pelts to touch in the Mountain Man's Hut, and a tunnel that gives kids a worm's view of life in the soil.

All the favorite festival activities will be back this year, including "Kids Discover the Forest and Nature's Playground," which allows families to explore and explore among the ferns and tall trees.

Two differently themed hayrides run all day, giving everyone a choice and chance to ride. Volunteer instructors from NH Fish & Game provide poles and bait to kids for fishing in a nearby pond.

There will also be guided family forest walks and displays of rescued wild animals from the Squam Lakes Wildlife Workshop.

Volunteers from the NH Farm Museum, local craftsmen, and a horse logging operation will also demonstrate traditional rural skills.

The York River Ramblers will also be back as featured entertainment.

The festival takes place rain or shine. Homemade salads, desserts, hot grilled food, and cold smoothies will be on sale along with T-shirts and raffle baskets of local fresh produce and other items. Rest rooms and most events are wheelchair accessible. No pets please. The cost is $5/person or $10/family and free to ages 12 and under and to MMRG members; all events are included in the admission price. For more information, including a tentative program of events, visit www.mmrg.info/festival.

Festival proceeds and business sponsorships support MMRG's land conservation and educational outreach mission. MMRG is grateful to its festival underwriters, the Siemon Company and Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust. MMRG would like to thank the following major sponsors: Bruce and Jennifer Rich, the Hays-Dombrower Family, Carl and Beth Siemon, and the Wyatt Family.

Thanks are also due to many more business, organizational, and individual sponsors and supporters and to the dedicated volunteers who have already signed up to help out. More volunteers are needed; please call Kari Lygren at 603-978-7125 or email info@mmrg.info. A few business sponsorships of festival events are still available; please contact Amy Gardner at amy.mmrg@gmail.com.

Moose Mountains Regional Greenway is a non-profit land trust serving Brookfield, Farmington, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Wakefield, and Wolfeboro (see www.mmrg.info). Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust is a private operating foundation (see www.branchhillfarm.org).

Branch Hill Farm is located at 307 Applebee Road, Milton Mills.

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