Friends of Distant Hill

Making Nature Accessible to Everyone

aka Distant Hill Gardens and Distant Hill Nature Trail   |   Walpole, NH   |

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Friends of Distant Hill

EIN: 84-3765898


The Mission of Distant Hill is to make nature and the outdoors accessible to everyone, and to inspire children and adults, no matter their ability, to cultivate an intimate connection to the natural world through education, observation, and play. Our vision is to develop Distant Hill Gardens and Nature Trail into an accessible venue for environmental, horticultural, health, wellness, and nature-based classes, workshops, and research, and to make our 155-acres of land and all of its resources available to local educational facilities, educators, students, and the public.

Notes from the nonprofit

We are a fast growing small nonprofit dedicated to transparency and community engagement. As we expand our organization, we're committed to maintaining open communication and accountability with those we serve. Currently run entirely by volunteers, we recognize the need to soon hire an executive director to effectively manage our growing responsibilities and better serve our community.

Ruling year info


Chair (Volunteer)

Julie Pearson

Vice-Chair (Volunteer)

Peter Dunnigan

Main address

507 March Hill Road

Walpole, NH 03608 USA

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Subject area info

Environmental justice

Wildlife biodiversity

Plant biodiversity

Forest management

Environmental education

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Population served info

Children and youth


People with physical disabilities

NTEE code info

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Botanical Gardens, Arboreta and Botanical Organizations (C41)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Tax forms

Show Forms 990


What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

"Making Nature Accessible to Everyone" is not just the tagline for Distant Hill - it is our Mission. Nature has proven health benefits for relieving stress and helping to alleviate stress-related illnesses. But those with with mobility issues there is a serious lack of trails they can access in New England. The lack of equitable access to our public nature space for those with limited mobility is an environmental justice, and public health issue that needs correcting.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Distant Hill Gardens and Nature Trail

Distant Hill is a 155-acre property that lets visitors enjoy and connect with nature and the outdoors. The property consists of two distinct parts:

DISTANT HILL NATURE TRAIL has a two-mile network of wheelchair and stroller accessible trails and over three miles of hiking trails that are open daily, free of charge. There is a children's story book trail, a geology trail, a nature play area, ten vernal pools, and a boardwalk over a quaking cranberry bog to explore.

DISTANT HILL GARDENS is a two-acre shrub garden containing over 450 labeled plants, a raised-bed vegetable garden, a water feature and pond, lots of creative stone work including a thirty-foot diameter Stone Circle, and dozens of whimsical metal sculptures throughout. Distant Hill Gardens is open to the public on the first and third weekend of the month, May through October. We offer classes and workshops throughout the season on a wide range of environmental, horticultural, health, wellness, and nature-based topics.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
LGBTQ people
People with disabilities

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Distant Hill Nature Trail now has almost two miles of wheelchair and stroller accessible trail for visitors to explore and enjoy. But we are not done yet - we plan to add another 1,200 feet of accessible gravel trail during the summer and fall of 2024.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently


Friends of Distant Hill

Financial data

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Friends of Distant Hill

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: 2023

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Contributions, Grants, Gifts $47,952
Program Services $3,405
Membership Dues $0
Special Events $0
Other Revenue $0
Total Revenue $51,357
Program Services $50,235
Administration $6,003
Fundraising $0
Payments to Affiliates $0
Other Expenses $0
Total Expenses $56,239

Friends of Distant Hill

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: 2023

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total Assets $37,411
Total Liabilities $0
Fund balance (EOY)
Net Assets $37,411


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Chair (Volunteer)

Julie Pearson

Julie Pearson, the Chair/President of Friends of Distant Hill, is the Regional Director of Masiello Employment Services in Keene, NH. Julie excels at understanding the big picture in any situation and in setting a clear course of action, both at work as at the helm of the Friends of Distant Hill. She has an effective communications style along with strong leadership skills. Julie has over 15 years of experience in a variety of human resources and program director positions. She recently finished a three-year term as president of the Keene Rotary Club, and is still an active member.

Vice-Chair (Volunteer)

Peter Dunnigan

Pete is the Vice-President of Foard Panel in Chesterfield, NH, a custom builder of SIPs (aka Structural Insulated Foam Panels) for homes and commercial buildings. He has worked at Foard for over 15 years, and lives in Alstead, NH, with his wife Karen and their two teenage daughters, Olivia and Nora.

There are no officers, directors or key employees recorded for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Friends of Distant Hill

Board of directors
as of 04/11/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Julie Pearson

Friends of Distant Hill

Term: 2024 - 2025

Board co-chair

Pete Dunnigan

Friends of Distant Hill

Term: 2024 - 2025

Rowan Norlander-McCarty

Friends of Distant Hill

Allison Smith

Friends of Distant Hill

Michael Nerrie

Friends of Distant Hill

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable