Post 16, August 21, 2017
Amidst all the advocacy and early GMCG Programs, we were invited by the Chocorua Lake Association, now the Chocorua Lake Conservancy,(specifically Dwight Baldwin and Toby Page of the CLA) to join forces and hire an AmeriCorp Volunteer to partner together to create a water quality monitoring program for the Watershed and to work together on more education and outreach.
Gale Munson (Kendall Foundation), Susan Slack (GMCG), and Dwight Baldwin (CLA) 2001
Personally I remember well how this information was received both with enthusiasm and with worry—-How could we possibly have “staff” when we didn’t even have an office? And how could we begin a new program when there were so many advocacy issues on the table? For those of you who know Dwight and Toby, they are very good at relieving any stress about problems and only were full of enthusiasm saying: “this is the perfect time to partner and create a Watershed-wide Water Quality program.”
Since GMCG had also been speaking with our partners at the Saco River Corridor Commission (SRCC) and their director Dennis Finn about possibly creating such a program, the timing did seem right.
Dennis Finn of Saco River Corridor Commission presented information about their newly formed Water Quality Monitoring Program at Watershed Weekend 2000.
At CLA’s urging, we agreed to meet with the staff at NH DES and the then Director of the non-point source water division, Eric Williams, and it was impossible to say “no” to both a new staff person and a great new program.
In 2001 and 2002, we worked as three organizations, GMCG, CLA and NH DES to hire our very first staff person, Brianne Fowles (now Brianne Goodwin.) For folks who remember Brianne, she was a perfect fit for the watershed. Fresh out of Vermont Law School with a degree in Environmental Law and a heart full of passion for people and the Earth, Brianne moved easily into the community and housesat for one of the CLA members. Since we still were at the “kitchen table” her office was my sewing room and her first desk was actually an old sewing machine. Bringing her own laptop, she was not daunted by any of this, though I do remember her parents from the mid-west visiting and she and I were both aware that they were very “surprised” about her “new job.”
Brianne’s first day at GMCG August 2001
Over the next year, Brianne worked closely with SRCC, NH DES, UNH, UNH Cooperative Extension (UNH CE) and CLA to create the Volunteer –run Water Quality Monitoring program.
Larry Leavitt and Fred Van Cor, who sadly are no longer with us, were our very first volunteers.
While this program would be tweaked over the years, it was Brianne’s work and CLA, NH DES and UNH who really helped jump start what has become a very critical program for water protection for GMCG.
(The Ossipee Watershed tributary water quality program typically runs from April until October with volunteers collecting water samples every other week. However, this year, due to tight funding, we will have to end the program early.)
In celebration of Green Mountain Conservation Group’s 20th Birthday (May 1, 1997-May 1 2017) we will be posting Memories on Mondays in May through September on the GMCG Facebook page and on our website www.gmcg.org. If you would like to be part of this journey please “like” Green Mountain Conservation Group on our Facebook page. We are trying to raise funds for our new home—-The Patricia and Charles Watts Conservation Center also known as the Blue Heron House on the Ossipee River and expansion of staff needed to run our programs. We are doing this online through this campaign by asking you to consider a gift of $20 in honor of our 20th Birthday. Do you have a connection to the Ossipee Watershed? Did you know a former staff person or Board member over the past 20 years who you would like to honor? Can you also invite your own friends and families who have connections to this Watershed or a specific person and ask for a contribution too? Please feel free to forward our posts and information. THANK YOU.
Donations can be made to : CLICK HERE
Each gift of $1000 raised in a specific person’s name will honor that person with a plaque on a rocking chair. For example—if you send in a donation of $20 in a staff or previous board member’s name, that will be tracked and recorded as a gift to honor that specific person. If you can help by inviting 50 friends to do the same then you will have helped raise $1000 and that person and you will have your name on one of our porch rocking chairs.
Blair Folts, GMCG Executive Director
To access previously posted 20 Years of Memories, look to the right hand margin.