Post 22, December 11, 2017
Thank you for twenty years of amazing staff, volunteers and partners!
As we head towards the end of 2017 and I realize I can’t possibly tell every story and mention every employee, intern, volunteer and partner that I have had the grace to work with over the past 20 years. This post is to only generally acknowledge some key players. To learn more, you are invited to peruse our website www.gmcg.org which is an archive of information of all the different folks who have intertwined with GMCG over the past twenty years. This has been the hardest post to put together as I am humbled by the wonderful people who I have had the grace to work with over the years. I am sorry to not name you each here but please know that you have been a key ingredient in GMCG’s success. No matter how small your contribution may have seemed to you, each hour, month, year or decade you gave to the organization has helped protect natural resources across the Ossipee Watershed since 1997. Thank you all so much.
As previously mentioned, Jennifer Smith worked for GMCG and passed the torch to our first salaried Program Director Tara Schroeder in 2004.
Tara was instrumental in expanding the water quality program, overseeing the creation of the Natural Resource Guide Book, guiding the Aquifer Protection Ordinance creation and adoption in 4 towns, mentoring hosts of interns and helping GMCG move from the office in Freedom to our home on Huntress Bridge Road in 2007.
One of Tara’s biggest gifts to GMCG was her creation of the youth water quality programs including the macroinvertebrate program for the 4th, 5th and 6th graders under the DES VBAP program. (Volunteer Biological Assessment Program) This program continues to be one of our most important water quality programs that engages youth as citizen scientists who help collect water samples every fall. Tara also introduced these same youth to GET WET!—youth well water studies and Trout in the Classroom.
Everyone who worked for her or under her as in intern, staff or volunteer from 2004-2011, enjoyed learning about water protection and non-confrontational advocacy. They also learned to respect the intense amount of work that the small staff was able to accomplish with limited resources.
Though “big shoes to fill” following Tara, Corey Lane moved into the position as the Water Quality Coordinator in 2013 and continued to grow the water research programs. She has overseen three years of intense work with the Watershed Management Plan for Ossipee Lake, helped create the Ten Year WQM report, expanded the Best Management Practices across the watershed, hosted the youth programs across the watershed in partnership with interns from PSU and UNH, and been a voice
for water protection across the Ossipee Watershed and into the greater Saco Watershed. Coming from the Saco River Corridor Commission in Maine, GMCG’s partner on Water Quality Monitoring programs, Corey was well versed in regulatory process as well as EPA protocol for the collection of water samples. Whether or not she was working with volunteers on the Lake or with students in local elementary schools, Corey brought the same passion and attention to detail for all her data collection work.
Another door closes but a window will open in 2018 for new staff and programs in GMCG’s new home—Blue Heron House—where we will have a designated Water Quality “lab.”
When Tara left GMCG, the education programs fell to the interns who were working under Corey. In 2017 we had the great fortune of hiring Dr. Karen Deighan from Ossipee as the Education Coordinator. Over this past year, Karen has been running the youth water literacy programs and completing the Watershed Literacy Curriculum which has just been delivered to Watershed Elementary Schools. Going forward in 2018 she will also be overseeing the Aquifer Advisory Board. She has some exciting plans for Blue Heron House for both youth and adult educational programs so please stay tuned on our website or like us on Facebook for more information.
The Land Trust work for the organization has largely happened thanks to incredible group of volunteers who head up the Land Trust Committee including, Peter Pohl, Susan Slack, Carol Felice, Bob Butcher, Kit Morgan and Dan Stepanauskas. Over the years we have also had part time staff help with Theresa Swanick and Chris Young and more recently with independent consultant Chris Kane.
Alas, this post is turning into a book and I still have a few more folks that I must name:
Dennis Finn, Executive Director, Saco River Corridor Commission who partnered with us to guide the formation of our shared Water Quality Monitoring program;
Trish Garrigan, EPA Boston for her advice on research and advocacy and for her recognition of our non-confrontational advocacy by sponsoring us to receive the 2006 EPA Environmental Merit Award;
Noreen Downs, former GMCG Board Chair and volunteer outreach and education coordinator;
Dave Downs, for all his help with office computers and tech stuff and for winter water sampling with Rich Dandeneau;
Tim White, who has religiously created a cartoon for EVERY SINGLE NEWSLETTER THAT WE HAVE PRODUCED.
ALL THE AMAZING VOLUNTEERS…………..
Partnerships with SPNHF, AUDUBON, TNC, LRCT, municipal officials in all seven towns, UNH, UNH CE, New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, NH DES, ME DEP, DHPWT,
Each summer, GMCG has had the opportunity to host interns for the camp programs and water quality monitoring. Through partnerships at UNH, UVM, Antioch, PSU and Bates College GMCG has engaged young enthusiastic staff for 2-3 months. Also through New Hampshire Lake Association, GMCG has been able to work with the Lake Host Program to staff the Pine River Boat Launch and hire local youth to help with that program. Each young person who I had the great fortune to meet and work with taught me something new and shared a new perspective with me about natural resource conservation that I have been able to incorporate into my work as Executive Director. I started to write down each person’s name whom I have worked with over the past 20 years and realized this would be too long to post. Instead I need to just say THANK YOU to all of you who came and shared your passion for conservation with GMCG.
……..so I think the best thing now is to STOP and invite you all to attend the 20th Birthday party on March 3, 2018 at The Restaurant at Province Lake where there will also be a slide show playing of all the incredible people we have worked with over the past 20 years!