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Raymond Community News


Lamprey River Eco-Center Trail Opening For Visitors
By Penny Williams 12-05-16

The Lamprey River Elementary School Eco-Center at Carroll Beach is slowly coming into being, made possible by a partnership among individuals and organizations. The Raymond Eco-Center Advisory Committee is spearheading the development of the area, and the effort has been financed by several area boards.

The Advisory Committee partnered with the Raymond Conservation Commission, the Raymond School District, the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership and the University of New Hampshire to design and develop the school’s Eco-Center.

Sitting between the school and the Lamprey River is a trail system that will be developed with interpretive signage to create an educational experience for students, educators, nature lovers and members of the general public. The trail and the interpretive signs will provide an opportunity for participants to explore and learn about the river’s habitats and functions, organizers say.

The interpretive signs are key to allowing educators to present students with information while they experience the natural beauty of the area, and for everyone to learn more about the complex eco-systems that complement the Lamprey River. A variety of soils are in close proximity to each other and support specific flora and fauna. The plant and animal life range from water lilies to eastern white pine trees, and from water beetles and amphibians to osprey.

The Lamprey River itself is made up of a series of tributaries that combine to create the river that flows downstream to the Great Bay Estuary. The Lamprey River watershed covers approximately 214 square miles and 14 communities, starting in the Saddleback Mountains in Northwood and traveling 49 miles to Great Bay.

The Eco-Center will provide opportunities to learn about wetlands and their functions, and how they slow stormwater and decrease flooding. The changing use of the land along the Lamprey River is encapsulated in the small slice that will be the Eco-Center, and visitors will be able to discover what has gone before, what exists now and what changes are contemplated, organizers said.

Jan Kent of the Raymond Conservation Commission said, "I think this is a great joint effort amongst a number of different organizations who came together to make it possible, each partner providing the effort to get the different pieces of the program combined into one whole concept that resulted in the overall project and the trail development. It was a really good thing to do, and the Conservation Commission hopes to do more programs across the Raymond community and outside the Raymond community."

On a recent Saturday, Greg Bemis, a Raymond selectman who is one of the Raymond Eco-Center Advisory Committee members, and Conservation Commission member Marty Devine spent several hours digging holes for the treated 4-foot-square, 100-year-old southern yellow pine posts that will hold the interpretive signs. Bemis said nine of the 12 identified sign locations were dug and set that day.

On Friday, Dec 2, the remaining holes were dug and signs were attached to the poles by Bemis and Community Planning Director Ernest Cartier-Creveling.

The public is invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 9 at 10 am at Carroll Beach,  behind the Lamprey River Elementary School, marking the official opening of the LRES Eco-Center for public use.

The individuals and organizations that have joined forces to make this project happen include: Abigail Gronberg, Technical Assistance Program manager of the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, who worked with Lamprey River Elementary School and UNH colleagues in developing the educational information for the Eco-Center interpretive signs; David Burdick of the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory at UNH; David Batchelder of the Natural Resources and Environment department at UNH; and Raymond Eco-Center Advisory Committee members Bemis, Gronberg, Lorrie O'Connor, Lamprey River Elementary School Principal Bryan Belanger, Michael Lambert, and Ernest Cartier Creveling, Raymond community development director.

Financing for the project came from: Lamprey River Advisory Committee and National Park Service, $5,000; Raymond Conservation Commission, $5,000; Raymond Walmart Distribution Center, $1,500; Cousineau Forest Products, Inc., donation of environmentally friendly posts; and the Raymond Area Rotary Club, $1,500. The design was provided by Bailey Donovan Exhibit of Manchester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The public is invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 9 at 10 am at Carroll Beach,  behind the Lamprey River Elementary School, marking the official opening of the LRES Eco-Center for public use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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