Earlier this month, a large audience gathered for the Annual Spirit of New Hampshire award ceremony hosted by Volunteer NH at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH.
Now in its 15th year, the Spirit Awards honor notable volunteer contributions from around the State. Award recipients are selected from youth, adult, senior, and group categories.
This year, New Hampshire State Parks was proud to honor the Friends of the Pemi with a Group Service Award for their ongoing volunteer efforts at Livermore Falls Recreation Area near Plymouth.
Active since 2012, the Friends of the Pemi are a grassroots formed collective who came together to help address ongoing concerns with the Livermore Falls area of the Pemigewasset River. Unstaffed at that point in time and under the management of a different State Agency, there were numerous ongoing problems, including vandalism, litter, alcohol consumption, fires, and other issues. The Town of Holderness noted that one year, 40% of their emergency and police responses were at the Falls!
In 2013, the Friends group began working closely with our Department shift management responsibility to our Division and to help address the ongoing activities of concern, work on solutions, and bring the local communities together to help steward and lay out a long term vision for the property.
Collectively contributing around 1,000 volunteer hours a year since 2013, the Friends of the Pemi have worked with the State to organize seasonal volunteer clean-up days, provide volunteer outreach to the local community and to visitors on site, aid in visitor data research, help to develop plans for a new parking area and amenities (opened in 2016), organize visioning sessions in local towns, provide new picnic tables, grills, and a bike rack, and are now helping with the development plans of the historic west side of the River in Campton.
All of their efforts have helped to accomplish a cleaner, more safe, friendly, and enjoyable experience. Local police calls have dropped significantly and this group has helped transform Livermore Falls from a burden on the local communities into a true asset.
The Friends of the Pemi join previous Spirit of NH Award winners nominated by NH State Parks such as the Friends of Pisgah (Pisgah State Park), Nansen Ski Club (Milan Hill State Park), Belknap Range Trail Tenders (Belknap Mountain State Forest/Mount Major State Forest), Craig Sanborn (Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew), and Lee Willette (Monadnock State Park).
The award is well deserved! Our thanks not only to the Friends of the Pemi and Volunteer NH, but to all of our volunteers around the State!
Our State Parks are at their best when our local communities are positively involved in their stewardship and Livermore Falls is a true example of this.
Check out our volunteer webpage for more information on volunteering with NH State Parks or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends of the Pemi can be found at http://livermorefalls.org/