Guided Natural and Cultural History Hike – Linda Baldwin Preserve

On Sunday, July 12, 1:00 the Lake Wentworth Foundation is offering a free Natural History and Cultural History guided walk on our Linda Baldwin Preserve at the corner of Route 28 and Route 109 in Wolfeboro.

Guides will include naturalist Martha Carlson and forester Rudy Carlson, Sandwich, NH and cultural history expert Maggie Stier, Wolfeboro.

We will start at Bartlett Tree Service , Center Street, Wolfeboro NH. for a walk through of the exemplary stormwater management installations Bartlettt is utilizing at their new site. . Then we

will mland monitoring training 2015-05-06 004ove to the corner of the Linda Baldwin Preserve next to the satellite fire station on Route 109 for parking during the walk. .

This will be an easy fairly level walk suited for a wide range of abilities and ages. However, be prepared to walk for an hour to hour and a half. It is critical you wear appropriate foot gear such as sneakers or hiking boots – we may have to cross wet land and plan to use safe tick practices.

Registration is not required.

Lake Explorer Quest Program

Lake Explorer Patch final.pdf

The NH Lakes Association invites individuals and families to get out and explore our lakes and ponds by paddling through our Lake Explorer Quest Program! Individuals/families who explore three waterbodies by canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or other paddle boat, and document their explorations with NH LAKES will earn an official Lake Explorer Quest patch. Participants must also certify that they practiced the “Clean, Drain & Dry” method for preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species and implemented safe boating practices on each excursion. (To download the Lake Explorer Patch Request Form, click here.)

Get some fresh air and exercise!

By spending time in nature we increase our connection to it, thereby increasing our tendency towards stewardship and protecting our natural world. Also, paddling is a fun way to get some exercise! Studies have shown that today’s youth are experiencing a “nature deficit” which can be detrimental to physical and mental development. Children who spend time outdoors are healthier and more creative, have better concentration, and get better grades. For more information about the benefits of children enjoying nature and the outdoors, click here. 

Stop the spread of invasive species!

The “Clean, Drain & Dry” practice to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Yes, even paddlers can transport invasive species from waterbody to waterbody, so please consistently and thoroughly inspect, clean, drain and dry your canoe, kayak, or other paddle boat, before and after boating.

Be safe!

The Lake Explorer Quest program promotes paddling safety. It is very important to follow safety procedures and guidelines while boating. Here are a few basic safety tips:

    • Before setting out on your paddling adventure…
      • Let someone at home know where you are going.
      • Check the weather forecast to ensure that storm weather is not predicted.
      • Pack a map of where you are going (maps of many NH waterbodies are available from the NH Fish & Game Department – click here).
      • Pack lots of drinking water and snacks, cell phone, first aid kit, and your life jacket.
      • Dress appropriately for the weather, wear bright colored clothes and appropriate footwear (closed-toe shoes are best).
      • Put on sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.
    • When paddling:
      • Always wear your life jacket.
      • In areas of high motorboat traffic, stay near the shore, and approach waves head-on or at a slight angle to avoid capsizing.
      • Avoid paddling near hazards in the water (including logs, rocks, low bridges).
      • Stay hydrated and reapply sunscreen periodically.
      • Paddle to shore if stormy weather approaches.
      • If the boat capsizes, don’t panic. If in a current, keep your feet pointed downstream and keep them off the bottom to avoid foot entrapment. Stay upstream of the boat to avoid getting pinned between the boat and a rock or log. If you are too far to swim the boat to shore, you’ll need to flip your boat right side up.

The American Canoe Association offers some additional canoeing safety tips.

The U.S. Coast Guard offers additional paddleboard safety tips.

Where to go?

Through the Lake Explorer Quest, you are welcome to paddle any lake or pond of your choice in New Hampshire. For the list of New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game public access sites on waterbodies, click here.

To earn your Lake Explorer Quest patch:

It’s easy and fun! Here’s how:005 Lake Explorer Quest family

  • Explore three New Hampshire lakes or ponds by canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or other paddle boat.
  • Before and after paddling, implement the “Clean, Drain & Dry” practice to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
  • Practice paddling safety while on your excursion.
  • Document your visits on the official Lake Explorer Patch Request Form (to download, click here). Once you have explored three lakes or ponds, forward your completed form to NH LAKES by email or mail (NH LAKES, 14 Horseshoe Pond Lane, Concord, NH 03301).
  • You will receive your Lake Explorer Patch and certificate of completion from NH LAKES in the mail!

Need to rent a paddle boat?

For a great resource for finding outfitters, rentals, and other useful sites for the paddling family, click here.

Have fun while creating wonderful family memories on New Hampshire’s lakes and ponds!

Reprinted with permission from NH Lakes Association. 

NH LAKES thanks the Dorr Foundation for their support of this program.

Coring is not just for apples anymore

On a brisk, breezy but sunlit day in early April, Lisa Doner, assistant professor of environmental studies and policy at Plymouth State University; one of her students, Victoria Santry; Don Kretchmer, local limnologist (study of lakes); and Karen Burnett-Kurie, executive director of the Lake Wentworth Foundation, ventured about a half mile out on Lake Wentworth pulling and carrying equipment. Their purpose – to collect a core sample of the sediment at the bottom of this ice-covered lake.

Setting up at one of the deepest locations on Lake Wentworth.

Setting up at one of the deepest locations on Lake Wentworth.

While Kretchmer was drilling a hole through the 21 inches of ice, Doner and Santry assembled the sediment coring equipment, including weights to help drive the collecting tube deeper into the bottom sediment. The total distance from the bottom of the lake to the top of the ice was 24.23 meters (79.5 feet). A round ball was pulled into the base of the tube once the sample was collected in order to retain the sediment within the clear cylinder. The tube was carried upright back to the shore, taking care to minimize disturbance during transport. Doing this while walking on ice can be problematic, but Doner has carried many such samples over the past seven years of core research.

Assembling the collecting equipment.

Assembling the collecting equipment.

This sample is the first of two that will be collected on Lake Wentworth and analyzed to determine factors that have influenced water quality and ______ over many years. Kretchmer says the 49 centimeter core (nearly 20 inches) collected “may cover 150 years or more years” of changes in the watershed.

The core sample emerges from the hole in the  ice.

The core sample emerges from the hole in the ice.

“The processing of data will take a few months” adds Doner, who will oversee the work to be done at PSU. Further analysis will be completed by a lab in Minnesota. The results of the sediment investigation should identify the different materials and chemicals in the layers of sediment. These will be correlated with when they were settled and what was going on in the watershed in that time period.

Kretchmer explains: “We’ll likely be able to date the 1950s due to the radioactive layer that will still be noticeable from the nuclear bomb tests conducted by the U.S. and other nations, and we might even find impacts in the sediment from the tornado which travelled across the lake a few years ago.” He adds, “there could be unknown factors that come up such as lead sediment as well as the effects of changes in the surrounding land use and forest cover”.

Although a core was taken about 10 years ago by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the whereabouts of that sample is not known. An additional core will be taken from another deep location on Lake Wentworth this summer.

The analysis will be compared to the qualities of what a healthy lake should register. The amount of phosphorus is of particular importance for Kretchmer as that is the chemical that can cause significant growth of algae and invasive plants. The Lake Wentworth Foundation, one of the sponsors of this study, along with the Lake Wentworth Association, is a leading partner in the master plan for the Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake Watershed with a goal of reducing phosphorus content by 15% in 10 years.

Results of the core analysis will be made public and will be published in a future newspaper article. Professor Donor, with the Center for the Environment at PSU, studies lake sediments to decipher past watershed changes. Her primary focus is on how climate interacts with other mechanisms for change including natural catastrophe (fire, flood, landslide, tsunami), human disturbance (agriculture, logging, development) and long-term trends (glaciations, tectonics, sea-level change).

The Lake Wentworth Foundation is a key leader in developing the Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake Watershed management plan and a steward of over 160 acres of conserved land within the watershed. It is pursuing conservation of additional high-impact parcels in the watershed. For years, the LWF has provided support for water quality testing, milfoil treatment, and the lake host program led by the Lake Wentworth Association.
Information about the Foundation and its work is available on its website, or by contacting Karen Burnett-Kurie, Executive Director, at 603-534-0222.

Foundation and LRCT seek volunteers for May 6 workshop on monitoring conservation lands

The Lake Wentworth Foundation and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust are conducting a workshop for those interested in learning how to monitor conservation easements and conserved properties. The training is scheduled for Wednesday May 6, 2015 from noon to 4:00 PM in Wolfeboro.

Along the shores of Sargent's Pond

Along the shores of Sargent’s Pond

The program will start at the Wolfeboro Library meeting room and continue with field instruction at the Lake Wentworth Foundation’s Fernald Brook property.

Land trusts such as the Lake Wentworth Foundation and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust must monitor their lands and enforce their rights and responsibilities regularly.

Monitoring includes boundary line maintenance, routine inspection of the property, maintaining ongoing landowner relationships, enforcement to correct violations and maintaining public access while minimizing its impacts, if applicable.

David Mallard, Land and Stewardship Director at the LRCT, and workshop leader says, “this training will provide information and guidelines for volunteers to be able to monitor a conserved parcel , including what to document and how to document their visits “. Continue reading

Water quality and land conservation go hand in hand

“The lakes are the number one economic driving factor in the town.” So says Dan Coons, 11-year chairman of the Town of Wolfeboro Conservation Commission.

The lakes and scenic beauty are what draw people to the region as year-round residents, second-homers and tourists. That is why the Lakes Region is one of the fastest growing areas for single family housing construction since 2000, according to the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning.

Census data for 2010 indicates that 42% of nearly 40,000 homes in Carroll County are classed as seasonal. The owners of these homes pay taxes at the same rate as year-round residents; however they use significantly less resources which is a benefit to our communities, helping us to be some of the lowest tax rate towns in the state.

Also contributing to the draw of our area are our local farms and forest-related businesses. They are integral to our scenic beauty and rural character while contributing to the local economy and providing fresh food and other products people buy.

If the region wants to maintain growth, seasonal residents and our quality of life, it is imperative that we maintain the region’s scenic beauty, natural-resource based businesses and water quality. Even better is when we can improve on their quality and thus increase the lure of the area.

The town of Wolfeboro has numerous tracks of land under its stewardship. These parcels are integral to providing recreation, preserving both wildlife and wetland habitats, conserving a wide range of natural resources and retaining the scenic beauty of the region. The Wolfeboro Conservation Commission oversees their stewardship. Other organizations also own or hold easements for conservation purposes including the Lake Wentworth Foundation, Lakes Region Land Trust and the Society for the Protection of NH Forests. Continue reading