‘A Pilgrimage to Simplicity: Lake Wentworth’s Traditions and History,’ an exhibit at the New Hampshire Boat Museum

When people drive into Wolfeboro, NH, they see a sign that says “WOLFEBORO – the oldest summer resort in America.” Most assume this refers to Wolfeboro and Lake Winnipesaukee. But they’re wrong. The tagline actually refers to the area’s first summer resident, New Hampshire Governor John Wentworth in the late 1700s. His large summer home and farm was on the shores of Smith’s Pond, which later became known as Lake Wentworth.

Birchmont cabin and summer residents on Lake Wentworth

Birchmont cabin and summer residents on Lake Wentworth

The New Hampshire Boat Museum’s exhibit for 2015, “A Pilgrimage to Simplicity: Lake Wentworth’s Traditions and History,” will explore this lake’s history and its impact on the region. The exhibit will open on Memorial Day weekend and will remain on view through Columbus Day weekend. The exhibition is sponsored by the Lake Wentworth Association, the Lake Wentworth Foundation, and the Point Breeze Condominium Association.

Using a wide variety of items – archaeological artifacts, historic photographs, period postcards, boats, and objects borrowed from families around Lake Wentworth – the exhibit will tell the story of the lake from prehistoric times to the present. Topics covered will include how the Native Americans used the lake; development of the lake during the Colonial era; how the lake was mapped; how people traveled to the lake; the development and importance of the Smith River Dam; boating on the lake; early families who lived on the lake and the homes they lived in; how people passed their time on the lake; and famous residents, resorts, and children’s camps that helped make Lake Wentworth a “travel destination.” Continue reading

Landscaping for Water Quality — Soak up the Rain workshop

Do you or your landscaper know how to keep your property looking great without using excessive amounts of fertilizers and pesticides?

Would you like to install landscape features that help promote clean and healthy water by slowing down, spreading out, and soaking up runoff on your property?

These and other practices will be covered in an upcoming two-day workshop, SOAK UP THE RAIN – LANDSCAPING FOR WATER QUALITY, to be held on April 8 and 9 at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth.

For more information:  http://xml2.des.state.nh.us/blogs/watershed/?p=2725

Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake Watershed Management Plan available at Wolfeboro Library

IMG_7218[1]On Thursday, February 5th, the Lake Wentworth Foundation donated a copy of the Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake Watershed Management Plan to the Wolfeboro Public Library.

Jack O’Connell, President of the LWF, and Rich Masse, both major contributors to the original plan, presented the 200 page book to Cynthia Scott, Library Director.
Upon donating, O’Connell said: “This represents a terrific collection of important information about the lakes. Additionally there is a substantial amount of information that local property owners can and do use to prevent storm water runoff from polluting the lakes in the watershed.”

Masse added comments about the document’s use by students in the area: “Some of the local schools have environmental studies or other social studies classes that can really utilize this rich resource.

“This most recent plan has much more data and updated information (than a 1996 Department of Environmental Services smaller study) for those interested in local developments in the field.”
Upon receipt, Scott said that “(the document) is a wonderful contribution and we appreciate the opportunity to preserve such a resource that will be available to our community”.

The plan is timely now because several projects recommended in the report are being implemented over the next year. These storm water management projects will improve water quality in both Crescent and Wentworth lakes.

The document is being placed in the reference section for in-library use. It may also be viewed on the foundation website: www.lakewentworthfoundation.org.
More information about the management plan or other activities of the LWF is available by contacting Karen Burnett-Kurie, Executive Director, at karenBK@lakewentworthfoundation.org or at 603-534-0222.

Phosphorus: friend and foe

You can find three numbers on every bag of fertilizer. They tell you, the consumer, just how much nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) ,and potassium (K) are in that container.

The obvious question is what numbers do you need? To answer this question, Don Kretchmer of Wolfeboro, limnologist and Certified Lake Manager, tells people to have their soil tested before applying any chemicals to a lawn, garden, shrubbery or trees. (Limnology, by the way, is the study of inland waters, and Kretchmer’s certification comes from the North American Lake Management Society.)

Why don’t I just go for the bigger numbers? Well, too much of a ‘good thing’ can in fact be bad. For example, too much nitrogen can cause a plant not to flower or bear fruit. Too much potassium can inhibit the absorption of other nutrients. This can then lead to problems caused by nutrient deficiencies. Plus, excess of any of these chemicals is free to go elsewhere, causing other problems.

The second number on the bag represents the amount of phosphorus. “Phosphorus is a necessary ingredient for plant growth. About 0.2% of a plant’s dry weight is composed of the element” according to Theodorou and Plaxton. Phosphorus provides essential components for processing nutrients as well as enzymes and other factors that contribute to the plant’s health.

But Kretchmer explains that added phosphorus in streams and lakes can, and often does, contribute to excessive growth of vegetation and algae. A common example of this is phosphorus’s role in algae blooms. Continue reading