Community bike tune-up and swap held in New London

Geordie Sousa ’13, of Colby-Sawyer College and the Kearsarge Valley Transition Initiative, was one of the volunteer “mechanics” at the Community Bike Tune-Up and Swap on May 4th.  Together with Professor Harvey Pine and fellow student Doug Foley ’15, they estimate they tuned-up 35 bikes.

Geordie Sousa ’13, of Colby-Sawyer College and the Kearsarge Valley Transition Initiative, was one of the volunteer “mechanics” at the Community Bike Tune-Up and Swap on May 4th. Together with Professor Harvey Pine and fellow student Doug Foley ’15, they estimate they tuned-up 35 bikes. Courtesy photo.

New London, N.H. – On the New London Town Green on May 4, the Kearsarge Valley Transition Initiative (KVTI) hosted a successful Community Bike Tune-Up and Swap that may become an annual KVTI event.

The bike tune-up and exchange was made possible through partnerships and support from Colby-Sawyer College, the New London Police Department, Pizza Chef, Hole in the Fence Café, Arctic Dreams and Village Sports.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon KVTI members distributed coupons contributed by Arctic Dreams, Hole in the Fence Café and Pizza Chef to the 20 community members who donated bikes.  Those members also facilitated 12 swaps for people who brought in smaller bikes and “traded-up” for a larger size, and eight other people went home with a “new” bike.

In addition, three volunteer mechanics were on hand to offer free tune-ups and advice. Professor Harvey Pine from Colby-Sawyer College and students Geordie Sousa ’13 and Doug Foley ’15 worked on approximately 35 bicycles throughout the day.

Two New London Police Department officers, Patrolman Eben Lamson and Detective Tom Anderson, distributed free helmets, and John Kiernan from Village Sports sized the helmets and was on-hand to provided additional technical assistance and equipment as needed.

Candis Whitney from the Kearsarge Valley Transition Initiative welcomes participants to the Community Bike Tune-Up and Swap as they enter the donation area on the New London Town Green. Over 20 bicycles were donated on the May 4 event.

Live music was provided by Ben Dobrowski, co-owner of Greenhill Collective Farm in Sutton, N.H.

Bikes that were not claimed by the end of the day were donated to local children and to Colby-Sawyer’s Chargers Stable, a free bike-share program for students.

The Kearsarge Valley Transition Initiative encourages the nine towns in the Kearsarge Valley to develop a greater reliance on local resources – food, energy and human resources in particular – to address the impacts of global issues such as economic insecurity, environmental instabilities, and dependence on non-renewable energy.  Its members include Colby-Sawyer College students, faculty and staff, as well as residents from surrounding communities.

For more information visit the KVTI blog or


An invite to Kearsarge Valley Going Local

Tina Clarke

Transition Trainer Tina Clarke will be the guest speaker at Kearsarge Valley Going Local, a community-wide gathering to be held on the campus of Colby-Sawyer College, New London, on Saturday, March 30, from noon to 5 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

New London, N.H. — A community-wide gathering to build self-reliance and resilience, while promoting sustainability and enhancing quality of life in the Kearsarge Valley Region, will be hosted in the Ware Campus/Student Center on the Colby-Sawyer College campus in New London on Saturday, March 30, from noon to 5 p.m.

The event—Kearsarge Valley Going Local: Local Food, Local Business, Local Skills— is organized by the Kearsarge Valley Transition Initiative Task Force and students in the Environmental Studies Community-Based Research Project class.

The public is invited to attend.

Organizers want to draw upon the ideas, skills and experiences of area residents to develop positive localized solutions to discuss the regional impacts of larger global issues such as economic insecurity, environmental instabilities, and dependence on non-renewable energy.

The day will begin with an optional brunch (noon to 1:00 p.m.) that will feature live music from one of the area’s favorite folk artists, Click Horning. Brunch is $6 for adults, $3 for children.

The activities to follow will offer opportunities to find shared interests, to learn about local resources, to network share contact information, and to develop practical strategies that can be implemented in the Kearsarge Valley.

The overall direction and focus for the day will also be guided by participants’ own ideas and strategies for:

  • sustaining health and well-being,
  • creating a strong regional food system,
  • supporting a vibrant local economy and
  • developing more resilience in our region.

To RSVP, recommended but not required, email: or go to Transition-Kearsarge

Certified Transition Trainer Tina Clarke will be the guest speaker. Clarke, of Turner Falls, Massachusetts, has worked with over 120 Transition communities across the country, and has been a trainer, program director and consultant for 25 years, supporting and guiding leaders in over 400 local, national, regional and local organizations.

Turner has directed citizen training programs for 17 national faith communities, and she directed Greenpeace USA’s national citizen Activist Network. She also founded and led campaigns on energy, environmental justice and toxins for New England Clean Water Action.

Most recently she was a consultant with, the Massachusetts Municipal Association, and the Sustainability Institute.

Turner’s passive solar, Platinum LEED, low-toxic, largely locally-built “Power House” won the Massachusetts utility company-sponsored competition, the Zero Energy Challenge, and the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s 2010 Zero Net Energy Award.

To learn more about this event or to RSVP, visit or, or call Jenisha Shrestha, 205-482-2699.

CSC grads to talk about success: Poly-Recovery

New London, N.H. – Colby-Sawyer College graduates Mike Mooney and John Pelech, owners of Poly-Recovery, will return to campus Wednesday, November 28 at  7 p.m. to talk about  success and recycling. The program will be held at the Ivey Science Center, and will be hosted by CSC environmental studies students. The public is invited to attend.

Pelech and Mooney will share information about Poly-Recovery’s 100-mile model that handles waste, from pick up to new product manufacturing, all within 100-miles.

Poly-Recovery, in Portsmouth, N.H, has three goals: to eliminate landfill dumping, to reduce carbon waste, and to sustain both the environment and the local economy.

In 2012, the New Hampshire Business Review explained what success in recycling looks like: Portsmouth firms transform companies’ trash into opportunity.

This community program is part of the outreach underway by Kearsarge Valley Transition, a “local network of individuals, businesses and organizations that are committed to improving the well-being and resilience of our neighbors and communities now and into the future.”

For more info, visit Kearsarge Valley Transition or email:

Transition Town training to be held in New London, N.H.

New London, N.H. – Students in the Third Year environmental science/studies major at Colby-Sawyer College are helping to build the infrastructure for a Transition Town initiative in the Kearsarge Valley Region as a part of their Community-Based Research Project.

They are hosting a training event for the Kearsarge Valley area on the weekend of November 9th-11th, 2012. Any and all interested community members are welcome to attend the training that will be held on campus in the Curtis L. Ivey Science Center.

“If you love expanding your knowledge while connecting with other enthusiastic community members, then please join us for a weekend full of discovery, excitement, and strategizing,” the release says.

“Transition Initiatives” or “Transition Towns” bring together local networks of individuals, businesses and organizations that are committed to improving the well-being and resilience of their communities.  Drawing upon the ideas, skills and experiences of residents they develop positive localized solutions to discuss the regional impacts of larger global issues such as economic insecurity, environmental instabilities, and dependence on non-renewable energy.

To learn more about this event or to register,  visit or call Jillian Dervishian, 617-791-7910.

Tina Clarke and Simon Dennis, both Certified Transition Trainers, will facilitate this weekend event. Clarke has been an educator, advocate, director and consultant for nonprofit programs since 1985.  She has consulted with over 400 NGO’s and she has trained and advised over three dozen other Transition Initiatives.

Simon Dennis is one of the founders of Transition Town White River Junction, as well as the Center for Sustainable Practice, and has played key roles in organizing two successful community gardens.  He was also the co-founder and co-director of COVER Home Repair and the ReCover Store, a non-profit that works with volunteers to complete the community’s most urgently needed home repairs and sell donated building materials and household goods to support this mission.

This three-day course is an in-depth experiential introduction to the Transition Movement. Packed with imaginative and successful ways to engage your community, the course describes how to catalyze, build, and facilitate a successful Transition Initiative. It delves into the theory and practice of Transition that has worked well in hundreds of communities around the world.

Training Schedule:

  • Friday, Nov. 9th 5:30-9 p.m. Potluck Dinner & Discussion. Free and open to the public.
  • Saturday, Nov.10th 9:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec.11th 12-5:30 p.m.

Number of participants is limited. Cost for the weekend: $90 – a few scholarships are available. For more info and to register, e-mail:

Sustainable Living Series: Planting for Pollinators

While planning and planting your garden this spring, think of our pollinators — those hard-working animals that help pollinate over 75% our flowering plants and nearly 75% of our crops.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports: “Pollinators need your help! There is increasing evidence that many pollinators are in decline.  However, there are some simple things you can do at home to encourage pollinator diversity and abundance.”

In the Lake Sunapee region, a free workshop about Appreciating Honey Bees in the Garden and Planting for Pollinators, will be held at Colby Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, on Saturday, May 19, from 1-3:30 p.m., at the Ivey Science Center. The workshop is open to the public and is part of the college’s Sustainable Living Series.

The workshop instructor is bee keeper Amy Antonucci, who has worked in organic agriculture for over ten years and served as vice president of the Seacoast Beekeepers Association of N.H., and organizes their annual Bee School. Amy is certified permaculture designer, goat-herder, chicken-keeper, and student of herbal medicine.

>> For more information, view the flyer below or contact Jennifer White, the college’s sustainability coordinator, at

>> To download and share the flyer, click here. (PDF Beekeeping Flyer for 5-19-2012 1.2MB)

>> To learn more about the college’s sustainability initiatives, visit

New London Energy Committee Urges Dim the Lights

New London Energy Committee. Click on the logo for more information about NLEC.

The New London Energy Committee is urging area residents to dim the lights and lend support for Earth Hour at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 27. “We urge you to join Town buildings, Colby-Sawyer College, area businesses and residents ‘in the dark!’”

Earth Hour involves local and global efforts.

Millions of Americans will turn out their lights for one hour in support of action on climate change and toward creating a cleaner, safer and more secure future. 2010 marks the third year of the event, which attracted more than 80 million participants in the U.S. last year and nearly a billion people around the world, as lights dimmed on such global icons as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Sydney’s Opera House, the Great Pyramids of Gaza and New York’s Empire State Building.

On March 27, many notable U.S. landmarks — Mount Rushmore, St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, Sea World in Orlando, the strip in Las Vegas, New York’s Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Washington D.C.’s National Cathedral, California’s Santa Monica Pier and the Space Needle in Seattle — will turn off non-essential lighting for the hour.

Send Sunapee News Earth Hour info via Leave a Comment (below).

Related article: WWF’s Earth Hour Returns for 2010 in Largest Call for Action on Climate Change in History (

Colby-Sawyer Goal To Be Carbon Neutral

In an article by David Sauerwein sent to by the New London Energy Committee, Colby-Sawyer reports on efforts at the college to become carbon neutral. The college is a charter signatory member of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Read more…

Workshop in New London on Workforce Housing – May 21

SAWCThree state and regional experts on workforce housing will be in New London this evening (May 21) to participate in a workshop about implementation of New Hampshire’s new workforce housing law SB 342. The Sunapee Area Watershed Coalition is sponsoring the program. On hand will be Ben Frost from the NH Housing Finance Authority, Jenny Devost of the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission, and Anne Duncan Cooley from the Upper Valley Housing Coalition. The program will to be held at the Colby Sawyer College Ivey Center (Room 201) at 7 p.m. and is open to the public free of charge. The purpose of the workshop  is to inform and discuss the implications of new workforce housing legislation on local communities and the connection between the law’s requirements and local ordinances and plans.

The Granite State’s new law that goes into effect July 1 was designed to alleviate the the long-term shortage of affordable housing across the state. It “requires municipalities that exercise the power to adopt land use ordinances to provide opportunities for the development of workforce housing” and it “establishes a mechanism for expediting relief from municipal actions which deny, impede, or delay qualified proposals for workforce housing.”

Related audio: NHPR – The Exchange – New Life for Workforce Housing (Aired May 12, 2009)

New London Dems Hold Forum May 6

New London, New Hampshire Democrats will be  hold a candidates’ forum  at Clement’s Hall in the Ivey Center at Colby Sawyer College in New London tonight, May 6 at 7 p.m. The event is hosted by the New London Democratic Committee and will be carried live and be interactive on the web at Continue reading

Lake Monitoring Worshop for Volunteers May 16

The NH Department of Environmental Services Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP) is holding its annual workshop on Saturday, May 16 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at DES’s office building, 29 Hazen Drive in Concord.  Workshop participants will learn about VLAP and how to: Become part of an important program that helps monitor the state’s water quality, identify aquatic plants, and utilize lake sampling techniques. Also, workshop attendees will learn more about cyanobacteria and its potential link to neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to the popular lake ecology and aquatic plant identification sessions, a special guest will present on how you can volunteer for the Loon Preservation Society. The registration fee is $5.

Click here for more information. or contact Sara Steiner, VLAP Coordinator, at (603) 271-2658, or email

Telephoto view from east shore of Lake Sunapee
Image via Wikipedia

Related information: The Lake Sunapee Protective Association volunteer water quality program started in the 1980′s. It now tests the lake’s tributary streams as well as coves and deep sites. LSPA’s Water Quality Laboratory at Colby-Sawyer College analyzes the samples and the NH Department of Environmental Services provides an annual water quality report based on its analysis of the data as part of the VLAP (Volunteer Lake Assessment) Program. The college lab also processes samples for about 25 area lakes.

Related websites:

Lake Sunapee Protective Association – Water Quality

Pleasant Lake Protective Association – Water Quality

New Hampshire Lakes Association

NH Dept. of Environmental Services – Volunteer Lake Assessment Program

Loon Preservation Society

Art and Water Resources at LSPA, Sunapee Harbor April 29

The Lake Sunapee Protective Association invites the public to attend an illustrated presentation, “Art and Water Resources: Tracing Social, Ecological and Artistic Trends” by Elisabeth Ryan on Wednesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. at the Knowlton House, Sunapee Harbor. Ryan received an Edwin W. Gaston, Jr. Scholarship award for her project the illustrates the “role water has played ecologically and socially in the 19th and 20th centuries.” Ryan is a student at Colby Sawyer College in New London.

Poet Maxine Kumin at Colby Sawyer College April 13

There is an intimacy to the act of planting as tantalizing as possessing a secret. Every seed you sow has passed through your fingers on its way from dormancy to hoped-for-fruition. ‘Trailing clouds of glory do we come,’ Wordsworth wrote. Thus come the little cobbles of beet seeds that separate when rolled between your fingers, the flat, feathery parsnip ones that want to drift on air en route to the furrow, the round black dots that will be Kelsae onions, fat and sweet by September, the exasperatingly tiny lettuce flecks that descend in a cluster, and the even harder-to-channel carrot seeds. –  Women, Animals and Vegetables: Essays and Stories by Maxine Kumin (published by W W Norton & Co.)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet will be reading and discussing her work at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, on Monday, April 13 starting at 4 p.m at the Colgate Cleveland Library and Learning Center. It is free and open to the public.

Kumin has published 14 books of poetry, five novels, five books of essays and memories and 20 children’s books.

Related: NH Bookcenter blog – NH Celebrates National Poetry Month

Lake Sunapee Region Chocolate Challenge Attracts 550

The Chocolate Challenge held in New London April 4 attracted 550 people and some of the area’s best “choclatiers.” The People’s Choice, Best Chocolate Award went to Laura Powers Cakes, Andover. New London Confections took 2nd Place. Rockwell’s at the Inn, New London, received 3rd Place. As for the Professional Judges Awards: Colonial Farm Inn & Restaurant, New London, received the Best Chocolate prize and Rocky Cannoli’s Bakery at Red Barn Farm, Newport, was recognized for Best Display. Continue reading

Lake Sunapee Region Chocolate Fest is April 4

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt! – Lucy Van Pelt in Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

The Chocolate Fest is April 4. Mark you calendar! This year,the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce and Colby-Sawyer College are the co-sponsors. This delicious event will be held at the College at Wheeler Hall (Ware Campus Center) from 12 to 3 p.m. For more information and if you want to participate, help the organizing committee or be a sponsor, contact Chamber Executive Director Rob Bryant,603-526-6575,  email:

It’s About Earth Friendly Living, Living Lighter and Better

duncan“It’s all about living lighter, living better,” for Barbara Duncan (Shown left).

Duncan is one of the four founders of what is now the Vermont Earth Institute (VEI), a non-profit group that promotes sustainable living. She was VEI’s executive director up until recently, and is now its Upper Valley course coordinator.

Duncan has been bringing eco-friendly programs to the area for over a decade.

The core of VEI spins around seven courses that Duncan brought to the region via VEI’s affiliation with the Northwest Earth Institute.

Through reading and group discussion, the study circles explore how to make healthy choices and one’s relationship and responsibility for the earth. Depending on the class, one can learn about climate change and changing course or how culture and the media affect a child’s connection to nature.

Study groups come to the community and into homes though non-financial sponsorship by: Faith communities, businesses, service groups, museums, libraries and individuals. All it takes is a group, business or one or more people committed to sponsoring a local course, Duncan said.

Sunapee Library Director John Walden is lining up one or two VEI courses to be held at Abbott Library starting in March.

Discovering a Sense of Place,” another VEI class, will be held in New London this spring. Last year, “Choices for Sustainable Living” was part of Adventures in Learning held at Colby Sawyer College.

Each class is self-facilitated and “self-empowering.” Duncan describes it as a “very democratic” process, where people are “really heard” and where “lots of good listening happens.”

The most popular class is “Voluntary Simplicity,” which explores “the personal and environmental benefits of simplicity.” vei_menu

“Menu for the Future” is another  popular course. Topics include: Farming for the Future, You Are What Your Eat and Choices for Change.

Duncan, a native of Schenectady, NY, is not quite sure when she became an environmentalist. “I’ve lived simply all my adult life…perhaps it was when I was Girl Scout and learned to love the great outdoors.”

“People appreciate getting together and talking with one another” over issues of common interest or concern, Duncan explained. “Not only are the courses thought provoking, they are also fun.”

Even though people often say they do not have time, she observed. “We crave the support of our friends, neighbors and colleagues.”  The study circles are designed to help foster those connections while exploring and sharing.

Click here, to learn more about VEI and courses in your area. Email Abbott Library at for its VEI offering.

Related articles: Sunapee News on Energy and Environment

This article is part of a Sunapee News series about The National Teach-In on Global Warming, Solutions for the First 100 Days.


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