Household hazardous waste collection, Aug. 18 in Sunapee

A household hazardous waste collection will be held in Sunapee on Saturday, August 18, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Sunapee Highway Garage, 621 Route 11. The collection will also accept unwanted medicines.

Sponsored by the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission, the collection is free for residents from Claremont, Cornish, Enfield, Goshen, Hanover, Lebanon, Lempster, Lyme, Newbury, Orford, Piermont, Plainfield, Springfield, Sunapee, Unity, Washington and Wilmot.

For more information including what to bring and what not to bring and a schedule of future collections, go to:

Download/view the 2012 informational flyer (PDF 504KB): HHW Schedule 2012

Every day, people dump hazardous waste down their drains, into their trash, or onto the ground. These toxins eventually make their way into our drinking water.  Providing options for responsible hazardous waste disposal is critical to keeping our drinking water safe. – UVLSRPC, Household Hazardous Waste Collection Project


Local sites will take your old and unused drugs April 30th

Got drugs? On Saturday, April 30th New Hampshire police departments across the state, through a partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, will make collections sites available for household generated medications–your expired and unused prescription drugs. Collection hours will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Disposal is free and anonymous.

Sunapee, Springfield, New London, Grantham and Newport are among area towns participating.

The collection in Sunapee will be held at the Safety Services Building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. An officer will be there to take your unwanted prescription drugs for destruction.

Find a Collection Site Near You Continue reading

Pharmaceutical Take-Back | Front Door Politics

Unused pharmaceuticals increasingly fuel addiction and environmental concerns, but two new bills could help keep New Hampshire’s excess medications off the streets and out of the water supply — while getting some of them to patients for whom costly pills are largely out of reach. Read more via the Daily Dispatch…

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 (

New Lake Sunapee Watershed Project Gets Underway


Map of the Lake Sunapee Watershed

A federally funded project to create policy recommendations for local government to protect the Lake Sunapee Watershed is underway. And national and regional experts will be in Newbury, NH on Wednesday, October 28 to explain the initiative. The project’s first public meeting will be held at the Newbury Town Hall from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Those interested in attending are asked to sign up by contacting the Lake Sunapee Protective Association, phone 603-763-2210 or email

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) earlier in the year awarded Syntectic International LLC, Antioch University New England, the Lake Sunapee Protective Association, and partners $243,000 to prepare the Lake Sunapee watershed for climate change and population growth. (See the prior news article posted on

The project partners hope to protect a vulnerable storm-water and drinking-water system and develop and distribute practical information for safeguarding communities. This  undertaking will also provide specific estimates of climate change impacts on the Lake Sunapee watershed.

“By developing a local-scale action protocol, the project team aims to maintain historic storm water risk levels for the Lake Sunapee watershed and other communities facing significant impacts from climate change and population growth,” according to a recent  press release about the project.

The meeting in Newbury on the 28th will give the participants an opportunity to learn about the new project and the challenges that result from increased storm water runoff and development patterns in the Lake Sunapee watershed. Working groups will be formed to create policy recommendations for specific infrastructure needs.

What is a Watershed? A watershed is the area of land from which all water drains into a particular lake, river, stream, wetland or ocean. Watersheds are natural areas determined by topography and the boundaries can be drawn on a map by connecting the tops of the tallest hills surrounding a body of water (see map).

Water that falls within our watershed boundary flows downhill and much of it ends up in Lake Sunapee. Watersheds can vary in size from just a few acres to hundreds of millions of acres, as every body of water – from Chalk Pond to the Mississippi River – has its own watershed. The Lake Sunapee Watershed is part of larger watershed basins, the Sugar River and the larger Connecticut River watersheds. – Sunapee Area Watershed Coalition (SAWC)

NOAA Awards $243,000 to Prepare Lake Sunapee Watershed for Climate Change/Population Growth

National Oceanic and Atmosferical Administrati...
Image via Wikipedia

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded Syntectic International, LLC of Portland, Oregon; Antioch University New England of Keene, New Hampshire; and the Lake Sunapee Protective Association of Sunapee, New Hampshire, and partners $243,000 to prepare the Lake Sunapee watershed for climate change and population growth.

The project partners hope to protect a vulnerable storm-water and drinking-water system and develop and disseminate practical and transferable information for safeguarding communities, as well as provide specific and reliable estimates of climate change impacts on the Lake Sunapee watershed. By developing a local-scale action protocol, the project team aims to maintain historic storm water risk levels for the Lake Sunapee watershed and other communities facing significant impacts from climate change and population growth.

Recent experience and scientific studies are clear. Storm patterns are worsening and it is no longer prudent to delay action. We will never have perfect science; however sufficient science is available now. This project will protect the community with adequately reliable, local-scale information to support informed decisions. – Latham Stack, CEO of Syntectic.

The interdisciplinary team includes lead investigator Latham Stack, CEO of Syntectic International; Michael Simpson, Jim Gruber, and Colin Lawson of Antioch University New England; Dr. Robert Roseen of the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center; Thomas Crosslin from Climate Techniques of Portland, Oregon; and Robert Wood of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association. Internationally recognized adaptation expert Joel Smith with Stratus Consulting in Boulder, Colorado will also be a team member. Five of the eight researchers are either Antioch New England alumni or faculty.

The project, funded by the Climate Program Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will focus on the lake Sunapee watershed area. This region, like many others, is experiencing an unusual and ongoing period of extreme or record rainfalls that significantly diverge from the historical climate pattern. Previous studies by the team in New England found that, as a result of already changed rainfall patterns, portions of existing drainage systems are currently undersized.

By encouraging the participation of local stakeholders, the project will empower citizens to choose adaptation plans that are best for their towns. For example, Low Impact Development methods can minimize runoff and significantly reduce the need for more expensive drainage system upgrades.

According to Michael Simpson, director of Antioch New England’s Resource Management and Conservation master’s program, “The availability of reliable and economical solutions can make the difference between returning to historical protection levels, or continuing to expose people and assets to worsening hazards.” Simpson explained that storm water engineers and planners have always needed to cope with uncertainty and change, and the construction of water systems designed using best-available knowledge has always proceeded in parallel with the development of theory. “The past was not as certain as we like to think, and problems posed by population growth and climate change are actually not that different from previous challenges,” said Simpson.

The project will be broadly transferable, according to Stack. The team hopes to catalyze similar work nationwide, reducing further loss of life and damage from worsening storms. By demonstrating a practical protocol for action, this study will provide urgently needed decision-support to leaders seeking to maintain historical protection levels in their communities.

A Change We Can All Make is “Blowing in the Wind”

Clothes pins
Image via Wikipedia

Join in National Hanging Out Day on April 19, urges community organizer Alex Lee, Concord (NH). Lee is the the executive director of Project Laundry List.

When you think of hanging out laundry to dry, what do you picture in your head?  Maybe a woman reaching up for the line with colorful clothes while laughing children dart in and out of the orderly lines of bed linens?  It sounds nostalgic, but not many of us use a clothes line anymore, Lee points out.

Yet, air drying clothes benefits the pocketbook and the planet. It makes me feel good to line dry laundry despite the extra time it may take, a Sunapee neighbor said. Her family air dries their clothes year-round using a basement area in winter.

Using a clothesline or drying rack instead of a dryer can save the average household more than a hundred dollars every year in energy costs, according to Lee.  On average, among household appliances, only the refrigerator uses more electricity than the dryer.  Washing with cold water and air-drying can reduce your monthly electric bill up to 15 percent.

Project Laundry List wants Americans to get back to the days when using a clothesline was the best way, and the most acceptable way, to dry laundry. For more information, visit or email Project Laundry List Director Alexander Lee at

Sunapee Plans GreenUp Clean Up May 2

A community-wide effort is underway in preparation for Sunapee GreenUp Day, Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m. to noon. Sunapee Road Agent Tony Bergeron is the event chair and Rhonda Gurney, Sunapee, co-chair. The GreenUp committee met last week to detail plans and needs. The group is seeking more neighborhood organizers, in-kind donations and participants that will sign up now to help in their section of town or on their street.

The GreenUp is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday in May. The rain date is Sunday, May 3.

For more information, contact Tony Bergeron or Rhonda Gurney.

To read the committee minutes, click here (pdf – 28 kb).

OPINION: It’s Time to Replace Plastic and Paper With Re-Use


The debate over plastic or paper has shifted to re-use when it comes to grocery and shopping bags. Across the world, people and governments are understanding the cost of use-and-discard shopping bags. They are encouraging instead re-usable bags. It’s time to for Americans, the private and public sector, to expand this commitment to re-use.

Last week, the reported that environmental officials and supermarkets were going to sign a pact “to reduce by a third the plastic and paper bags the grocers distribute in Massachusetts. The pact would mark the first statewide effort to control the billions of bags that end up as litter everywhere from tree branches to beach fronts.” See Continue reading

Everything and More About the Stimulus Package

“The word of the month appears to be ‘stimulus’,” writes Christine Walker, the executive director for the the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission in the February 1 E-bulletin. To get a copy, email your request to

The Commission is making available to member communities lots of materials and information.

“Instead of attempting to explain our interpretation of what will happen with President Obama’s Stimulus package we [The Commission] have simply compiled a number of resources so that our communities can best respond to myriad of activity taking place around the state.”

“Beware this can get quite overwhelming,” Walker wrote.

“The one piece of advice that we can offer to our communities is to make sure that you are familiar with the current funding resources that are available to municipalities and be prepared to apply for funding quickly.”

The Commission has posted documents and links including a handy Q & A from the National Association of Regional Councils, which you can here. Note, file size is 2.7 MB: Stimulusfaq122308

The Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission is a not-for-profit, voluntary association of 27 municipalities in western New Hampshire. We provide a mechanism for communities that live, work and recreate together to plan for the balanced growth of the Region and collaborate on issues of common concern.

Workbook on Making Your Business Greener

The waste hierarchy refers to the "3 Rs" reduc...
Image via Wikipedia

The NH Department of Environmental Services has published an easy-to-use set of checklists and explanations to help businesses boost environmental performance. It’s titled: Making Your Business Greener Workbook. It’s available online at under the topic Greening Your Business.The workbook address waste minimization, energy reduction and sustainability.

More and more businesses are “Going Green”, or want to, in order to save costs, protect the environment and maintain a competitive place in the market. But many businesses, especially small businesses, may not have the necessary knowledge, the time for training or the resources to hire experts to help them become a “green” company. DES’s new Making Your Business Greener Workbook is designed for those businesses.

DES is issuing the Workbook “to encourage better environmental performance in New Hampshire and to ensure a better quality of life for everyone in the state.”

For more information, call the DES Planning, Prevention and Assistance Unit at 603-271-1749.

Plan Re-Emerges for a Public Boat Launch on Lake Sunapee

Despite sub-zero temperatures around Lake Sunapee, a hot topic has re-emerged: Construction of a new public boat launch on the Wild Goose property in Newbury, NH.

“It’s back!” a Newbury resident exclaimed in frustration and disbelief.

Town officials in Newbury recently received notice that a state permit was issued for a new plan for the Wild Goose, located on the western shore front of Lake Sunapee, just north of the state beach. Continue reading

Sunapee Conservationist Protects 16 Acres in Burkehaven

Last month, a dream came true for Virginia Anthony Soule when the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests accepted her donation of a conservation easement. Soule is a 27-year member of the Forest Society and an avid conservationist in the Sunapee region. The 16-acre Rockwall Farm has been her family’s summer home on Lake Sunapee since 1929.

“The conservation of his lakeside farm will help protect the water quality of Lake Sunapee, the source of drinking water for the Town of Sunapee, as well as the view of the property from the lake,” said Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley. “It has been a pleasure working with Virginia to help make her long-held dream a reality.”

Continue reading

Dick Webb named Forest Society Conservationist of the Year

Dick Webb of Sunapee, New Hampshire received the highest honor awarded by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests: Webb was recognized as the organization’s 2008 Conservationist of the Year. Continue reading

Campaign to save NH loons says Get the Lead Out

Three loons on Lake Sunapee (2007)

Three loons on Lake Sunapee (2007)

Taking in the sounds and sights of the Common Loon is part of experiencing the natural splendor of New Hampshire lakes and ponds.  So it is troublesome to read that lead poisoning continues to be the number one killer of our adult loons, as reported by the Loon Preservation Committee (LPC). The poignant photographs in the InterTown Record last week of first a healthy then dying loon on Pleasant Lake in New London tells the story and brings it close to home. Continue reading


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