Lois Shea

NHPR Staff

My daughter registered to vote for the first time before last year’s Town Meeting. The Supervisors of the Checklist made an appropriate fuss.

Special thanks to Bev Norton for additional photography. You can find her photos here.

One of them looked at her, beaming, and said, “You are the future of this town.”

She didn’t say “of this country,” or even “of New Hampshire.”

Journey Song

Journey Song, a group of singers based in the New Hampshire Seacoast, brings the solace of music to hospice patients and their families. Ed Brown remembers how the group sang for his wife, Judith Whipple Brown.


The Cornucopia Project teaches kids to grow food -- and to make a lifetime of healthy eating choices. Susan Ellingwood and her third-graders in Dublin are old hands in their school garden -- which was established with help from the Cornucopia Project.

African Burying Ground NH

During the 1700's, many Portsmouth residents were of African descent– some slave, some free— and were buried in a segregated cemetery. That cemetery was built over, its boundaries obscured. A public works crew rediscovered the site and now the restoration of its dignity has begun. Kelvin Edwards is working on the Portsmouth African Burying Ground Memorial.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

 The Great North Woods Committee for the Arts enriches north country life by bringing authentic music and culture to local venues. Quebec native, Alice Carlson, grew up listening to traditional folklore music.

Courtesy Sarah Kirsch

Sarah Kirsch rescued her dog, Angel, from the Concord-Merrimack County SPCA, and enrolled Angel in a program to become a therapy dog through that organization. Now certified, Angel makes regular visits to nursing homes.

The presence of a therapy dog can have a significant impact on the residents.

Kirsch and Angel were directed to one resident, Pearl. Though she seemed to be unresponsive, her roommate informed Kirsch that she liked dogs.

Courtesy of The Webster House

The Webster House is a children's home in Manchester that has been in operation since 1884, caring for youth who are unable to live at home.

Gabrielle Dante came to The Webster House when she was in her mid-teens. She had been experiencing problems at home and at school, and was struggling to overcome an eating disorder.

Courtesy of The Raymond Coalition

The Raymond Coalition for Youth is committed to helping kids make healthy choices and form positive habits. Through its "Youth Action" program, the Coalition empowers teenagers, like Kirsten Roman, to involve themselves in community outreach. "I was really interested in helping out the community more, and to help my peers make good choices," says Roman. "We focus on positive choice: not doing drugs or alcohol; eating healthy and exercising."

epSos.de / Flickr/Creative Commons

Serenity Place is a substance abuse recovery center in Manchester, offering detox programs and education to those struggling to overcome addiction. For Stephanie, Serenity Place provided a solid foundation for her recovery from drug and alcohol problems.

Aldo Tapia / Flickr

MoCo Arts wants to change people's lives through creative expression and exposure to the arts. One of its students, Peter Fedrizzi, started dancing when he was 13, after a friend suggested he might have a natural ability for it.

"We were lying around one afternoon and I was stretching my feet, and she looked at them and said, 'Peter, people will kill for your feet in dance. You should try ballet.'"

Creative Common/Flickr audiolucistore

Professionals who dream of changing careers and becoming teachers have been doing so with the help of the Upper Valley Educators Institute since 1969.

Courtesy of Harbor Homes

When Matt Milbourn, a veteran of the first Persian Gulf War, found himself unexpectedly made homeless,  Harbor Homes was there for him.

In addition to operating a homeless shelter, Harbor Homes also manages a reintegration program, offering services, healthcare, and education to homeless veterans and their families. Matt earned his CphT (Certified Pharmacy Technician) through the program, and now teaches computer education and life skills classes at Harbor Homes.

NHPR, Cheryl Senter

The Tuttle Farm in Dover is the oldest family farm in the United States. When Bill Tuttle and his family, the 11th generation to farm this land, decided to conserve it, they turned to the Strafford Rivers Conservancy.



Big Brothers/Big Sisters Alliance of New Hampshire matches kids with caring mentors.

Lexi was matched with her "big sister" Sarah Danforth, and the two regularly spend time together. Lexi’s three sisters each have "big sisters," too. Sometimes, all eight of them get together--for a swim, for a cookout, for a game night.

Danforth joined the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program because she wanted to enable her match to see and do things she may not have an opportunity to otherwise.

Milestone Management / Flickr

The Granite United Way's 2-1-1 New Hampshire service is a directory assistance of services available in the state. It puts those in need in touch with the services that can help.

Cassie called 2-1-1 for help with disability rights when she ran into trouble with her housing arrangement. Her landlord had issued an eviction notice after she acquired a dog, because her lease forbids pets from the building. But Cassie's dog isn't a pet; she's a psychiatric service dog that provided therapeutic assistance.

Some years ago, Maria Dichtelmiller found herself unable to buy food and living in a shelter. She went to The Community Kitchen in Keene, a local food pantry.

While standing in line at the pantry, Maria noticed a chayote (a type of squash) had been sorted in with boxes of fruits. After pointing this out and explaining what a chayote was to the staff, they hired her as a volunteer. She now works at the Kitchen’s grain station and educates others on the value of food they might be unfamiliar with.

Sheryl Rich-Kern / NHPR

Symphony NH, the granite state's oldest professional orchestra, invited 16-year-old harpist Crystal Napoli to solo at two of their performances; an opportunity that is the stuff of dreams for young classical musicians.

The symphony's music director, Jonathan McPhee, extended the invitation to Crystal after seeing her performance as the 2011 winner of the concerto competition at the Manchester Community Music School.

hepingting / Flickr

Lakes Region Community Services helps children with autism and their families through their early intervention program and autism center. Christian Lapierre was 15 months old when his mom, Denise, realized something was wrong and called Lakes Region Community Services.


3S Artspace is a Portsmouth nonprofit working on renovating a large building into studio space for artists, a farm-to-table restaurant, performance space and a gallery. For Catherine Scala, finding studio space here gave her the boost to continue her career as an artist.



The Appalachian Mountain Club works with Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), providing summer work opportunities to North Country students. Students learn about trail stewardship and conservation, and gain practical job skills. Cory Arsenault and Samantha Roux were part of a crew doing trail work.

Roux says the trail work is intensive and demanding, “building rock staircases, bridges. We clean the trail 

  off for people.”

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/abennett96/538039424/">BenSpark</a> / Flickr

Summer may be winding down, but for many gardeners in New Hampshire, the season’s not quite over.  There are still tomatoes and beans to be gathered.  And rich fall squashes are just emerging.  This summer’s gardening season has been a challenging one.  Mainly because of a few creatures that have enjoyed her plants.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “I have no hostility to nature, but a child’s love to it. I expand and live in the warm day like corn and melons.”

I suspect that deer were not eating Mr. Emerson’s corn, or melons.


I have done a lot of things in New Hampshire.

I have climbed Mount Monadnock in a sleet-storm, ridden a snow machine deep into the woods of Coos County; I have met future presidents, made maple syrup, split untold cords of firewood, battled ice dams, swallowed black flies; I’ve eaten beans that had been cooked in a hole in the ground in Berlin. 

I’ve been to the Isles of Shoals and to Donald Hall’s living room.

I once presented Hugh Gregg with the gift of a sack full of turnips.