HISTORY, VISION & MISSION, EQUITY AND INCLUSION
At the turn of the century, Squam was quite different from the scene we enjoy today. The surrounding mountains were cleared by logging, sawdust several feet thick had settled in many of the coves, driftwood made navigation hazardous, and refuse including tires, mattresses and dead animals, had been dumped in the lakes.
In 1904, the Squam Lakes Improvement Association was formed by a group of concerned landowners. In 1905, the association was legally incorporated as a non-profit conservation organization and renamed Squam Lakes Association (SLA). Initial efforts of the SLA were focused on eliminating pollution from the lakes, maintenance of the water level, boat safety, and navigation. Through cooperative relationships with local and state governments and the dedication of four generations of people who loved Squam, the watershed has been uniquely conserved.
The Squam Lakes Association is dedicated to conserving for public benefit the natural beauty, peaceful character, and resources of the watershed. In collaboration with local and state partners the SLA promotes the protection, careful use, and shared enjoyment of the lakes, mountains, forests, open spaces, and wildlife of the Squam Lakes region.
The Squam Lakes Watershed is a model for living in harmony with unique natural resources and cultural heritage.
Equity and Inclusion
Like the natural world, diversity makes organizations and communities stronger, more resilient, and more innovative. The SLA’s mission is rooted in fostering diversity and inclusion. We are committed to sharing and conserving the region for the public, which includes all people, regardless of their individual characteristics. We are working to better nurture a diverse staff and inclusive work atmosphere, broaden the reach of our programs and access to all of the public, and foster a safe space for all to develop a deep respect and curiosity for nature. The SLA recognizes that there are barriers to inclusion within the field of environmental conservation, and we are actively trying to overcome them. This work is ongoing, and we are learning from and collaborating with other organizations, our community, and beyond to build a more diverse and equitable future.
The Squam watershed and trails are located on N'dakinna, the homelands of the Abenaki, Penacook, and other Wabanaki Peoples. We are grateful for those past and present who steward these lands.
Squam Watershed Wellness is the strategy through which the Squam Lakes Association will carry out its mission. A healthy lake, healthy land, and healthy communities make for a healthy watershed.