Earth Day Celebrations at the SLA: Trailwork, Outreach, and Solar!

Earth Day Celebrations at the SLA

April 22nd-26th the Squam Lakes Association hosted a number of programs in honor of this year’s Earth Day. As a conservation non-profit, Earth Day offers yet another opportunity for the SLA to engage people with our continuing efforts to protect the health of our planet.

The first event was an arts and crafts program on Monday, April 22nd, which was a hit among families with younger children. From 1:00 to 3:00pm, participants gathered in the SLA’s Great Room to create reusable shopping bags out of old t-shirts and make planters from recycled milk cartons and plastic containers. This program also branched off of a week-long SLA Adventure Vacation Camp where campers ages 9-11 were taught how to identify invasive plants, sampled lake water for macroinvertebrates, and learned about the importance of protecting our watershed, among other activities.  

On the same day, a group of volunteers from the T-Bones and Cactus Jack’s restaurants in Laconia joined two LRCC members out on the trails at the Chamberlain Reynolds Memorial Forest (CRMF) for some Earth Day trailwork. Over the course of the morning, the group of ten volunteers cleared the trails of the dog poop that had accumulated on them throughout the winter months. As they worked, they discussed the impact that trash and pet waste can have on the health of our watershed while also enjoying the beautiful views of the recently thawed Squam Lake.

Later in the week, on Wednesday 24th, LRCC members represented the SLA at a Plymouth State University Environmental Fair. At the fair, LRCC demonstrated how to make reusable grocery bags while speaking to PSU students about future opportunities at the SLA. 

That same day, the SLA ran their second of four Spring into Action Series presentations focused on inspiring people to take action to help the environment. From 7:00-8:00pm, John Moulton of Moulton Farm spoke on the importance of local agriculture and food production to the community and environment. Delving into his over 40 years of experience in farming, Moulton highlighted ways in which modern farms can use practices that are simultaneously good for business and environmentally responsible. The next installment in this speaker series is titled Forever Squam? and will be presented by Roger Larochelle of the Squam Lakes Conservation Society on Wednesday, May 15th.

Earth Day also coincided with the start of the highly anticipated solar panel installation on the Squam Lakes Association’s roof. By June, the SLA’s campus will be powered entirely by renewable, solar energy derived from 112 solar photovoltaic panels. This solar project is being installed by the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative, coordinated by NE Commercial Solar Services, and funded by generous local donors and the NH Charitable Foundation. The SLA will host an opening ceremony in June to celebrate this giant step towards further sustainability.