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Guided snowshoe hike at Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area on Saturday

MOULTONBOROUGH — On Saturday, February 21, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) is offering a guided snowshoe hike at the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area in Moultonborough and Tuftonboro, LRCT's largest and most well-known conserved property.

The snowshoe hike will be led by LRCT volunteer Jon Martin, who will lead participants on a 3.7 mile scenic loop that will include the Lower Bridle Path, the Oak Ridge Trail, and parts of the Turtleback Mountain Trail. The snowshoe hike will cover uphill and downhill terrain with a moderate level of difficulty, with some strenuous parts, and a total elevation gain of 400 feet. Highlights of the trip will include the Oak Ridge Overlook, Valley Vista, and Witham cellar hole and homestead site. The hike will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 12:30 pm.

Hike leader Jon Martin grew up in the forests of Bristol and Bridgewater, is a graduate of Newfound High School, and has earned forestry degrees at the University of New Hampshire. He is the principal of Martin Forestry Consulting, LLC in Bridgewater. Jon is passionate about the forests of New Hampshire, and serves on several boards and committees related to their conservation, management, and appreciation.

The February 21 snowshoe hike is free to all, but it is limited to 25 participants and pre-registration is required. To pre-register or obtain additional information, visit LRCT's website (www.lrct.org -- see the Educational Programs/Guided Excursions page) or contact LRCT at 603-253-3301 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area, totaling 5,381 acres and encompassing summits and slopes of the Ossipee Mountains overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee, is the largest and most visited property conserved by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. In 2002, through the generosity of over 2,000 donors, LRCT acquired this magnificent property, for thoughtful public recreation, conservation of wildlife habitat, and preservation of the special character of the Lakes Region.

The Lakes Region Conservation Trust was founded in 1979 to conserve the natural heritage of New Hampshire's Lakes Region. To date, LRCT has conserved more than 130 properties totaling nearly 24,000 acres. LRCT's conservation and stewardship work preserves community character, conserves critical wildlife habitat and diverse ecosystems, protects natural landmarks and scenic landscapes, and provides outdoor recreation opportunities for people of all ages.

LRCT offers guided excursions ― hiking, paddling, and snowshoeing trips ― year-round on and to LRCT's properties throughout the Lakes Region. The excursions provide an opportunity to learn about and explore LRCT's conserved lands with knowledgeable guides.

To learn more about the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area, to purchase LRCT's updated Castle in the Clouds hiking trails map, and to support LRCT's work in preserving the Lakes Region's special places, please visit LRCT 's website (www.lrct.org).


View from Oak Ridge. (Courtesy photo)

Last Updated on Monday, 16 February 2015 09:21

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Canine comedy ‘Sylvia’ at Winni Playhouse this weekend

MEREDITH — The street-wise lab-poodle mix who has the title role in playwright A.R. Gurney's canine comedy Sylvia, will take to The Winnipesaukee Playhouse stage, played by very human actress Rachel Broadwell, Thursday through Saturday, February 19-21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 22 at 2 p.m.

The '90s romantic comedy was first production by the Playhouse in 2006 and it's so funny that patrons have been barking for more ever since.  Empty nesters Greg and Kate have moved back to Manhattan after twenty-two years in the suburbs. When Greg finds the cute pooch in the park and brings her home, she promptly becomes a bone of contention between Greg and Kate, testing their marriage to hilarious and touching effect.

The production is directed by Clayton Phillips, former Artistic Director of The Barnstormers. Phillips' distinguished career also includes directing at major regional theaters, for national tours, as well as international productions. It features long-time Playhouse professional company actors Richard Brundage and Donna Schilke as Greg and Kate. Versee Damien Carter, who was last seen in the Winni Players' production of Of Mice and Men takes on a trio of interesting roles as various New Yorkers who enter Greg and Kate's life.

Broadwell marks her Playhouse debut as the spunky pup. "The convention of using a woman to play the dog," says Phillips, which in the original New York production was played by Sarah Jessica Parker, "brings a level of humor to the play, but also ups the stakes where the marriage is concerned.

"The play is really relatable to most couples, pet-owning or not," continues Phillips. "At its heart, it's about a couple who have been together a long time and have suddenly found themselves at different stages of their careers, with different interests, and who find that they don't necessarily have the same needs anymore."

This production is generously sponsored by Kovio's K-9. It does contain some strong language and patrons should ask at the box office if there are concerns. Tickets cost $25 for orchestra seating and $15 for balcony. They can be ordered by calling (603)-279-0333 or by using a credit card at www.winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 February 2015 09:08

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Soil-friendly lanscaping program at Gilford Library on Thursday evening

GILFORD —  On Thursday, February 19 at 6:30 pm, the Belknap County Conservation District and the Gilford Conservation Commission will host a landscaping program at the Gilford Public Library.

This hour-long program will teach attendees about soil-friendly landscaping features and methods, and share online tools and other resources that examine soil conservation, benefit the local waters and enhance personal property. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 February 2015 09:02

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Dinner tomorrow to celebrate New American Welcome Center initiative

LACONIA — A community dinner to celebrate an initiative to establish a New American Welcome Center.will be held on Wednesday, February 18, from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Laconia Middle School. All are welcome to the table, recent newcomers and those who are 'welcomers'. Sponsoring this program are the Lakes Region Immigrant Integration Initiative, Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health, Laconia Human Relations Committee, and Better Together.
A main dish and drinks will be provided. It is suggested that each family bring a main dish that reflects their family heritage. The evening will include a brief description of this new initiative, stories from recent immigrants, as well as information on the exciting new Better Together action groups.
Many newcomers to the Lakes Region from other cultures are skilled, professional people filling positions where there is a shortage in the U.S. Some are entrepreneurs and others fill manufacturing and entry level jobs. They add substantially to the economy in the Lakes Region with their work ethic, valuing of education, and rich personal resources.
This immigration integration initiative is a part of a state-wide approach including Concord, Manchester and Nashua, which is sponsored by the NH Endowment for Health and the NH Charitable Foundation.
For more information about the dinner, contact Susan Laverack (603) 528-2145 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 February 2015 08:57

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