Franklin for a Lifetime to Envision a City for the Age

FRANKLIN — The city of Franklin will take the next step in its historic community revitalization project with a three-day event that will lead to plans that address the needs of older residents while attracting and keeping younger adults and families.

The April 9-11 workshop, Franklin for a Lifetime, represents a new milestone in a partnership among the city, UNH Cooperative Extension, and Plan NH to respond to an aging population with housing, economic development, and revitalization ideas that will build a vibrant community for all ages.

"New Hampshire is facing the challenges and opportunities of being one of the fastest aging states in the country," said Sharon Cowen, community and economic development field specialist at Cooperative Extension. "Our population aged 65 and over is projected to double by 2025. Older residents want homes and communities that accommodate their desire to age in place and address the needs that come with age."

For the past six months, Franklin has been convening community meetings, consulting experts, and collecting data to inform creative concepts that will be presented to the city's leaders for action in May. The partners in Franklin for a Lifetime hope that the lessons learned here will also prove useful to other New Hampshire communities facing similar challenges.

The three-day workshop begins with a community supper on Thursday, April 9, followed by a full day of national and state speakers on Friday, April 10. Topics will include creating great places for all ages, revitalizing the community with a particular focus on the downtown area, and small business recruitment. Plan NH volunteers (such as planners, architects, and engineers) will meet on Saturday, April 11 to gather everything learned from the community and shape recommendations based on their community development experience and expertise. These draft plans will be turned back to the community for consideration and decision-making.

The project is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Citizens' Institute on Rural DesignTM

For more information or to register for the event, visit or call Sharon Cowen, community and economic development field specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension, (603) 641-6060.

Pitman's Freight Room hosts the Cheryl Arena Blues Band on Friday

LACONIA — Pitman's Freight Room will host the Cheryl Arena Blues Band on Friday, April 10 at 8 p.m.

Cheryl sizzles with excitement as she mesmerizes audiences with her sultry voice and powerhouse energy. Hailing from Boston, she began playing harmonica and immersing herself into the Blues in 1987. She has recorded on several CDs with her most recent, her first solo effort, "Blues Got Me" including 7 original songs, backed by a stellar 7 piece band and produced by Duke Robillard, who also plays on a few cuts.
The harmonica has brought her to many exotic places and afforded her a wealth of wonderful experiences, whether it's on a big festival stage fronting her own band, playing an acoustic duo in some cozy little wine bar, singing and playing with a 20 piece orchestra in Dallas Tex., touring around Italy, being a side person in someone else's band, giving harmonica lessons on Skype or teaching at Jon Gindick's Jam camps, Cheryl's beloved pocket pal is always close to her side ready for the next musical adventure.

Admission is $15 at the door. BYOB. Catered dinner buffet available before the show. Call 527-0043 for dinner reservations. For more information visit

Opechee Garden Club's Art 'N Bloom exhibit opens April 16

GILFORD — The Opechee Garden Club will host one of the club's favorites, Art 'n Bloom at the Gilford Public Library on Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Art is in the eye of the beholder. Members get the chance to interpret a piece of artwork of their choice a painting, sculpture or print, their own art or that of a local artist. They get to use their own imagination using natural flowers, fruits, plants, a drape of material, a piece of jewelry or a pewter tankard and with a little inspiration for form, color, shape or texture, they create their interpretation of the artwork.

Opechee Garden Club members, Mary Lou John and Jean Kennedy, local artists of the Lakes Region Art Association, will have their floral paintings on display. Chair Carmel Lancia invites the public to view these inspirational creations on exhibit during library hours. For more information call 293-2877.


Prescott Farm hosts author Mary Holland

LACONIA — Mary Holland, author of Naturally Curious comes to Prescott Farm from Saturday, April 11 from 1-2 p.m.
Holland is a naturalist, author, environmental educator and nature photographer who will share her visual journey through the 12 months of the year that take place during the different seasons in New England.

From the call of spring peepers in March to the migration of broad-winged hawks in the fall, Naturally Curious introduces audiences of all ages to the natural events that occur on an annual basis. This interactive presentation includes Holland's photographs accompanied by information about amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects and spiders, and plants.

A substantial natural history collection consisting of skins, skulls, scat, feathers, nests and many more animal artifacts will be on display before and following this 45-minute program.

Free to the public, but please RSVP by calling us at 366-5695.