Happening Around Epping

Mar-April 2017 | Volume 10, Issue 2



Newsletter Schedule

Have we missed your group or event? Please let us know. Our purpose is to include as many Epping groups and events as possible.

The next issue (Mary-June) of this newsletter will be available in early May 2017. We will accept submissions through April 25, 2017 to be included in the next issue. Please send your content, including contact information, for consideration by using the CONTACT US section of our web site or by emailing us.

Outside Watering Ban in Epping

There is still a mandatory outside watering ban in effect in Epping.  Epping town wells are currently at critically low levels and water conservation is very important.  The Town is working hard to bring two new wells online.

End 68 Hours of Hunger in Epping

End 68 Hours of Hunger Epping is currently feeding 40 Epping students a weekend. We would like to thank the Epping Elementary teachers for donating $650 from the Jean Friday fundraiser. The Epping Middle and High school had a great food drive for us that filled bags for weeks! Greg and Jane's Beer and Wine donated $300 from a raffle to our program. We would also like to thank the countless people that drop bags of food off at the town library in our drop box. These monthly food donations keep our shopping list low!

Our program would not successfully run without our four packing teams. However we are still in need of volunteers to help with donated food inventory, restocking our shelves after food shopping, getting our recycling to the transfer station, and organizing local community food drop boxes. Right now our two program coordinators complete all those tasks and would love some more help!

Reach out to us for more information at Eppingnh@end68hoursofhunger.org

Karen Poplaski and Shannon Garwich, Coordinators

In and Around Epping

The Master Plan Survey is going on right now

Here is the link to the survey:

The link is also available on the home page of the Town website.  All Epping residents are encouraged to respond to the survey.

Cell Phones for Our Troops

Donate your old cell phone

More than 150,000 troops are serving overseas and are away from their families. Please make a donation of your old cell phone so they can call home, providing these soldiers with a much needed connection to their loved ones. There is a drop off box at the Epping Town Hall for your convenience.

The Pease Greeters Need Our Help!

The Pease Greeters, hundreds of volunteers, meet our Armed Forces any time of day or night, as they pass through Pease International Airport on their way to a war zone or on their way home. For more than eleven years, Greeters have welcomed service members on every flight with a warm meal and beverage, small gifts, a cell phone to call home and a hearty round of applause. And for that we give the Greeters our warmest and most sincere thanks. The Pease Greeters began welcoming flights in 2005 and a couple of months ago reached the milestone of having welcomed 1,000 flights.

Recently, the number of flights through Pease has increased and the Pease Greeters are in need of monetary help. We need to support our service men and women any way we can. If you can give any amount, please make a check payable to Pease Greeters and send or drop it off to Joyce at the Town Hall.

To learn more about the Pease Greeters, sign up for flight alerts or to make a contribution, visit www.peasegreeters.org.

Epping Lions Club

“We Serve”

We Want YOU to Join the Epping Lions Club!


The Epping Lions Club was chartered in April 2009. We support sight programs and services including vision screenings, eyeglass recycling, and provide assistance to local families in need of eyeglasses. We also support community programs and participate in some exciting events. Our December gas card raffle was a huge success, and our Lions club was able to purchase $1200 in Marshall’s gift cards for local families.  In addition, we are currently doing another round of Vision testing at the Epping schools.  This year 391 kids have been vision-screened so far!

Our next event will be the Lamprey River Canoe Race on Saturday, April 22th. This will be the 40th year of the canoe race, and we have exciting things planned, including a new commemorative T-shirt. Registration forms will be available online at our website and at the Town Hall.  Prizes are awarded for the fastest times and costumes are encouraged.  Come on out for a fun family day!  

We are always looking for innovative people who desire to become involved in improving our community and having fun doing it. If you're interested in learning more, please visit: www.epping.nhlions.org or our Facebook page at facebook.com/EppingsLionsClubMeeting times are generally the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm at the Harvey Mitchell Memorial Library in Epping.  We’d love to see you! 

Colleen Palmer, President

Cheryl Denoncour, Treasurer

Deb Brooks, Eye-glass Collector

Submitted by Debbie Moulton

Epping Students in the News

Epping students named to the UNH Dean’s List for the Fall 2016 Dean’s List at:

Champlain College

Emmanuel College

Keene State College

NHTI, Concord’s Community College

Saint Anselm College

University of Iowa

University of New England

University of New Hampshire

Highest Honors

High Honors


University of Vermont

St. Thomas Aquinas High School

2nd Quarter Honor Roll for 2016-2017

Grade 9 – High Honors

Grade 12 – High Honors

American Legion News

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance

The American Legion Post 51 is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance featuring The Spoke & Throttle Band on Saturday, March 11th. The New England boiled dinner includes your choice of Corned Beef or Ham and all the fixings. TICKETS are on sale now. ONLY 100 Tickets will be sold for this St. Patrick’s Day Dinner that will be served between 6:00 and 7:00 pm. The tickets MUST BE purchased in advance for $13 per person. Please see the bartender in the Canteen at the Epping Legion. Tickets will be sold until they run out or until the cutoff date of March 7th!   This ticket does include entrance to the dance that will begin at 8 pm. The Spoke & Throttle Band will be playing classic rock’n roll music. We expect our dance floor to be jam packed!!! If you miss out on the dinner tickets or you just want to attend the dance which starts at 8 pm, the cost is $7/person at the door. A cash bar will be open. The event will be held in the non-smoking Harry Bradshaw Memorial Hall of the American Legion on Route 125 in Epping (across from Telly’s Restaurant). All are welcome! For more information please call Judy at (434) 835-7928 or Darlene at (603) 793-6090.

Monthly Breakfast Buffets

Monthly second Sunday breakfasts are being held from 8:00 to 11:00 am. Come enjoy our hot Breakfast Buffets on Sunday March 12th and Sunday, April 9th - eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, pancakes, home fries, and coffee are all piping hot and ready to be enjoyed. Bring your newspaper and your appetite!

Prices have changed. The Buffet is $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 6 to 12 and children under six are free - worth every penny!

We will be collecting food for End 68 Hours of Hunger in Epping.

Nature Talks

Submitted by Sandy Goodspeed, guest contributor

Your Conservation Commission is actively committed to Epping trails. That includes managing those we have, as well as building new ones. Sarah Brennan has taken the lead for posting existing trails on www.TrailFinder.info. Trail Finder is administered by the Upper Valley Trail Alliance with support from the Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation Agency, UNH Cooperative Extension and the National Park Service. The ConComm is grateful for their support – they have been very helpful in helping get our trails into the system.

We hope you will take a moment to check out the website; right now the Fox Run trail is loaded and the Southeast Land Trust has loaded some trails as well. In addition to trails in Epping, you can see trails in the rest of NH and VT. Not only are all the trail maps located in one place, but you can view trail lengths, uses (snowmobiling, biking, walking, etc.), viewpoints, photos, geocaches and more. New trails throughout NH are being added to the website regularly. We hope this trail project encourages people to get outdoors and enjoy the fruits of conservation.

Along with getting trail information out to the people, the ConComm is also interested in organizing a program to help maintain the trails. Pat VanWagoner did a lot of research into trail adoption programs. We consider a program like this to be a great way to maintain our trails, as well as getting more people involved in conservation.

Please let us know of any trails you’d like to see on Trail Finder. This is surely a team effort and all feedback is welcomed. If you know of any trails that should be seen in Trail Finder or you would like to help with this effort, please put a note in the ConComm mailbox at Town Hall.

Lastly, as we go to print there is an opening on the Commission. If you are interested in helping us get people outdoors, reviewing wetlands permits and connecting with the community, check us out at eppingconcomm.org and leave us a note at Town Hall.

Lamprey River Advisory Committee

Floodplains: Plainly Important to River Integrity

Floodplains are defined as low-lying areas adjacent to rivers that are periodically flooded.  In southern New Hampshire, floodplains occur up to 20 feet above the normal river height. They tend to be vegetated with wetland forest, dense shrubs, and open meadows. Oxbows (former river curves) and vernal pools are common along floodplains. The floodplain soils are usually composed of dark, fertile sediment interspersed with layers of sand.


  Photo by Ben Kimball, NH Division of Forest and Lands www.nhdfl.org


This photo of a floodplain along the Merrimack River in Concord clearly shows where the flood water has left muck on the trees.

The trees that thrive on floodplains have adapted to occasional excess water: red maples, silver maples, black ash, black cherry, swamp white oak, sycamore, river birch, muscle wood, and American elm. Some of the more noticeable understory plants are vibrant red cardinal flowers and various ferns. Because the flood plains are wet and tend to be thickly vegetated, hiking can be difficult.


Cardinal flower at Mary Blair Park in Epping
Photo by S. Petersen

     In their natural state, floodplains provide excellent habitat and travel corridors for many uncommon animals. For people, these areas provide important water cleansing services as well as water storage that helps to lessen effects of flooding downstream. According to the NH Department of Environmental Services, the “Lamprey River … contains the most extensive minor river floodplain forests of red maple/shrubs in the state.”
     Because of the rich soil and proximity to rivers, many floodplains have been subjected to clearing and filling for agriculture, residences, and other forms of development. As is often the case, such modifications of the natural environment come at a heavy cost, both to nature and to people. People who clear floodplains for agriculture often create conditions that increase the risk of major soil loss during floods. The soil is picked up and carried away, and then deposited elsewhere downstream or in Great Bay. Houses and other structures built in the floodplain are exposed to repeated flooding. That nice view of the river from the living room can easily become the nightmare of the river in the living room. The people who build in the floodplain pay a heavy price and so do the people who live downstream and must face even more water.
     The plain and simple truth is, floodplains are an important feature of the river and are worth leaving alone.

Small Grants Program

Do you have a BIG idea for a Small Grant? Once again, the Lamprey Rivers Advisory Committee is offering grants up to $5000.00 to help you help us.

Are you curious about a particular person, place, or time along the river that you want to learn more about? Do you want to organize a pilot project that helps your neighbors and friends to conserve water, adopt-a-spot, repair an eroded river bank, or sponsor a Junior Rangers group?  Use your imagination… how can you help share your enjoyment of nature, history, or recreation with others?

Application information and past projects are available at http://www.lampreyriver.org/Owner/?task=Content&job=Edit&ID=344.

A sample of past Small Grant projects:

Community improvements:


Group Activities:


Songbird Picnic - A Smidgen of Midges

As any fishing enthusiast knows, many aquatic insects hatch in spring and the fish are quick to respond to the bounty of food. Most birdwatchers might also be aware that these same aquatic insects are critically important to migratory birds which need to refuel during or after their long flight and to prepare for the rigors of a new nesting season. Aquatic insects such as midges are abundant earlier than most terrestrial insects. This early banquet along rivers and wetlands meets a need that cannot be met elsewhere in the habitat during this time.

Adult male Chironomus plumosus wikipedia.org

Midges, also known as chironomids, are true flies and have one set of wings.  Over 10,000 different species occur worldwide in almost any kind of water, from clean open water to small polluted puddles. The adults are similar in appearance to mosquitoes, but the males have fuzzy antennae.  Most important for people, most species do not bite.  In fact, many adult midges do not eat at all. In New Hampshire, midges are the first aquatic insects to emerge in the spring and are also the last to emerge in the fall.  Whenever they emerge, they do so en masse.  Adult midges are short-lived and have two important tasks: mate and lay eggs.  Even though their lives are short, they are ecologically important as a good source of food for fish, amphibians, songbirds and bats.

Many people are aware that some songbirds eat insects, while others eat berries or seeds. What people might not know is that almost all songbird chicks, regardless of what the parents eat, need to consume insects to provide necessary proteins and fats. In fact, 96% of all songbird chicks require insects. A recent study by Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has also shown that fats from aquatic insects promote more rigorous growth and better immune responses in tree swallow chicks than the same quantity of terrestrial insects. (Cornelia W. Twining, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Sept. 27, 2016)

Tree Swallow     Wikipedia.org

Songbirds everywhere are under enormous stress due to human development, loss of habitat and climate change.  Helping songbirds is yet another reason to protect natural areas (also known as buffers) around water.

LRAC logo small

Helping communities protect the Lamprey River

Submitted by Suzanne Petersen


Epping Garden Club

The Epping Garden Club will be selling NH grown bowls of gorgeous, multi-colored, Pansies for your gardens, window boxes, planters, mailbox areas and even your front steps. Leave them in their bowls or take them out and use as you like. Moms and Grandmothers will love them for Easter and they will be in bloom through October, if watered and cared for.

They will be ready around the end of March. However, after last year’s weather we will hold off a bit with hopes for a warm Easter period with all the cold weather behind us. Should you need yours early, please let me know when you mail in your check. I can get them when I am there taking photos for our Facebook page.

This year we will offer them for $12.50 per bowl! Yes, a sale, to thank you all for your continued support. The proceeds will go to help defray the cost of our bark mulch delivery.

Please mail your check to:

Epping Garden Club
9 Folsom Mill Lane
Epping NH 03042

Please check the Epping Garden Club on Facebook for updates. We will need a hand when mulch is set to be delivered and we need help to spread it on our corners.

We will also offer annuals - fresh NH Grown plants. Marigolds, petunias, you name it, we may be able to get it. Do you buy flats? Ask us for our pricing. Eunice Miller – 300-0064.

Please "Like Us" on Facebook too! Thanks for your continued support.

Submitted by Eunice Miller

Epping Parks & Recreation Department News

Home of the "River Otters"

Director: Nicole Bizzaro
Cell Phone: 608-9487
Recreation Dept. Main Phone Number: 679-3006

Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

If you need to reach the Department, please contact Nicole, Recreation Director via e-mail at eppingrecreation@gmail.com or cell at 608-9487.

Now that Watson Academy is open again, we are getting back to business. The Epping Parks & Recreation Department has been busy at work, meeting with potential new instructors and staff to develop future programs and offerings at Watson for the town residents. For more information and to register, please contact the Recreation Department via e-mail at eppingrecreation@gmail.com or visit our website at www.EppingRecreation.org.

Please check out our website and our Facebook page for announcements and program updates.

Epping Art Center

Do you draw or paint?  Do you want to learn how, or learn more? On March 11th from 9:00 to 11:00 am at the Epping Rec. Center, there will be an inaugural meeting of the Epping Art Association.  The EAA will be a source of workshops and a place to share your art with other artists from Epping and the surrounding communities.  This meeting will explain the mission and operation of this association and is free.  Artist Don Jalbert, now exhibiting at the Epping Library, is the contact person.

Elementary School Programs

Before & After School Program

We provide a safe, nurturing place for children to attend quality programming beyond the schools’ hours of operation. We strive to help youth reach their full potential by allowing them to explore their physical, social and intellectual interests in a safe and fun setting. The culture of our programs emphasizes quality relationships and a healthy respect for individuality. We provide enough structure to keep everyone safe, but we also offer an open atmosphere that allows children to explore their interests in groups or on their own.

The Before School Program operates on normal school days at the Epping Elementary School gym in the mornings for youth in grades K-7. The program opens at 6:45 am and runs until students leave for their classrooms at 8:20 am! Kindergarteners are escorted by staff. At the program the youth are able to finish homework, work on arts and crafts projects and play games in the gym. The youth are able to eat breakfast with the school breakfast program.

The After School Program starts at the EES Library to gather, then they head outside to the EES playgrounds during good weather days or walk down to Watson Academy for snack and homework time from 3:15-4:15 pm, during cold or bad weather days. The program then runs organized games and activities from 4:15-5:45 pm at Watson Academy and on scheduled days, uses the gym for PE related programming. The program operates from school dismissal until 5:45 pm. Children are grouped by grades: K-1, 2-3 and 4-7. This may vary slightly depending on space and child needs in each of the groups.

Grades K-7

6:45–8:35 am – Before School Program at Epping Elementary School Gym

3:15 – 5:45 pm – After School Program meets in EES Library, goes to Playground and Watson Academy, with use of the EES Gym on scheduled days.

Call Nicole for more information at 608-9487.

School Age Youth Programs

Story Discoveries

Literacy based interactive programs for children ages 2-5 with an accompanying adult. Join us for songs, stories and hands-on activities at 10:00 am on Tuesdays. Starting with songs and finger plays to help participants feel comfortable and included, Miss Tracie will read two picture books which introduce the children to a topic that is relevant to their experience in the world. Following the stories will be a fun project using a variety of art media, giving the child something to take home which will hopefully inspire further investigation and discussion of the topic. These projects can be messy, so although aprons will be available, washable play clothes are recommended. There will also be age appropriate puzzles for the preschoolers to explore as they complete their project.

“Miss Tracie” Wilkins has over 25 years of experience as an early childhood educator, having worked in preschool, kindergarten, children's museum and public library settings.
Ages: 2-5
Day: Tuesdays (ongoing)
Time: 10- 11 am
Cost: $30 for 6 classes or $6 drop in per week
Where: Watson Academy
How to register: Please drop in for class or mail in a Registration form.

Preschool Sports Programs

A Spring Preschool Sports Program will be offered on Friday mornings from 9:15-10:00 am for kids 3-5 years old.  More information will be posted on the Rec website in late April.  We will also be looking at offering an evening Preschool Sports/T-Ball program for 3-4 year olds from 5:15-6:00 pm that will run mid May-June.  More information will be posted in April.

If you are looking for beginning and advanced team sports-related programs for children ages 5+, please visit the Epping Youth Athletic Association (EYAA) website at www.eyaa.org for sports programs offered in Epping..

Martial Arts Programs at Epping Recreation and Elementary School (offered by Epping ATA)

Karate Classes Mondays (EES Gym) and Thursdays (MS Stage) 3:10 – 4:15 pm, $65 per month.

For more information or to sign up your child, please contact Mrs. DeNapoli at 674-6599 or e-mail her at eppingata@gmail.com.

***ALL beginners receive a FREE Uniform.***

Youth Ceramics Class

This program is ongoing so the child comes 3 times and then is completed or signs up for another 3-week session.

To register, please contact the Epping Recreation Dept. at eppingrecreation@gmail.com or stop by the program to speak with Barbara Young.

8th – 12th Grade CIT program

It's back again this year. Students who like working with children and want to gain experience may apply to be a Counselor-In-Training. School year and summer positions are available and it’s FREE! For an application, please contact the Rec. Dept.

Both the Application and two Reference Forms need to be returned to the Recreation Director at Town Hall, 157 Main Street, for review. Without references (non-related), applications will not be accepted. CIT positions are limited! We will call all applicants in for an initial interview with the Recreation Director and Program Director. The CIT program is not a full summer, full week program. Each CIT will be given a schedule of days and hours they will be assigned to complete their volunteer time with us. CIT’s will ASSIST staff in running programs for kids, preparing materials for programs, helping with general clean up after programs and being role models for children participating in programs. Most CIT hours are completed on school grounds (no field trip hours). If a CIT shows exemplary skills in assisting children during on-grounds programs, we may contact those parents to arrange for field trip volunteer hours.

Adult Programs

Please check our Facebook page for updates, including cancellations on all programs.

Adult Basketball

Want to play some adult basketball? Come join The Epping Recreation Department for some pick up co-ed basketball in the Epping Middle School Gym on Sunday nights.

Day / Time: Sunday – 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: Epping Middle School Gym (Use EHS entrance)
Cost: $30 for 10 nights – Please make check out to the “Town of Epping.” If paying in cash, please bring exact change.

Each participant is required to sign a waiver form prior to playing and payment. Waiver forms will be available at the gym. We will have a sign-in sheet, to keep track of the days used. Once you have used your ten nights, please bring in your next payment of $30 for ten additional nights. You will not be allowed to play if we do not have a signed waiver and payment. The payment covers the cost of the staff to provide this program.

We will also notify you via e-mail of any program changes, so please provide a current e-mail address.

Adult Ceramics Class

To register, please contact the Epping Recreation Dept. at eppingrecreation@gmail.com or stop by the program to speak with Barbara Young.

Epping Family Morning Out

Fridays, (except 3/3, 4/28); 9:30-11 am.) For children ages birth to six, with parents or other caregivers. Children will explore age-appropriate crafts and other activities, have positive play with peers and adults, and enjoy songs, stories and snack. Facilitator: Patricia Keck. Held at the SAU 14 Building (213 Main Street, Epping).

Cost: Free

Advance sign-up not needed.

Exeter Family Morning Out

Thursdays; 9:30-11 am.

For children ages birth to six, with parents or other caregivers. Children will explore age-appropriate crafts and other activities, have positive play with peers and adults, and enjoy songs, stories and snack. Facilitator: Patricia Keck. Held at Exeter Parks and Recreation (32 Court Street, Exeter).

Cost: Free

Pre-registration not needed

For information call 422-8208, press 2, or visit http://www.familiesfirstseacoast.org/programs.cfm.

All parents and children are welcome at our Parenting Classes, Parent-Child Groups and Parent Groups. Advance registration is needed for most programs and is always needed for childcare; please go to FamiliesFirstSeacoast.org and click on the Register for Family Programs button, or call 422-8208 x2.

The Porch

Our goal is to demonstrate the unconditional love of God to our community by building relationships, meeting physical and financial needs, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus that transforms lives.

Epping Lighthouse will benefit the community in numerous ways, including:

Kids Club

Our kids club is for kids in grades 1-5. We offer free pick up from EES, and provide snacks and drinks at no charge. We have a structured time of singing, Bible Time and Game Time. The club starts at 3:15 and goes until 5:00 pm.

Teen Central

Our Teen Central is geared for grades 6-12. We offer pool, ping-pong, air hockey, and foosball. We also have computers, a TV, board games and provide snacks and drinks at no charge. Teen Central opens at 2:30 pm and goes until 4:30 pm.

We provide classes and other events throughout the year as well.

We require all of our workers to complete a background check.

If you are interested, please check us out at www.eppinglighthouse.org or you can e-mail us at eppinglighthouse@hotmail.com to request a form for more information!