Happening Around Epping

March-April 2018 | Volume 11, 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 (Mar-Apr) of this newsletter will be available in early Mar 2018. We will accept submissions through April 25, 2018 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.

End 68 Hours of Hunger in Epping

We are now five months through the school year and the Epping End 68 Hours of Hunger program has delivered 777 bags of food to the Epping schools. We are currently feeding 39 Epping students every weekend. With four months to go, that’s 156 bags a month and 627 left for the school year for a value of $6270 budget left for the school year.  

It takes a village to run this program and we have a great group of packing, delivery, inventory, and shopping volunteers. Our Team Three packing teams which volunteer the third week of the month are in need of another packing/delivery volunteer.  Packing is Tuesday night usually at 6:30 pm and delivery to the schools is Thursday morning.  Please reach out via email if you can volunteer.

We are also in need of a fundraising team. This aspect of our program gets overlooked at times with the tasks of running the program on a weekly basis. With a yearly budget this year of $12,000-$14,000 we need more fundraising. Please reach out to us if you can help our program in this area!!

Much gratitude towards our group of amazing volunteers! 

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

Submitted by Karen Poplaski, Coordinator

In and Around Epping

The site next to Telly’s received final approval from the state for a storage place, retail and car wash. They will be moving forward with construction soon. Kennebunk Savings Bank expects to begin construction in the fall on the old Cumberland Farms location. The Planning Board will be reviewing a small project on Route 27 for a business called Glass Pro. 

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 Marshall’s gift cards for 15 local families. In addition, we do annual Vision testing at the Epping Schools.

Our next event will be the Lamprey River Canoe Race on Saturday, April 28th. This will be the 41st year of the canoe race, and we look forward to this fun annual event. 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 our website www.epping.nhlions.org or our Facebook page at facebook.com/EppingsLionsClub.    

Meeting 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

Lamprey River Advisory Committee

Spring Things to Do

The National Park Service is pleased to offer a new video that explains Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers (including the Lamprey River) as part of the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The video can be viewed at https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1912/partnership-wild-and-scenic-rivers.htm.

April 21- Earth Day Spring Clean-up and Nature Fun at Mary Blair Park – 10:00 am to noon.

Join us as we clean up the litter from winter and get the park ready for the Canoe Race, baseball season, and vacation week fun. We’ll provide the gloves and garbage bags. Afterward, we’ll have fun collecting aquatic invertebrates, learning about spring plants, playing some nature games and doing some citizen science.

April 27- Nature Inside (Out) at the Harvey-Mitchell Memorial Library – 11:00 am.

Wrap up school vacation week with nature games and puzzles. If the weather permits, we’ll go outside to visit the Lamprey River.

Vernal Voles

Photo credit Maine.gov

Late winter/early spring is a terrific time to observe meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus). These small rodents are common in wet grassy areas throughout middle and northern North America.  Adults are about 7 inches long, with a tail of 1.25 to 2.5 inches.  They have chestnut brown fur with gray bellies. Voles breed year-round, producing 4-6 pups per litter.  Pups are weaned after twelve to fourteen days and reach their full adult size at two to ten months.  The typical lifespan is less than 16 months.

They are active year-round, but when the snow starts to retreat, the presence of these normally hidden voles becomes most noticeable. During the winter, they dig and eat their way through flattened grasses under the snow, creating squiggly paths. They form nests of woven grass where they sleep and raise their young. As the snow depth decreases, these paths and nests become more visible. For hikers who are extra astute, communal toilet areas can also be seen.

Voles can cause damage to some human crops, but they are very important in nature. They help to break down plant matter and release the nutrients back to the ecosystem. They help to speed the recovery of fields that have been burned. They are food sources for most raptors and many other birds, including crows, gulls, and some wading birds. Most mammalian predators and some snakes eat them.


Exposed vole nest     Photo by RC Grimsley

As winter yields to spring, go outside and get away from the usual rat race; evidence of the vernal vole race awaits.

Tales from the Epping Brickyards

Epping Town Hall made from Epping bricks

Epping has a rich history of brickmaking, supplying bricks for many famous buildings, locally as well as in Boston.  The source of clay for these bricks is a legacy of the last ice age, when ocean water covered Epping and rivers from retreating glaciers left vast deposits of fine (tiny) sediments.  Just as the age of glaciers came to an end, so too did the age of brickmaking.  The same is also true of several other industries that once defined this region: lumber processing at sawmills, boat building, leather tanning and the manufacture of textiles and paper.

The Lamprey Rivers Advisory Committee has documented some of the stories related to several once-common local industries, but to date we have not gathered a significant collection of brickmaking history. We would like to address that by inviting you to share stories, photos, and items that are related to Epping’s brickyards. Did your relatives work at a brickyard? How old were they when they started? What were their stories of friendship, hardship, routines, injuries, successes, etc.?

Short stories and photos of brickmaking can be submitted to s-meeker@comcast.net or mailed to LRAC, c/o 88 Hedding Road, Epping, NH 03042. Please include at least a first name and last initial to identify the source.

Thank you.

LRAC logo small

Helping communities protect the Lamprey River

Submitted by Suzanne Petersen

Nature Talks

Epping Conservation Commission

2017 – A Good Year

Epping now has a Natural Resource Inventory. This document describes the Town’s natural resources with maps and explanatory text to help identify areas of high value for wildlife habitat, water quality, recreation, and other resources. The ECC uses it to help prioritize preservation by taking proactive management steps to insure long-term viability of these resources. Check it out on EppingOutdoors.com/NRI. We are grateful to the Rockingham Planning Commission for their support in this endeavor.

With our first annual Photo Contest, we pursued our goal of enhancing Epping residents’ connection to the outdoors. Sixteen photos were submitted and Epping residents voted for the winner. Pictures can be submitted in June-July and the winner will be announced in September.  Specific dates are posted at EppingOutdoors.com/photo-contest/. You could start taking pictures right now!

Check out TrailFinder.info to see all the trails in Epping, including those on Southeast Land Trust properties. We are thankful Joel Harris has volunteered to be our first Trail Steward. Additionally, the Select Board approved our plan to construct five short trails for mountain biking (probably most appropriate for kids) at Folsom Park, about 22 acres. Parking is on Joshua Lane for easy access. We hope to schedule this work sometime in 2018. Thanks to ECC member Todd Hathaway for leading this effort.

We are also reaching out specifically to connect children with the outdoors. Liz Wilson, ECC member, is working with Alyson Bates, Epping Elementary School Fifth Grade Science teacher, to get kids outside and learn about the woods. Three science classes are competing to see which team can develop the best scavenger hunt at Fox Run Park. Check EppingOutdoors.com in late April or May to see the winning team.

Managing and monitoring conserved town lands is also part of the ECC mission. We welcome John Clark as our first volunteer monitor. He loves walking in the woods with his GPS and helping to ensure our conserved lands are in good shape for everyone to enjoy.

Your Conservation Commission is actively working not only to protect land, wildlife and the woods for future generations, but also to generate more ways to enjoy the outdoors today. Special thanks go to John Bennett for keeping you informed via our website. We are looking for more volunteers to help build/maintain trails and monitor conserved properties. If you are interested, please leave a note in our box at Town Hall or email secretary@townofepping.com.

Submitted by Sandy Goodspeed

Epping Garden Club

Epping Garden Club Plant Sale

The Epping Garden Club will be selling Pansy Bowls once again, and in time for Easter!   We will be selling them at 2 for $25 or $15 each.  Bowls should be ordered by March 23rd.  Bowls can be ordered by mail from the Garden Club at 9 Folsom Mill Lane, Epping, NH 03042, by calling 300-0064 or you can leave your money and orders with Joyce at the Town Hall. (Thank you, Joyce!)  Pickup will be on March 31st in the parking lot behind the Library from 9 to 11 am.

As soon as it is warm enough, we will be working on our corners, removing all plant material left from the fall.  We will replace it with more native plants, as well as hardy plants that require much less water.  We hope to add some more color to our Safety Complex, if they are done with all their expansion.

We will order mulch and will need help spreading it - if you have students that need to volunteer or if you can help.  Then we will need help watering the planted areas when we don’t get enough rain to keep them healthy. They sit in neighborhoods where everyone has a water source so if you can help, please do.  You can also get together with your neighbors and make a spot near you look better - trim, pick up trash and plant a pretty perennial or three. 

Make sure to catch the talks our library is holding once a month on healthy soil, plants and design!

Please follow the Garden Club Facebook Page for upcoming sales and events.  I have had requests to join the Garden Club and if you are interested in joining us, spring is the perfect time to jump in. Our next meetings will be on March 11th and April 8th from 10-11 am. Men are welcome.

Please call me at 300-0064 or email us at eppinggardenclub@gmail.com

Submitted by Eunice Miller

American Legion News

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner with “The Line Up” Band

The American Legion Post 51 is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance featuring the band called “The Line Up” on Saturday, March 17th.   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.  This ticket does include entrance to the dance that will begin at 8 pm.  “The Line Up” 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 per 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 Darlene at 793-6090 or Janet at 944-3288.

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 11th and Sunday, April 8th - eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, pancakes, home fries, and coffee are all piping hot and ready to be enjoyed. Bring your newspaper and your appetite!

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

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.

Preschool Programs

Preschool Books & Cooks Class

This hour-long class will take place at Watson Academy. We will first have story time where we will read a children’s classic short story then create a small snack that relates to the theme of the book. Starts Friday March 9th.

Preschool Art Class 

Does your little one love to get messy? Come join us at the Epping Rec Department for a Preschool aged hour-long art class. We will do a variety of projects over the course of the 4 weeks.  It’s a good way for your toddler to play and experiment.  Starts Tuesday March 20th.

Preschool Sports Programs

Spring 2018 Registration Coming Soon!

Our Pre- School Sports Program is a fun way to help your little ones start to develop listening skills, teamwork, and the basic rules of soccer and t-ball. We split them into two groups and rotate through soccer skills and drills and then t-ball practice. The kids will practice ball control, shooting and the basic rules of soccer. In our t-ball program they will learn how to bat, run the bases, throw and catch. At the end of our practice we do a fun parachute or large group game to promote teamwork.

Sports Programs

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.

Youth Programs

Father and Daughter Dance on April 14th

The Epping Recreation Department presents the Second Annual Father Daughter Dance – A Masquerade Ball on Saturday, April 14th from 6-8 pm in the EES Gym!  Tickets are $15 per couple or $20 per family (1 Adult and multiple daughters).

Registration forms can be found on the Rec website, at the Town Hall or at Watson Academy.  Please email eppingrecreation@gmail.com for any questions.

Before & After School Program

To register, please download Registration Form and Participation Forms from left side of the Parks and Recreation website and mail.

Space is limited and If we need to start a wait list, parents will be notified!  Please e-mail our Recreation Director, Nicole for further information. at eppingrecreation@gmail.com.

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.

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

8th – 12th Grade CIT program

The program is 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.

Horsemanship Program

Does your child love and want to learn more about horses?  This 4-week program is a great opportunity for them!  Each week will include mounted horse time and learning hands on barn skills.  No previous experience needed.  Grades 2+ Welcome!

Please email eppingrecreation@gmail.com for more information..

Summer Camp 

We will be running two Summer Camp Programs again this year!

6 week program

See camp brochure and parent handbook for more info!

Forms are required for registration for EACH child: Camp registration comes out on Town Voting Day (March 13th).

Please mail registration to us at 157 Main Street! 1st payment due with registration to reserve your space. Registration is on First Come basis!

Please check our Facebook page for availability updates

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: $3 per night – 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.

Adult Ceramics Class

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

Epping Family Morning Out:

Fridays - 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: It’s free! See you there! Advance sign-up not needed.

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

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.