Happening Around Epping

Nov - Dec 2018 | Volume 11, Issue 6

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 (January-February) of this newsletter will be available in early January 2019. We will accept submissions through December 21, 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.

Leddy Center Presents $10,000 for Leddy Scholarship

After serving our community for 43 years with 157 major productions and an ongoing Leddy Center School for the Performing Arts that provided education in musical theater, drama, dance, and musical instruction for instruments and voice, Leddy Center for the Performing Arts founders, Elaine and Bruce Gatchell, have retired. In the spirit of love and commitment that Elaine and Bruce have demonstrated to the town of Epping and to the Epping Schools for over 50 years, it is the pleasure of the Board of Directors to gift $10,000, as part of our dispersal of assets, to the Epping School District for the purpose of awarding a $1,000. annual scholarship to the Epping School District, hereafter referred to as “Leddy Center for the Performing Arts Scholarship” for the next 10 years.

Leddy Center for the Performing Arts Scholarship is to be awarded to a graduating senior who will be pursuing a performing arts education in music, dance, or acting. The Board of Directors and Executive Director Elaine Gatchell request that the best qualified student be determined annually by Epping High School educators. Pictured is Executive Director and founder of Leddy Center, Elaine Gatchell, presenting a check for $10,000. to Valerie McKenney, Superintendent of Epping Schools and Bonnie Sundstrom, Business Administrator of Epping Schools.

Brian Ernest, Principal of Epping High School, Elaine Gatchell, Executive Director Leddy Center for the Performing Arts, Valerie McKenney, Superintendent of Schools, Bonnie Sundstrom, Business Administrator of Epping Schools

End 68 Hours of Hunger in Epping

Our Epping program is into the swing of the school year, feeding 20 students a weekend. We have a great team of packing volunteers but are looking for volunteers to help us plan food drives. Please email, look us up on Facebook for email if interested.

We want to give a big THANK YOU to The Volunteers of Hope Worldwide-Granite State Chapter, to all who volunteered with the loading and unloading of the food and of course, to Walmart in Epping. We are so grateful for all of you. With the generosity of our community we raised $3,000 in food donations for our Epping program. It was a successful drive!

Our next food drive with be held during the EYAA Basketball season in November. More fundraisers will be scheduled. Thank you in advance for any donations.

We continue to have drop boxes for food donation at the Town Library and at Bodywise Physical Therapy. We are always in need of soup, canned pasta, canned meats, oatmeal, mayonnaise and box pasta. Other items we give out are jelly, Mac and cheese, cereal bars, hot chocolate and snacks.

It takes a village and we are always thankful for the Epping community support.

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

Karen Poplaski, Coordinator

Is your family in need this holiday season?

Please contact Rockingham Community Action at (603) 895-2303.to be placed on a list with the needs of your family. Please be as specific as possible with gift suggestions (Ages 0-15). You are encouraged to submit applications by November 25th.

Would you like to donate or volunteer?

Donations: The Epping Firemen’s Association will continue to accept NEW TOYS and MONETARY donations at the Epping Fire Department until December 12th. If you plan to write a check for a donation, please make it payable to Epping Firemen’s Association and put Toy Drive in the memo section. PLEASE DO NOT MAKE CHECKS OUT TO THE EPPING FIRE DEPARTMENT OR TOWN OF EPPING.

The schools will be taking up a collection of wrapping paper, tape and bows to be passed out with the gifts at distribution for families. There will be donations boxes located at all three schools and Watson Academy!

Volunteers: A committee has been formed to address the needs of families in need here in Epping at Christmas. Please feel free to contact the Recreation Dept. at eppingrecreation@gmail.com or Epping Firemen’s Association President, Tim Labonte, at tlabonte@gmail.com if you are interested in helping out!

Mark Your Calendars!

Community Action is currently accepting applications. Early registration is strongly encouraged!

Pick up a Snowman at Walmart or Town Hall starting November 21st.

Epping Firemen’s Association Toy Drive at Walmart November 24th – 25th

In and Around Epping

The Urgent Care building next to Cumberland Farms has begun construction. They will hopefully be open before the end of the year. The Blue Bird Storage building next to Telly’s is making great progress and they hope to open late winter/early spring. The small building in front of Pine and Pond next to The Haven will soon be home to a golf cart and side-by-side business. The Planning Board is currently reviewing a 55+ community off Fogg Road. Also, the Planning Board will begin to review potential changes to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance in their next few meetings.

Submitted by Brittany Howard

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!


Four Epping Lions Club members performed vision screenings in the Epping schools on Monday and Tuesday (10/22-10/23). We screened 681 students in grades K-8 and 10. The school nurses will be informing parents of the test results, if further action is required. Our club is here to assist any family that cannot afford exams, frames, lenses, etc.

Also, we donated over 500 pairs of glasses to our district coordinator, who sends them off to Lions Club International for recycling in third world countries. Not too shabby for a small town like Epping! Glasses are collected in several locations around town: Walmart, Checkers, JC Optical, etc.

Members will be selling our annual Gas Card Raffle tickets as of today. The drawing is December 28th, so these make great stocking stuffers for Christmas. Tickets cost $5 each. One person will win a $300 gas card, and three people will win $50 gas cards. Ask a member today to purchase a ticket or two.

If you know someone who needs financial assistance for an eye exam, lenses, frames, etc., please put them in contact with a Lions Club member. We can be contacted thru our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EppingLionsClub.

Deb Brooks, President

Cheryl Denoncour, Treasurer

Colleen Palmer, Secretary

Lamprey River Advisory Committee

125th Anniversary of Wiswall Mill Fire, November 1, 1883

Over the last few centuries, the 49-mile Lamprey River was home to 100 mills. At just about every waterfall, people dammed the river and built a mill to saw wood, grind grain, or serve as a factory to make consumer goods. The massive textile mills of downtown Newmarket were the biggest on the Lamprey, but another big mill complex once stood at Wiswall Falls in Durham. The site today appears to be a quiet, wooded park mostly defined by the dam and fish ladder. This was not always the case.

image by Curt Mackail

The former industrial site housed several mills: saw mill, grist mill, paper mill and factory sheds. The paper mill was built in Newmarket and then transported by horses to Wiswall. It measured 80 x 30’. Every day the paper mill made a ton of undecorated wallpaper that would be transported to Boston to be printed. On November 1, 1883, 125 years ago, the paper mill met its fiery end. The DVD, “Wiswall’s Mill: A Short History” brings to life a part of history that was once common along the Lamprey and many other rivers in New Hampshire. Mills once defined people’s life along many rivers, and in turn, the rivers often defined the life of mills. As is true with the Wiswall area, most of these mills no longer operate and have largely disappeared, but clues of their presence abound. Below are some recent photos of the Wiswall site.

the former mill race remnants of the furnace

The video is available in two parts on You Tube.

Part 1 can be found at http://youtu.be/GXtzNdfWWHU and Part 2 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWGFBklyA6M&feature=BFa&list=ULLWGFBklyA6M&lf=mfu_in_order.

Lamprey Rivers Acoustic Bat Survey 2018

When the Lamprey River was designated as a state and federally protected river in the mid-1990s, several studies showed that varied habitats were supporting a rich community of species. Birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles were carefully listed by species. Known rare species and habitats were given special attention. Mammals were listed and noted as abundant, common or occasional. A very short paragraph noted, “…numerous smaller mammals – shrews, moles, bats, and voles – occupy the river corridor.”

With the recognition that large numbers of bats are being killed by white nose syndrome and big wind mills, the need to study bats more closely has moved to the fore. Starting with essentially nothing from previous studies, we chose to get a baseline by determining which species were present. We chose seven sites in four towns (Epping, Lee, Nottingham, Raymond). Each site offered different habitat features. Researchers from Normandeau Associates installed ultrasonic acoustic detectors for two nights at each site. Special software provided initial identifications. Any identification that did not meet clear criteria for reliability was analyzed by an expert.

We were thrilled by the results. Of the eight species expected in New Hampshire, we were able to confirm the presence of seven species. The eighth species, northern long-eared bat, which is federally listed as endangered, could not be confirmed, but it also could not be ruled out at two sites. The study did not tell us how many bats of each species were present at each site; determining that entails actual capture of bats and is highly labor-intensive.

For more information about this research, visit https://www.lampreyriver.org/multimedia-research-bats-2018.

Canoe Passage Enhancements

photo by Preston Samuel photo by S Petersen

For several years, the Lamprey Rivers Advisory Committee and the Lamprey River Watershed Association have been keeping track of downed trees in the section between Route 87 in Epping and Wadleigh Falls in Lee. These trees have become seemingly permanent fixtures blocking canoe passage. Paddlers must either turn back or portage up and down steep slopes covered by poison ivy. Paddlers often complain about these obstacles and have asked for our help.

Wood in rivers is a natural phenomenon and serves many ecological functions, such as providing food and cover for fish and turtles. We wanted to protect the values of the wood but minimize the obstacles. Working with experienced paddlers and Trout Unlimited, which has expertise creating habitat by putting trees into rivers, we created a plan to remove select portions of the downed trees and put the wood back into the river where it would continue to perform the ecological good but not interfere with human paddling. The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation saw the value of this pilot project and generously provided funding.

The work depended on typical summer base flow conditions of 100 cubic feet per second (CFS) of flow. Due to the plentiful rain this year, the project could not get underway until late August. Part of the plan included a guided public paddle, which was scheduled for October 13th. When the big day arrived, the river’s flow was 315 CFS and the weather was cold and rainy. With safety foremost in mind, we modified the paddle from a one-way trip from Epping to Lee to a round trip paddle beginning and ending in Lee.

During the event, and despite the weather, we had a nice trip and enjoyed some beautiful foliage. We successfully got past two treated obstacles, but the third was more challenging. The higher flow created a fast area where the water was constricted and branches were overhanging. At this point, we turned back.

Knowing exact paddling conditions is difficult until one is on the water, but we hope that our work will reduce the inconvenience and erosion problems caused by portaging. We hope to see you on the river next summer! Be safe!

LRAC logo small

Helping communities protect the Lamprey River

Submitted by Suzanne Petersen

Nature Talks

A Talk with Brian Hall, Photo Contest Winner

Winning Photo: Camping in the Backyard

When I was 12, I took a photography class at my local library and that really sparked my interest in taking pictures. When I started going on big outdoors adventures, my family wasn’t typically able to join me, so I took photos that I could bring back to show them. I tend to take pictures in a way that conveys feeling more than just capturing the moment. So, when I saw the contest advertised on the board outside Town Hall, I thought it would be a good way to test the waters and see how good I might be. I really wanted to know if my family and friends were just being nice to me, or if people who didn’t know me would enjoy the photos as well.

I submitted five of my pictures for the contest and as much as I really like the winning photo, my favorite submission was actually, “Horseback Riding in the Corn.” I had just gotten a drone and enjoyed experimenting with its capabilities and finding new perspectives. The winning photo was a result of luck really. I had set up a tent to sleep outside if the mood struck, since I hadn’t made it out camping much this summer. When I had returned home from work, and saw the mist over the fields, I ran up to the barn loft with my cellphone to snap this picture. I was so glad I could capture that moment and it’s proved to be quite popular.

Conserving land is so important. Epping is a popular destination and I support expanding conserved lands. The trail maintenance day at John B. Folsom Conservation Area was fun and I know the mountain bikers had a great ride the day of the family event. I look forward to utilizing the Epping trails this winter and hope for more trails opening in the future. More events like the Family Bike Event or other outdoor activities, like bird watching or photography get-togethers would be fun too! It’s a great way to network with like-minded people in the area as well as to share ideas and skills, like photography or mountain biking, across a variety of experience levels. I’m grateful to the Conservation Commission for the opportunity to share my photos with the Epping community.

Brian Hall, Photo Contest Winner

Submitted by Sandy Goodspeed

Epping Garden Club

Annual Poinsettia Fundraiser

Once again we will offer gorgeous poinsettias, wreaths and this year. kissing balls for your businesses, churches, homes or as hostess gifts for the holiday season.


Annual Epping Garden Club Poinsettia Fundraiser

Poinsettias (Container Sizes)

(We have color choices too!)

Wreaths (amazing)

Kissing Balls (new offer)

Make checks out to Epping Garden Club, mail to:

You can order your plants through us until December 3rd, leaving your phone number. Since the plants are tropical, they will be in the children’s room at our Library on Main Street for pickup. Pickup times will be Friday, December 7th from 5:00 until 6:30 pm and Saturday, December 8th from 9:00 to 11:00 am. Please pick them up during the pickup times as we cannot care for them.

Churches, I will make a special run for those who need them for December 1st.

Have a Christmas wedding or anniversary or Holiday party? - call us. For more information, call 300-0064.

Thanks for your continued support! Epping Garden Club

American Legion News

Children’s Christmas Party in Epping

The Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Post 51 in Epping is hosting a Children’s Christmas Party on Saturday, December 15th, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. It is open to Epping children and the children/grandchildren of the members of Post 51. The eligible ages are 0-10 years old. We hear that Santa will be making a special visit! To make sure that Santa has a gift for all the kids, please make sure all eligible children are signed up before the deadline date of December 9th. Prior sign up is required. No calls after that date will be accepted. Please call Linda at 944-5429 or Janet at 944-3288 and let us know your name, your children’s ages, and boy or girl. Again, the deadline date for signing up is Sunday, December 9th. We will have some crafts to do while we wait for Santa to arrive and there will be light snacks, juice and water. It 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).

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, November 11th and Sunday, December 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!

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

17 Academy Street
Epping, NH 03042

Mailing address:
157 Main Street
Epping, NH 03042

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 call Watson Academy: 679-3006 or Program Cell Phone: 608-9016 or 608-9076.

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

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

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 gathers at the EES Library, then heads outside to the EES playgrounds during good weather days or walks 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 to 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. 

If your child would like to participate in the school offered programs after school or extra work with a teacher, we do have staff available to pick up the kids at the designated school dismissal areas at the close of these programs. We ask that parents notify us, if their child will be attending one of the school programs and if they will be picking them up from these programs so we can coordinate the pick up schedule daily.

We require registration in December for the Spring! We offer No School Day, Parent/ Teacher Workshop and Vacation Week full day programs, which will have their own registration forms! Please check one month in advance of any No School Days on the school calendar or call us at 679-3006, if you have questions. We will not be offering programs during the Thanksgiving and Winter Break School Closings, to allow our staff time with their families during the holidays, as well as traditionally low enrollment in past years during those times. Our Before and After School Programs run on the last day of school, but are then closed until the start of our scheduled Summer Camp programming.

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

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

For more information or to sign up your child, please contact Mrs. DeNapoli at 661-6635 or e-mail her at diannadenapoli@gmail.com.

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

Youth Ceramics Class

1st Session starts: November 9th

8th – 9th 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.

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

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

Teen Central

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.

Epping Family Morning Out:

Fridays – Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 16, 3, Dec. 7, 14 - 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.