Volunteer Lake Assessment Program for 2014

Ossipee Lake VLAP Testing volunteers

Ossipee Lake VLAP Testing volunteers

Lisa Doner and student Melanie Perello of Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment  have installed temp loggers at each meter of the Big Lake’s deep spot for a temp study.  They will likely be joining us to collect data and samples when we make the journey to Big Lake each month.  They will also be collecting a core sample from the deepest spot (depths need to be checked and could be different from the deep spot we test at) of the Big Lake.   We will be looking for someone to volunteer to be the captain of that mission separate from VLAP this spring and in case you want to make that trip, I will keep you posted on when that happens.

On a separate note, we are very excited to have applied for and received a grant for a new VLAP dissolved oxygen probe through the Jody Connor Memorial Fund (read more about Jody and  the fund below).  The new probe will work with the new meter that we received from a grant through Hach Company so it will be an exciting new year of data collection with some great volunteers and new equipment!

Jody Connor Limnology Director, 1986-2011, NH DES

Jody Connor Limnology Director, 1986-2011, NH DES

Jody Connor Memorial Fund Volunteer Monitoring Equipment Grant

The Jody Connor Memorial Fund was established in 2012 in honor of the late Jody Connor, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Limnology Center Director (1986 – 2011). Jody was a dedicated and conscientious public servant who strived to use sound science to help protect and preserve our lakes and their watersheds. He was a man who lived for lakes. In his role as Limnology Center Director for NHDES, Jody was in charge of many programs that relate to monitoring, protecting and enhancing the lakes and ponds of New Hampshire. He committed over 30 years to the State, working on lakes, and his accomplishments are diverse and notable.

On July 30, 2012, NHDES dedicated the Jody Connor Limnology Center as a tribute to the man who lived for lakes. At that time, many private citizens made contributions to a fund in his name. This fund, managed by NHDES, will provide small grants to volunteer monitoring groups to purchase lake monitoring equipment. The goal is to provide these groups with a means to monitor lake quality and/or enhance their current lake quality monitoring regime.



Pictures of the Camp Huckins

Rain Garden Construction September 2013

Huckins Rain Garden 9-13-13 (4)



Huckins Rain Garden 9-13-13 (3)

Volunteer Biological Assessment Program 2013

Ossipee Watershed Students Assist in Macroinvertebrate Stream Study

Sandwich Central Elementary School - VBAP Sampling

Sandwich Central Elementary School – VBAP Sampling Group

Over 100 students and more than 15 volunteers participated in the Volunteer Biological Assessment Program (VBAP) which is in its eighth year. Coordinated by the Green Mountain Conservation Group (GMCG),  local students from Ossipee Central School, Freedom and Effingham Elementary and Sandwich Central School were “citizen scientists” for the day as they volunteered their time on the rivers in September and collected macroinvertebrates.

As part of GMCG’s water quality program, four sites in the Ossipee Watershed were assessed for their macroinvertebrate communities and included the Cold River in Sandwich, Swift River in Tamworth, Cold Brook in Freedom and South River on the Effingham/Parsonsfield, Maine border.  Macroinvertebrates are organisms that lack a backbone yet are visible to the naked eye. Volunteers, including students, collected, sorted and identified these aquatic creatures to get a sense of water quality conditions since some of these critters can live for years in the stream bed and are sensitive to pollution while others are more tolerant.

This year the students will give a presentation about their sampling results on December 4th at the Remick Country Doctor Museum in Tamworth from 6-8 pm.  The presentation is free and open to the public. Refreshments will also be served.

Rubbing and scuffing rocks to collect macros in the South River.

Rubbing and scuffing rocks to collect macros in the South River.

Ossipee Central Elementary School - students emptying the net of the collected macros

Ossipee Central Elementary School – students emptying the net of the collected macros

GMCG would like to thank all the students who participated in the event this year, the schools for their enthusiasm and support and the many volunteers who helped collect and sort the samples.

Freedom Elementary School students sort "aquatic critters"

Freedom Elementary School students sort “aquatic critters”

For more information about the program, or if you are interested in participating in the program next year, please visit or contact us at 539-1859.





Watershed Management Planning

Broad, Leavitt and Berry Bays, and Danforth Ponds

GMCG is working with the Department of Environmental Services, a watershed steering committee, and project partners to develop the first phase of a watershed management plan for Ossipee Lake. The initial phase will include a scientific assessment and recommendations for limiting nonpoint source pollution of surface waters in the Danforth Pond watershed and the subwatershed of the lower bays of Ossipee Lake. The project will include a training for community volunteers ...READ MORE….


Green Mountain Conservation Group

Holds 15th Anniversary

Annual Meeting in January

15th Birthday Cake

15th Birthday Cake

at the

Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center

in Effingham

The Green Mountain Conservation Group would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone at Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center in Effingham for hosting a celebration of our 15th anniversary and annual meeting.

Past Chairman, Noreen Downs

Past Chairman, Noreen Downs

The night’s event proved to be a tribute to the amazing power of grassroots work that brought a few dedicated folks together to create Green Mountain Conservation Group in 1997. Over 100 people attended this milestone 15th birthday celebration — volunteers, contributors to the quarterly newsletter, past and current board members, early founders, scientists who have provided important scientific data for Green Mountain Conservation Group’s educational programs and advocacy, new friends, biologists, water resource specialists, and state and municipal officials. All were treated to a delicious dinner prepared by Lakeview chef Chris Ciarfella and his staff. Owner Carolyn McDermott provided warm hospitality and shared “their special view” of the entire Ossipee Watershed.

Wildlife ecologist and renowned tracker and photographer Susan Morse of Keeping Track delighted the audience with her slide presentation and observations of bobcat, lynx, cougars, bears, deer and moose to name a few, and what they require to thrive in North America.

Tracking with Susan Morse on Jan. 2013

Tracking with Susan Morse on Jan. 2013

In the morning, Ms. Morse lead 25 folks on a tracking workshop in Effingham, and shared many of her simple tips about local wildlife tracks detection and identification. We thank Ms. Morse for traveling to our region from Vermont to be a part of this special day. (

The annual Green Mountain Conservation Group High Watch Community awards were presented to conservationist Stephanie Barnes of Effingham, and volunteer Lynn Clarke of Ossipee. Lynn Clarke now joins Green Mountain Conservation Group as the new VISTA volunteer responsible for the youth water literacy programs in 2013.

Executive Director, Blair Folts and volunteer/member Jay Buckley

Executive Director, Blair Folts and volunteer/member Jay Buckley

The business meeting included a review of the many programs of the past 15 years given by Blair Folts, executive director, reminding us all of why we are working together to protect our drinking water and our shared natural resources in the Ossipee Watershed. The election of new board officers included a new chairman, Don Johnson who has served as vice chairman for the past five years, and vice chairman, Dr. Jerry Knirk, both of Freedom. New town representatives elected to the board are Larry Wogman of Ossipee, Bob Butcher of Sandwich, and Peter Klose of Eaton. The attendees thanked and recognized Noreen Downs for her service to the board as chairman for the past four years, Peter Pohl for his 6six years of service as Sandwich town representative and land trust committee volunteer, and Jean Hansen, town of Ossipee representative for the past two years. For more updates on Green Mountain Conservation Group programs, events and volunteer opportunities, explore our website or catch us on Facebook.






Green Mountain Conservation Group has needs for volunteers from the office to the forests.  If you like to walk, become a conservation easement steward.   We’ll train you.  If you have interest in science, we’ll train you to become a water quality monitoring volunteer.  If you have a few hours a week to help in the office, we have plenty of things to do.  So give us a call at 603-539-1859.

Click here for more descriptions of volunteer opportunities.