Plymouth, New Hampshire – Harsh winter weather conditions have cancelled many community activities, but the weather hasn’t stopped the forward motion of the “Friends of the Pemi” as the group continues its efforts to improve Livermore Falls and the areas along the Pemigewasset River corridor. Plymouth Rotarians, Ken Evans and Walter Johnson, Co-chairs of the “Friends,” have continued to meet with state officials from DRED, along with other concerned citizens, and the Co-chairs gave the Plymouth Rotary Club an update on recent progress on the project.
First, Evans and Johnson summarized the “Friends” successes during the summer of 2014. After holding several beach cleanup days, the Rotarians used Rotary District grant funds and various matching gifts to purchase and install grills and picnic tables. Following the installation, the Plymouth Rotarians and “Friends” held a celebratory barbeque on the beach. A full-time attendant was provided by the town of Holderness throughout the summer, and there was a limited presence of the “Friends” membership who greeted visitors as they arrived, and spoke with them about their plans for the area. The “Friends” observed a noticeable positive change in the type of visitors coming to the site, and counted well over 5,000 people on the Holderness side of Livermore Falls during the summer months.
A governance structure was established for the “Friends” with committees formed to explore the historical, recreational and environmental aspects of the project, along with an executive and communications committee to convey the group’s activities to the greater community-at-large. Now that the organizational structure is set, the “Friends” are planning further improvements in 2015 and are looking for continued community involvement.
The “Friends” are pleased to have received excellent support from DRED, Director of Parks and Recreation — Phil Bryce, and other State representatives. Director Bryce has recommended that any funds that might come to the Division of Parks as a result of the settlement from the Groton Wind Farm should be designated for Livermore Falls. DRED plans to provide staffing on the property next summer. The State agencies have almost completed a design for construction of a parking lot on the Holderness side of the river. Also, a State consultant is in the process of completing a resource study and an engineering study is underway for the Campton side of the river which saw extensive erosion this past spring.
Evans and Johnson offered detailed plans for the work ahead including: further development of a website www.livermorefalls.org and a presence on social media; additional fundraising for interpretive signage and new kiosks; and development of a volunteer calendar to provide a docent-like presence at the site. Plans are in the works for a monthly event at Livermore Falls beginning next May. After receiving the reports from the State consultants on resources and engineering possibilities, the “Friends” hope to make informed strategic decisions about possible improvements for the Campton side of the Pemi. As the State works on a memorandum of understanding for the “Friends” activities and final designs for the parking lot, the “Friends of the Pemi” plan to hold another celebration event for the entire community at the end of the 2015 summer season. For more information, contact the “Friends” through our website or like us on Facebook at “Friends of the Pemi – Livermore Chapter.”