Do you live on the Winnicut River, or one of its brooks or streams? Would you like to learn how to have a "better backyard," or be a steward for wildlife? Do you enjoy birding, kayaking, or trail walking? Have you got Invasive Plant Problems? Would you like to learn more about the Winnicut River and its wildlife diversity, from its treefrogs and trout lilies, to its black bears and white cedars? If you can answer 'yes' to any of the above, we need YOU. The WRWC is working hard to develop a Better Backyard campaign which promises to be a rewarding program for land/homeowners interested in protecting the integrity of the Winnicut River, its streams and brooks, and ultimately Great Bay, and the wildlife that lives and breeds here. E-mail us today to learn more at

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trail Walking Within the Winnicut River Watershed

NOW'S the time to get out and see spring coming to life at the Weeks Brick House conservation trails. Turkeys are strutting, fox are hunting small prey to feed their kits, the earliest of migratory birds are appearing...and if you look hard, you may even see trout lilies emerging up from the earth underneath the hardwoods!
Click here to view the Weeks Brick House trail map online

STRATHAM hosts wonderful trails at the Stratham Hill Park area, a fun place to take the family, including the family dog (please remember the 'leave no trace' concept and bring dog poop baggies!). On clear, sunny days, you can see the peak of Mount Washington! Dare to climb the fire tower!
Click here to view the Stratham Hill Park trail map online

LASTLY, behind the North Hampton Elementary School on Atlantic Ave., there is a fanstastic network of nature trails that allows users access to many wonderful aspects of the Little River watershed (an adjoining watershed to the Winnicut's): from owl habitat in the uplands where there are gorgeous red pines, to wetland pools, and eventually to an extensive marshland...beautiful stuff.  Mike Caron, an Enrichment Coordinator at the school, has been instrumental in developing the trails and a unique nature program, and has a wonderful vision for implementing learning platforms to accomodate the inquisitive minds that utilize the trail network (in the past the trails were maintained by the North Hampton School students as part of their service learning component).  The public is allowed access to this school property dawn to dusk during non school hours.  There isn't a map, per se, for the trail system, so you'll need to rely on a compass and your smarts:  From behind the school, head to the northwest corner of the fields (diagonally to your left as you stand behind the school, with your back against the building where the swings are).  There you will find the entrance to the trails.  To see a map of North Hampton's conservation lands, including the Little River area that these trails fall within, click here (pdf - large file).

Happy trails!  Don't forget your binoculars, and don't forget to wear your Bean boots - it's mucky out there in some of those parts!

Friday, April 1, 2011

NH Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater Management DIY Solutions

The WRWC participated in a watershed managers roundtable last October hosted by NHDES' Watershed Assistance Section, and has since stayed informed on future restoration grant opportunities and other management tools through a blog for watershed managers (the WRWC is not a "manager," but rather a source for creating a local advisory committee which will act as a steward for Winnicut River watershed (the entire area of land that drains to the Winnicut River)).

The forum and blog were created for the purpose of providing additional resources and opportunities to network for those involved with NHDES' Watershed Assistance and Restoration Grants.

A recent post was deemed worthy of posting on WRWC's blog:

"Two new stormwater management tools have been created for homeowners and local building officials to help identify cost effective methods to offset potential impacts to water resources.

The “New Hampshire Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management Do-It-Yourself Stormwater Solutions for Your Home” was developed to help homeowners better manage stormwater on their properties. It can also be used by communities as an outreach tool to encourage better stormwater management on private properties.  [See page 54 of this pdf for using the model below.]

DES has also created a modeling tool for homeowners to estimate their nutrient footprint called “The New Hampshire Residential Loading Model.”  [This is an Excel file, and you'll be best served if you refer to instructions on page 54 of the pdf document above!]

This model is based on the Center for Watershed Protection’s Runoff Reduction Method. It is designed for property owners to estimate the loading of nutrients, specifically phosphorus and nitrogen, running off of their properties."