Welcome, winter enthusiasts!
New Hampshire has been recognized as the fourth-best state for a winter trip in the U.S., achieving a score of 9.31 out of 10 in a study by travel expert Viator. This commendation highlights the state’s robust offerings for winter enthusiasts, including a high count of ski resorts at 28, the most among the top four states. In addition to providing numerous winter sports opportunities with approximately 61 inches of average snowfall, New Hampshire also caters to ice skating fans with 37 rinks available across the state.
QOL score: +1
Comment: Another reason to get excited about snow.
New Hampshire residents have been noticing a decrease in bird populations, NHPR reported. Sean O’Brien, from the University of New Hampshire’s cooperative extension, has been addressing this concern, identifying a mast year, where oak trees produce abundant acorns, as a key factor. This abundance of forest food reduces birds’ presence in open areas. Furthermore, climate change is impacting bird species, with the National Audubon Society noting significant declines across the U.S. Migratory birds are particularly affected, experiencing habitat changes and increasing temperatures. In contrast, local winter birds like owls and woodpeckers are faring better.
QOL score: -2
Comment: In the report, O’Brien highlighted the importance of native plants in supporting bird populations, recommending that gardens should comprise at least 70 percent native perennials to help birds thrive, along with minimizing pesticide use and keeping cats indoors.
New Hampshire is offering free training on the science of reading to parents and educators, NHPR reported, aiming to improve literacy among the state’s elementary students. The Department of Education notes more than 3,300 individuals are already enrolled in the Lexia LETRS courses, with more cohorts opening for 2024. The training covers various aspects of reading education, including phonics and phonology, and is unique in its inclusivity, being open to all adults involved in children’s education, such as parents and homeschool instructors. Funded by federal Covid relief funds, the program sees participation from more than 80 school districts.
QOL score: +1
Comment: The report said this initiative responds to concerns about declining reading scores and the use of outdated teaching methods in the state. New Hampshire’s reading and math scores have been falling since peaking in 2013, with current data showing about half of the state’s fourth-graders not proficient in reading, according to the article.
QOL score: 87
Net change: 0
QOL this week: 87
What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire?
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