On The Job – Dena Cillo

Special education consultant

Dena Cillo is a special education consultant and the founder and owner of Mosaic Learning in Concord.

Explain your job and what it entails.

We work with students who, for many different reasons, have unique learning differences and a wide range of disabilities. These needs may include, but aren’t limited to, emotional, physical or cognitive disabilities. We support these students by … teaching basic math and literacy and life skills … and providing specially designed instruction based on the student’s needs.

How long have you had this job?

Just about two years.

What led you to this career field and your current job?

I actually think I was led into education because I myself struggled tremendously with school academics. At an early age I was diagnosed with ADHD and later on in school as a student with a specific learning disability. I became a special education teacher because working and supporting students with unique learning needs makes my heart happy. I began my teaching career in an integrated special education preschool program when my son, who is now 18, was 2 years old. From there, [positions] I’ve taught in were mostly in the private sector of educational environments, such as ABA therapist, behavior specialist, emotional behavioral teacher, and trauma-informed classroom. I decided four years ago I wanted to make the move from private to public school. For various reasons, I’ve realized that environment isn’t for me. So, two years ago when the pandemic first hit, I decided I wanted to open up my own business. This past June, I decided I wasn’t going to renew my district contract, and to venture out solely on my own. My goal was to have an actual space by January 2023. However, the Concord Community Arts Center location fell in my lap, and I jumped on the opportunity.

What kind of education or training did you need?

I received both my B.A. in Child & Adolescent Psychology and Child Development and my M.Ed. in Child Development Leadership and Special Education from Southern New Hampshire University. Learning doesn’t stop here; education is changing and evolving, so I must constantly be learning new things in order to be the best I can be for my students.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

Business casual.

How has your job changed over the course of the pandemic?

The pandemic really brought to light how set in our ways we are as a society and how we believe the education of our children should be done. As an educator, I found myself having to experiment in new ways of teaching and expecting my students to learn [that way]. With the negatives came a whole bunch of positive changes for teaching. Educators are able to be a bit more creative, and tools to support students are evolving.

What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

With every experience that made my heart happy, there would also be moments that would tear my heart apart.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

My job is never-ending. I may technically be off the clock, but my job and students are constantly on my mind as I’m looking for new ways [of teaching] that are engaging and of interest in order to be the best teacher I can be.

What was the first job you ever had?

My first job was as a ski instructor at the age of 15 at McIntyre Ski Area.

What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

You are enough.

Five favorites

Favorite book:
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Favorite movie: Newsies and Swing Kids
Favorite music: Jam bands
Favorite food: Strawberries
Favorite thing about NH: We have four seasons.

Featured photo: Dena Cillo. Courtesy photo.

Treasure Hunt 22/08/25

Dear Donna,

After cleaning out my gram’s home recently, I have a pile of old silverware. Some is marked silver, silver plate and some has marks I’m not familiar with. Can you point me in a direction to figure out if there is any salvageable value here? Thanks for any advice.


Dear Robert,

I was smiling when I read how you referred to your grandmother as gram.

This is going to be more work for you and I will try to give you enough information to help. First the easy ones that will have a higher financial value will be marked Sterling or 925. The ones that have what are called touch marks have to have at least four to be of any value.

The rest would all be silver plated and have minimal if any value, depending on makers, patterns, condition and being mostly serving pieces. But don’t discard them; have them looked at even if there’s only minimal value on some.

So, Robert, I gave you a starting point but now that you have a separated pile of flatware, go to someone you can trust locally to give you a price for the sterling ones. Also see if they have any interest in the remaining pieces as well.

Some sterling will be worth more in weight and others for the makers and patterns as well. But you will make the final decision if you prefer to sell it as a lot or as individual pieces. If you think the price as a lot is fair to you, let the buyer do further work and figure each out.

It’s worth the effort, Robert, and I hope this turns out to be a treasure for you from your gram.


Note: I would go to a local antique store first. Then to a silver buyer and compare prices to make my decision!

Kiddie Pool 22/08/25

Family fun for the weekend

To the Moon

• The Manchester library is hosting an out-of-this-world talk via Zoom called Apollo to Artemis: NASA’s Most Recent & Next Missions to the Moon on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 11 a.m. The talk will focus on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 17, NASA’s last manned mission to the moon, and the upcoming return mission to the moon, Artemis. The talk will be led by former high school teacher and NASA Solar System Ambassador Len Rabinowitz. Contact librarian Caitlin Dionne at 624-6550, ext. 7620, or by email at cdionne@manchesternh.gov for more details. Register online at manchester.lib.nh.us.

Outdoors, trucks and owls!

• Have a blast at the Field of Dreams Family Fun Day at Field of Dreams Inc. (48 Geremonty Drive Salem) on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be everything from obstacle courses and inflatable games to a petting farm, live music and local vendors. Tickets are $5 per person, children age 2 and younger are free. Visit fieldofdreamsnh.org.

• Learn all about farm equipment at the Touch-a-Tractor hosted by J&F Farms (124 Chester Road, Derry) on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Derry fire and police departments will have trucks and cop cars out in addition to the farm equipment. There will be live music from noon to 3 p.m., hayrides, food trucks, a petting farm, and more. Visit jandffarmsnh.com.

• This is the last week for All Things Owl at the New Hampshire Audubon. The photography exhibit at The McLane Center (84 Silk Farm Road, Concord) will close on Wednesday, Aug. 31. The exhibit features the work of Howard S. Muscott, a wildlife photographer who has been shooting for more than 45 years. The photographs feature owls from the North, include several species indigenous to New England. The exhibit is open during the museum’s regular hours, Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit nhaudubon.org.


• The last showtimes of Frozen Jr. at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester; 668-5588) are Thursday, Aug. 25, at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and Friday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. Follow Queen Elsa as she is crowned and comes out of hiding for one day, only to have her secret magic exposed. Her younger sister, Princess Anna, must help save their kingdom from the icy spell Elsa casts and bring her older sister home. Tickets cost $10 and are available at palacetheatre.org.

Biennials: worth the effort

Quiet the first year, spectacular the second

Biennials are some of the least planted flowers we can grow. Why? The year they are planted by seed, they generally do not flower. They only have a clump of low-growing leaves. The second year, they send up a flower spike, bloom, and then die. That’s right. They have done their job of producing seeds, and then die. Gardeners prefer quick-blooming annuals, or long-lived perennials. Biennials are the least favored puppies of the litter.

On the other hand, some are worth the effort, or the wait. I love purple foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea). In the past, I was able to buy first-year plants in six-packs at a nursery, and planted them two years in a row. After they were finished blooming, I cut down the tall stems and shook out tiny black seeds over a flower bed that had been weeded, loosened and raked smooth. I patted down the seeds but did not cover them with soil. The tiny seeds just fell into crevices and waited for spring, when they started the growing cycle again.

It is important to know what the leaves of a first-year biennial look like so that seedlings do not get weeded out before getting established. I do that by trying to remember the color, texture or shape of the leaves. Often, color is my cue. So, for example, the biennial rose campion (Lychnis coronaria) has a distinctive gray leaf. I recognize the first-year plants, often growing in a cluster, and dig up some to divide and plant where I want them the following year, and to give them more space to grow.

Rose campion flowers are deep magenta, a truly spectacular color. The blossoms are an inch wide and are very profusely produced. Well worth planting if you can find plants for sale, or buy some seeds and wait for second-year blossoms.

Often biennial flowers are in the same genus as perennial plants. Closely related plants are grouped in the same genus (equivalent to your last name). The second name is the species (equivalent to your first name). So Lychnis is like “Jones” and coronaria is like “Susan.”

So for example, our common purple and pink foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) has relatives in the Digitalis genus. I grow two kinds, D. grandiflora and D. lutea. Both are yellow and both often start new plants by seed, so I have plenty. The latter one has smaller blossoms than the former one.

A biennial wildflower I just love is Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota). As the species name, carota, implies, it is in the carrot family. The tap roots are not as big as carrots, but the fragrance is about the same. But the root is white, while most carrots we eat are orange, though white, yellow, purple and red varieties are available. Anyhow, Queen Anne’s lace stands up tall (to 3 feet) and has an umbel or flat-topped cluster of tiny white blossoms, with purple ones in the center. It is a great cut flower in a vase. Young second-year plants are occasionally sold in six-packs in garden centers, and some of those are pink or even dark purple. Lovely.

Another way to get Queen Anne’s lace is to dig up first-year plants and transplant them on your property. They are commonly seen along the roadside and are free for the taking on rural roads. Mature Queen Anne’s lace has a tap root and is difficult to transplant.

Please note that poison hemlock is a related carrot-family plant. But unlike Queen Anne’s lace, it has smooth stems, not fuzzy ones, and has no purple center to the flower. It has purple blotches on the stems. The sap of hemlock can cause rashes when exposed to sunlight.

Perhaps my favorite biennial is angelica. Again there are biennial and perennial forms, but the biennial is the best. Its scientific name is Angelica gigas. It has huge purple or burgundy globes of small flowers, each globe 4 to 8 inches across. The plant stands up 4 to 6 feet tall with strong stems and big leaves.

The best thing about the plant is this: It is an absolute gem of a pollinator plant. When I last grew it, it often had three or more bees on it at once. Unfortunately, it is hard to find in plant nurseries, and when I have found it, it was a big second-year plant in a 2-gallon pot that cost me at least $15. Yikes. I tried planting seeds after blooming, but did not save any for spring planting. I got no plants from my meager efforts, but I will buy seeds now and try starting some plants next spring.

Most plant books list hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) as biennials, though some consider them half-hardy perennials. One plantsman told me that the plants with leaves the shape of fig leaves are more perennial than others. This is a tall plant, sometimes 6 to 8 feet tall, that has open-throated 2- to 3-inch blossoms that come in a variety of colors from white to pink, red, yellow and nearly black, often with a yellow center.

Hollyhocks do best in rich, moist soil in full sun. But they will also grow in part shade. They open their buds in sequence up the stem over a period of four to six weeks. When they’re done blooming, cut them to the ground immediately. I believe that makes them wonder if they have produced seeds, and come back the next year to finish the job. They do show up uninvited in the garden, and I always welcome them.

Featured photo: Purple Foxgloves bloom from bottom of the stem to the top. Photo by Henry Homeyer.

The Art Roundup 22/08/25

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

Wooden Nickels benefit concert: Wooden Nickels will perform on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. as a benefit for The Village Players Theatre (51 Glendon St., Wolfeboro), which suffered a fire during the pandemic. The Village Players is a nonprofit community theater that welcomes onstage and non-stage members of all ages. Wooden Nickels, a classic rock band, will play for one night only to help raise funds for the theater. Tickets are $25 and are available at village-players.com or at the door.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat auditions: Auditions for The Village Players Theatre’s (51 Glendon St., Wolfeboro) production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will take place on Sunday, Aug. 28, at noon for children in grades 4 and up, and at 1:30 p.m. for adults; as well as Monday, Aug. 29, at 5:30 p.m. for children in grades 4 and up and at 7 p.m. for adults. Auditioners are asked to prepare a song and learn a dance. Complete directions and registration details can be found online at village-players.com/joseph-dreamcoat. Rehearsals for the show begin Sept. 11 and continue on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Performances will be held Friday, Nov. 4, through Sunday, Nov. 6, and Friday, Nov. 11, through Sunday, Nov. 13. Not all cast members will be called for every rehearsal. Contact show director Kathleen Hill at teacheractress@gmail.com for more details.

Shrek the Musical
Tickets are on sale now for the Riverbend Youth Co.’s production of Shrek the Musical, happening at The Amato Center for the Performing Arts (56 Mont Vernon St., Milford) on Friday, Aug. 26, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 27, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 28, at 2:30 p.m. Admission to all shows is $15 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. Purchase tickets at amatocenter.org/riverbend-youth-company.

Stockbridge season: The Stockbridge Theatre (44 N. Main St., Derry) has announced its 20th anniversary season, which features a wide array of shows in a variety of popular genres, including stand-up comedy, pop music, jazz, dance, circus and more. Tickets to each event are available now. The season includes a performance from David Dorfman Dance, Julian Fleisher’s 1975, Rockapella, and the Peking Acrobats. Visit stockbridgetheatre.com.

Stained glass class: The League of NH Craftsmen — Meredith Fine Craft Gallery (279 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith) will host a beginner’s stained glass class with juried artist Susanna Ries on Sunday, Sept. 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The class will have students cutting, copper foiling, soldering, and framing a stained glass panel in one day. Basic stained glass construction will be taught and you will go home with a finished piece that is ready to hang. Students should bring cork board, scissors, masking tape, an apron, latex gloves, safety glasses and covered shoes. Tuition is $55, with a $35 materials fee paid to the instructor on the day of class. Pre-registration is required by Sept. 4. To register, visit meredith.nh.crafts.org or call 279-7920.

Learn soldering: In addition to the stained glass class, the League of NH Craftsmen is also holding a soldering class at its Meredith studio with Joy Raskin on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This class will cover the basics of how to set up your work area including a place to solder, a review of the safety issues, all the soldering basics from butt joints to stick soldering, and hands-on soldering. This class is great for those who have been taking jewelry classes but want to improve. Tuition is $110 per student, with an additional materials fee of $10 to the instructor at the time of the class. Registration is required by Sept. 3. To register, call 279-7920 or visit meredith.nhcrafts.org.

The End of All Flesh
The Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth) hosts a concert reading of Tony Award- winning playwright Greg Kotis’s new musical The End of All Flesh in Portsmouth from Thursday, Aug. 25, through Saturday, Aug. 27. A tale of a post-apocalyptic American family in the distant future, The End of All Flesh is a dark comedy that tackles issues of climate change, gender norms, generational gaps and more. Performances take place at 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $20. Kotis is also hosting a writing workshop on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 11 a.m., which will explore the fundamentals of writing an original musical. Admission to the workshop is $30, with limited attendance available. Visit playersring.org.

SPIN: Beginning Aug. 31, Karen Christians and the Loading Dock Gallery will host “SPIN,” an installation of 350 circular spin casting molds. The installation aims to reimagine how we view artworks in context, with each casting a work of art itself that comes together to create a complex and intricate scene. “SPIN” runs from Aug. 31 through Sept. 25 at Loading Dock Gallery (122 Western Ave., Lowell, Mass.). It will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays, from noon to 5:30 p.m., and Sundays, from noon to 4 p.m. The gallery will also host a reception for the installation on Saturday, Sept. 3, from 3 to 5 p.m. Visit theloadingdockgallery.com.



JESSICA KELLY Local artist working in photography whose work will be featured at the New Hampshire Boat Museum (399 Center St., Wolfeboro, 569-4554, nhbm.org) in the museum’s gallery in August. The art depicts coastal scenes and other natural beauties. Kelly’s work is available for viewing with paid admission to the museum. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and free for children under 13, members, and active military personnel.

• “STANDING TOGETHER” The Seacoast LGBT History Project holds its sixth annual show, titled “Standing Together,” at RiverStones Custom Framing and The Franklin Gallery (33 N. Main St. in Rochester; riverstonescustomframing.com) through Wednesday, Aug. 31. The Gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit the Seacoast NH LGBT Facebook page, email seacoastnhlgbthistory@gmail.com or call RiverStones at 812-1488.

ARGHAVAN KHOSRAVI Artist’s surrealist paintings explore themes of exile, freedom and empowerment; center female protagonists; and allude to human rights issues, particularly those affecting women and immigrants. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On display now through Sept. 5. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children age 12 and under and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday. Call 669-6144 or visit currier.org.

• “GEE’S BEND QUILTS” Exhibit, on display at the Currier Museum of Art (50 Ash St. in Manchester; 669-6144, currier.org), features five quilts from Gee’s Bend in Alabama, where several generations of women collectively developed a distinctive style of quilt making, according to the website. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children age 12 and under and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday.

• “MEMOIRS OF A GHOST GIRLHOOD: A BLACK GIRL’S WINDOW” In the exhibit on display at the Currier Museum of Art (50 Ash St. in Manchester; 669-6144, currier.org), “artist Alexandria Smith has created an immersive multi-media environment using wallpaper, paintings on wood, found objects and sculpture. It will be accompanied by an original site-specific composition //windowed// by Liz Gre,” according to the website. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children age 12 and under and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday.

• “MANAGING MISCELLANEA” The Lamont Gallery at Phillips Exeter Academy (11 Tan Lane, Exeter) hosts “Managing Miscellanea,” an art exhibition that draws from the gallery’s “undefined” collection. It centers around questions of defining and maintaining collections, and showcases unseen works from the storage vault, including works by Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Motherwell. The exhibition runs through Sept. 24, available for viewing during the gallery’s normal hours: Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free but reservations are required. For more information, visit www.exeter.edu/lamontgallery.

• “THE PEOPLE’S SCULPTOR: THE LIFE AND WORKS OF JOHN ROGERS” Exhibit celebrates the art of American sculptor John Rogers, who came to Manchester in 1850, and explores the influence that Manchester had on Rogers’ life and work. Presented by the Manchester Historic Association. On view now through September. Millyard Museum (200 Bedford St., Manchester). Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs $8 for adults, $6 for seniors age 62 and up and college students, $4 for youth ages 12 through 18, and is free for kids under age 12. Call 622-7531 or visit manchesterhistoric.org/millyard-museum.

• “WOOL: CONTEMPORARY FIBER ART EXHIBITION Twiggs Gallery (254 King St., Boscawen) through Sept. 2. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Visit twiggsgallery.wordpress.com or call 975-0015.

ART ON MAIN The City of Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce present a year-round outdoor public art exhibition in Concord’s downtown featuring works by professional sculptors. All sculptures will be for sale. Visit concordnhchamber.com/creativeconcord, call 224-2508 or email tsink@concordnhchamber.com.

• “PIXELS, WOOD, CLAY” Two Villages Art Society presents an exhibition of work by artists Tony Gilmore, Rick Manganello and Caren Helm. The Bates Building (846 Main St., Contoocook). through Sept. 9. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. There will be an opening reception on Sat., Aug. 13, from noon to 2 p.m. Visit twovillagesart.org or call 413-210-4372.

Fairs and markets

CONCORD ARTS MARKET The juried outdoor artisan and fine art market runs one Saturday a month, June through October, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Market dates are Aug. 20, Sept. 17 and Oct. 15. Rollins Park, 33 Bow St., Concord. concordartsmarket.net. The first market will be held on Saturday, June 11. Visit concordartsmarket.net/summer-arts-market.html.


NASHUA PUBLIC ART AUDIO TOUR Self-guided audio tours of the sculptures and murals in downtown Nashua, offered via the Distrx app, which uses Bluetooth iBeacon technology to automatically display photos and text and provides audio descriptions at each stop on the tour as tourists approach the works of art. Each tour has 10 to 15 stops. Free and accessible on Android and iOS on demand. Available in English and Spanish. Visit downtownnashua.org/nashua-art-tour for more information.

Workshops and classes

ART CLASSES Art classes for teens and adults, including Pottery, Stained Glass, Intermediate Watercolor and Clay Hand Building. Studio 550 Art Center (550 Elm St., Manchester). Five-week sessions. Classes met for two hours a week. Call 232-5597 or visit 550arts.com for the full schedule and cost details.

DRAWING & PAINTING CLASSES Art House Studios, 66 Hanover St., Suite 202, Manchester. Classes include Drawing Fundamentals, Painting in Acrylic, Drawing: Observation to Abstraction, Exploring Mixed Media, and Figure Drawing. Class sizes are limited to six students. Visit arthousestudios.org or email arthousejb@gmail.comfor more information.

GENERAL ART CLASSES Weekly art classes offered for both kids and adults of all skill levels and cover a variety of two-dimensional media, including drawing and painting with pastel, acrylic, watercolor and oils. Classes are held with small groups of three to eight to five students. Diane Crespo Fine Art Gallery (32 Hanover St., Manchester). Kids classes, open to ages 10 and up, are held on Thursdays and Fridays, from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. Adult classes are held on Thursdays, from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Tuition is pay-as-you-go at $20 per student per class, due upon arrival. Call 493-1677 or visit dianecrespofineart.com for availability.



STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS Monthly workshop series hosted by True Tales Live storytelling showcase. First Tuesday (except November), from 7 to 8:30 p.m., virtual, via Zoom. Registration is required. Visit truetaleslivenh.org for more information.


THE GREAT ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC SHAKESPEARE COMPANY presented by Granite Playwrights at the Hatbox Theatre (inside the Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord; hatboxnh.com, 715-2315) through Aug. 28, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for students, seniors and members and $16 for senior members.

DISNEY’S FROZEN KIDS presented by the 2022 Bank of New Hampshire Children’s Summer Seriesat the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester; palacetheatre.org, 668-5588) through Thursday, Aug. 25, at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and Friday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. Tickets cost $10.

•​ LES MISERABLES presented by the Seacoast Repertory Theatre (125 Bow St., Portsmouth; seacoastrep.org, 433-4472) teen company from Aug. 25 through Sept. 4, with showtimes on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for students and $30 for adults.

CRUEL INTENTIONS: THE ’90s MUSICAL presented by the Actorsingers at the Janice B. Streeter Theatre (14 Court St., Nashua; actorsingers.org) Friday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 27, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 28, 2 p.m. TIckets cost $20 for adults, $18 for 62+ (plus fees).

SHREK THE MUSICAL presented by the Riverbend Youth Company at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts (56 Mont Vernon St., Milford; svbgc.org/amato-center) from Friday, Aug. 26, through Sunday, Aug. 28.

DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID, the season-opening musical at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester; palacetheatre.org, 668-5588), will run Friday, Sept. 16, through Sunday, Oct. 2. The shows run Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., with a show also on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 to $46.

TITANIC THE MUSICAL Presented by the Manchester Community Theatre Players. Manchester Community Theatre Players Theatre, located at the North End Montessori School (698 Beech St., Manchester; manchestercommunitytheatre.com, 327-6777). Showtimes on Fri., Oct. 14 and Oct. 21, and Sat., Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.

TRUE TALES LIVE Portsmouth-based storytelling showcase. Monthly, last Tuesday (no shows in July and August), from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Shows will be held in person (Portsmouth Public Media TV Studio, 280 Marcy St., Portsmouth) starting in April, and returning to the Zoom format for the winter, starting in November. Each month’s showcase is centered around a different theme. The series is free and open to all who want to watch or participate as a storyteller. Pre-registration for attendees is required for Zoom shows but not required for in-person shows. Visit truetaleslivenh.org and email info@truetaleslive.org if you’re interested in being a storyteller.



ORCHESTRAL SHOWCASE “NATURE & MYTH” at Seifert Performing Arts Center (44 Geremonty Drive, Salem; 893-7069) will run Sun., Oct. 16, at 2 p.m., and Sat., Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. Featuring sounds from Beethoven, Walker, Grieg and Sibelius. Presented by New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets range from $5 to $30 for in-person seating. Visit nhpo.booktix.com.

HOLIDAY POPS at Seifert Performing Arts Center (44 Geremonty Drive, Salem; 893-7069) will run Sat., Dec. 17, at 7:30 p.m., and Sun., Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. Featuring Christmas carol sing-alongs and classical and popular holiday favorites, as well as an appearance from a special visitor from the North Pole. Presented by New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets range from $5 to $30 for in-person seating. Visit nhpo.booktix.com.

WINTER SERENITIES at Seifert Performing Arts Center (44 Geremonty Drive, Salem; 893-7069) will run Sat., Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m., and Sun., Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. Featuring Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (by Vaughn-Williams). Presented by New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets range from $5 to $30 for in-person seating. Visit nhpo.booktix.com.

DRAWN TO THE MUSIC: MUSICAL TALES at Seifert Performing Arts Center (44 Geremonty Drive, Salem; 893-7069) will run Sat., April 15, and Sun., April 16, at 2 p.m. Featuring Stravinsky’s Petrushka, the music for a ballet about puppets that come to life. Presented by New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets range from $5 to $30 for in-person seating. Visit nhpo.booktix.com.

SPRING POPS: HOLLYWOOD IN AFRICA at Seifert Performing Arts Center (44 Geremonty Drive, Salem; 893-7069) will run Sat., May 20, at 7:30 p.m., and Sun., May 21, at 2 p.m. Featuring Grammy Award-nominated African musician Mamadou Diabate on the balafon, a xylophone-like instrument. Presented by New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets range from $5 to $30 for in-person seating. Visit nhpo.booktix.com.

Open calls

THE RHYTHM OF NEW HAMPSHIRE SHOW CHORUS Women’s a cappella chorus is looking for female singers in the region to join. The group, an affiliate of the North American singing organization Harmony, Inc., performs a wide variety of music, including Broadway musical songs, patriotic songs, pop, jazz and seasonal pieces, for community and veterans’ events and private functions. Rehearsals are held weekly on Thursdays from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. at the Marion Gerrish Community Center, 39 W. Broadway, Derry. Masks are required for singing, but both vaccinated and unvaccinated singers are welcome. Visit rnhchorus.org or email info@rnhchorus.org for more information.

The hunt is on

Studio 550’s monster hunt returns

By Hannah Turtle


For its 10th year, Manchester’s Studio 550 Art Center is hiding 100 clay monsters throughout the heart of downtown during its annual Monster Hunt. Kicking off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, the hunt features a whole host of perks and prizes in store for anyone who can find a monster.

The monster hunt is an event that values the unexpected, getting its start with little fanfare.

“The first year we did it, it was just for fun. We didn’t tell anyone we were doing it — we just hid monsters downtown,” Studio 550 founder Monica Leap said. “People started asking what was going on, and then started asking when the next time we were doing it was, and that’s how it began.”

Ten years later, the event at its core is very much the same. Today, Studio 550 has expanded the monsters’ reach and has incorporated a slew of extra events in partnership with local businesses. This year there will be a special kids’ hunt right before the real one, happening at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown at 9:45 a.m. Studio 550 will also host various monster-related events throughout the day on its campus, including a bookmobile with the Manchester City Library.

As for the business partners, there’s no shortage of monster fun. Bookery Manchester, for instance, will hold a monster book reading and monster booklist; Shadow and Soul is selling monster-themed vinyl stickers and enamel pins; and Beeze Tees will offer special monster games and monster merchandise. Even some Queen City eateries are joining in on the festivities — Cafe la Reine will serve a special monster-themed beverage, while Dancing Lion Chocolate makes “monster food” chocolate medallions. Other specialty themed treats will include a monster sundae from Granite State Candy Shoppe, a monster cupcake from Queen City Cupcakes, and a monster-themed doughnut and latte from Wild Orchid Bakery.

It’s all part of a larger goal to integrate the local community in the monster fun. The biggest part of this push comes in the form of monster murals, bringing together local businesses and the Manchester Citywide Arts Festival.

“We’re hiding 10 monster murals in local businesses downtown, all painted by local artists,” Leap said. “People can get a monster map and go to the businesses to find the murals, and if you find them all you’re entered into a raffle.”

After a decade of success holding the event, Leap has a simple answer to why the community loves the monsters.

“Well, they’re funny,” she said. “It takes hours and hours to make a hundred of these clay monsters. They’re all different, and they each have their own personality.”

But more than that, it’s also about adding some whimsy to Manchester.

“It’s fun to go to an ordinary place and find something so unexpected. It’s really imaginative,” Leap said. “We want people to have the chance to look at their everyday surroundings and be surprised, [and] that’s kind of beautiful.”

10th annual Monster Hunt
When: Saturday, Aug. 27; hunt begins at 10 a.m., with ongoing festivities at participating businesses throughout the day
Where: Multiple locations in downtown Manchester
Visit: 550arts.com

Featured photo: Painting by Zoe Brooke. Courtesy photo.

Finding a bit of green

Mini parks, lesser-known monuments, land trusts and other unexpected outdoor spaces

Rocks that rock

On the hunt for rocks with history

By Dan Szczesny


The following is an excerpt from NH Rocks That Rock: An Adventure Guide to Twenty-Five Famous Boulders in the Granite State by Dan Szczesny and his daughter Uma (2021, Hobblebush Books). See danszczesny.com, where you can purchase this and other books by Dan and find information on upcoming events.

New Hampshire loves its rocks. Though the state’s nickname, The Granite State, actually comes from a preponderance of 19th-century quarries, the casual visitor wouldn’t know it from how many famous, historic, named or identified rocks and boulders there are all across the state.

From the ocean to the south, to the river valley to the west to the grand White Mountains up north, the state is full of boulders with eccentric names such as the Old Man of the Valley, Nessie’s Humps, Big Bertha, T-Rex, Boise Rock, Glen Boulder and The BOB, just to name a few. There are Elephant, Dog, Frog, Sheep, Monkey and Wolf rocks. Take a ferry to the Isles of Shoals for Underhill’s Chair. And take a moment to puzzle out the state’s greatest love story, the Chicken Farmer I Still Love You Rock.

Some are boulders. Some are glacial erratics. Some are cleaved from cliffs and mountain walls. Others just happened to be in places of historic importance and have been labeled through time. Some are monuments to people or events. A few have signs, while many you’ll have to search for. Some are brand new. A few have been on the New Hampshire map since before New Hampshire was New Hampshire.

One weighs more than 5,000 tons and is one of the largest glacial erratics in North America. You can’t miss Madison Boulder.

During a short hike out to Frog Rock in New Boston, my 6-year-old daughter asked me what other rocks were named after animals.

A lot, it turns out. Oh, so very many!

So the idea for our field guide, hiking patch quest and certificate was born.

Chicken Farmer Rock, Newbury

Access: Right on the north side of Route 103 about two miles south of Newbury town center. Nearest address is 539 Route 103.

Of all the rocks in New Hampshire, all the great stone profiles, all the epic gravity-defying boulders and grand vista-facing cliffs, one rock stands above them all in popularity and fame.

We are, of course, talking about the Chicken Farmer I Still Love You Rock.

This painted, overgrown, weedy outcropping along a busy state route is so well-known Google Maps has it pinned as a Historical Landmark. Even Madison Boulder doesn’t get that.

But that’s accurate because the Chicken Farmer I Still Love You Rock is all about history, and that history more or less encompasses what it’s like to be from and live in New Hampshire, where love stories about chicken farmers are entirely relatable.

In short, local legend tells the tale of a hard-working Chicken Farmer and his wife who lived across the road. So hard-working to provide for his family was this farmer that the wife became upset at him for spending so much time away from the family. She lashed out, but instantly regretted her anger. And realizing how grateful she was for her husband, she painted the words on the rock, “Chicken Farmer I Love You,” as a love note and apology.

Years later, in what was perhaps the greatest small town government mistake of all time, the message was covered, the town deeming it to be graffiti. Petitions were signed. Angry voices expressed outrage. And overnight, a new sign was painted, only this time the word “still”was added. And so it remains.

New Hampshire writer and storyteller Rebecca Rule said the original message and the update are two parts of the same message. “The original is a story of young love,” she said. “The revision is the story of unrequited and enduring love. Two beautiful stories; one rock.”

The chicken farmer endures.

The Train/Londonderry

Boulder, Londonderry

Access: We’re certain you’ve driven by The Train many times, as it sits on one of the busiest roads in one of the most densely populated areas, near Boston-Manchester Regional Airport. The rock, usually covered in graffiti, can be found jutting out of the embankment on Rockingham Road/Route 28 in North Londonderry near the intersection with Sanborn Road. If you’re heading south from Manchester, turn right on Sanborn Road and park in one of the office parking lots, then walk back. But of course be careful of traffic on this very busy road.

Of all the boulders on our list, The Train may have the richest pedigree as the slab that birthed the career of one of the best-known rock climbers in the world.

“I think I was maybe 14, driving back from soccer practice with my mom when I saw just one guy on that boulder,” said pro climber Joe Kinder. “I was obsessed with climbing but didn’t really have any outlets and I kept getting in trouble as a kid so my mom just stopped the car and told me to go say hi.”

Young Kinder hit the jackpot that day as the climber working the rock was none other than Brett Meyers, another pro most associated with developing routes on the Pawtuckaway Boulders.

Kinder already had a mentor at Manchester West High School, a guidance counselor named Gary Hunter, himself an amateur climber who encouraged Kinder to climb. But now, with a friendship with Meyers, Kinder’s destiny was set.

“Being from New England, it’s not easy to find the most profound places to climb,” Kinder told me from Las Vegas, where he now lives. “But that rock, in terms of rock quality, texture and accessibility, makes it special. It was like our little playground, a practice place where we could have fun and try new things. That place made me!”

Climb in the shadow of the greats, there on a busy state route in Londonderry.

Frog Rock, New Boston

Access: The rock that started it all. From Route 13 heading north through Mont Vernon go left on Francestown Turnpike, also known as 2nd New Hampshire Turnpike. Drive about 3 miles. The southern entrance to Frog Rock Road (now an abandoned access road) will be on your right, just after a long left turn with warning sign arrows. If you reach Hopkins Road, you’ve gone too far. Parking is available at the side of the road for perhaps two cars.

man and a young girl posing in front of a large rock.
Photo courtesy of Dan Szczesny.

The dirt road path will reach some stone barriers at about 0.1 mile and a sign indicating that you are entering Frances Hildreth Townes Memorial Forest. Continue down the trail road for about 0.35 mile or so until you see a clear side path on your right. Take that 50 feet or so to Frog Rock.

It was Frog Rock that started it all. The list. The patch. The book you hold. Somewhere along the way, Little Bean wanted to find more rocks shaped like creatures. And once that door opened, there was no closing it.

And perhaps unlike many of the other rocks on this list, there’s very little debate over Frog Rock’s namesake. From a particular angle, the 10-foot erratic looks exactly like what it’s named after. So much so in fact that Frog Rock used to be a popular destination in the days of the grand hotels.

There were five grand (and grand-ish) hotels in the Mont Vernon area around the mid to late 19th century that drew tourists from the south as far away as Boston. The ladies and children would summer at the resorts while the men would work and come up on the weekends. That meant the hotels would need to keep their guests occupied, and one way to do that was to plan picnic excursions into the countryside. One of those resorts, The Grand Hotel, would send wagonloads of guests to visit what their literature called Bull Frog Rock.

Today the pasture land that once made up the area has been reclaimed by the forest, but through it all Frog Rock reigns supreme.

T.M.N.T. Rock, Auburn

Access: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Rock is a small, sometimes covered, waist-high boulder near the summit of little Mine Hill in Auburn. A section of the rock looks just like one of the cartoon ninja fighters. The trailhead and parking area are on Route 121, just about a mile south of the junction with Hooksett Road in the center of Auburn. Park at a pull-off at the shore of Lake Massabesic, immediately north of Shore Road. On the opposite side of the road, look for the sign Gate A21, Fire Road #42. That’s your trail!

Head up the fire road until you come to a large open field in about 100 yards. Stay to the right as the trail heads up into the woods. Continue up for about 0.4 mile, always keeping to the right, until you see a dilapidated set of steps built into the ground.

These are the old steps that led up the fire tower that used to be at the summit. The foundations of the tower and debris are still there. Climb to the top of the steps and make a right, keeping the No Trespassing signs to your left. At about the 0.5-mile mark look right into the woods and you’ll see TMNT Rock about 10 feet in.

This trail was the one Little Bean asked to come back to. Asked to bring her momma along. Asked if we could visit the rock again, to show off her find. This rock is all hers.

Our original intent was to climb the hill to find the tower, Little Bean being a fire tower buff. But the hike became more. We found a family of tiny mice, entrenched in their rotten log home. We found a dead porcupine and took home some quills, which Little Bean used to paint a portrait of that creature, creating a permanent record. And we imagined what it must have been like to be up in that tower, looking over the great Massabesic.

Certain trails leave a mark. Mine Hill is ours.

NH Rocks That Rock: Memorial Stones
The following is from the prologue to Dan’s forthcoming book, NH Rocks That Rock: Memorial Stones. Find publication updates at danszczesny.com.

Rocks endure, and thus memorials on rocks endure. Such is the thinking anyway.
Unlike a stand-alone sign, or wooden marker, or even one of those dark green metallic state historic markers, bolting a sign against an enormous slab of granite provides some authority to the person or place being honored. Memorial stones are designed for authority and permanence.
And you may not realize it, but they are everywhere, in traffic circles in busy Manchester streets, and tucked away near popular sandy beaches, and hidden behind curious enclosures. Memorial rocks in New Hampshire (not to be mistaken for town veteran memorials or individual tombstones) commemorate a wide variety of people and events, many now lost to the fogs of time.
In Newport you can visit a boulder with an attached cannonball memorializing Civil War hero George Eugene Belknap. In Auburn you can try to puzzle through a way-finder obelisk that served as an 18th-century street sign, and up in Sugar Hill, near a popular waterfall, one of the most famous Hollywood celebrities of her time paid tribute to her long-lost love with a memorial stone that’s simply signed as being from “A Grateful One.”
After the success and thrills of big boulder-hopping through our first field guide, my daughter decided something more personal, more intimate, would be best for a follow-up — these small moments of rock history, tiny tributes set in stone to epic humans and events.
We decided to find the memorial stones to reconnect with history and bring some of these stories back to life. If our first book was about grand epochs of geology, our second would be about individuals. We were going to memorialize the memorial stones.

History on display

War monuments at parks show how the Granite State honors those who served the country

By Katelyn Sahagian


In the shade of Victory Park stands a statue to remember the first World War. The symbolism shows an angel watching over a group of soldiers, and a cloaked figure holding a plaque thanking those who died in the Great War.

This statue is one of the last made to be a grand depiction of the suffering of war, said local historian Kathleen Bailey.

“After World War I, you get a more streamlined effect,” Bailey said about the design of statues. “It’s almost as if World War I was the last straw and we weren’t going to romanticize war anymore.”

Bailey, a veteran journalist from New Hampshire, is the coauthor of the book New Hampshire War Monuments: The Stories Behind the Stones with her daughter Sheila Bailey. The book looks at war monuments across the state.

Bailey said it’s much more common for statues to be erected in memory of the soldiers who fought and died. The trend began after World War II but became the custom when memorializing the efforts of soldiers in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Monuments like this exist in many parks in New Hampshire, but they aren’t all confined to parks. There is one such monument farther north in the state that is a grave marker for Derek Oxford, an enslaved man who fought for independence during the Revolutionary War and made his home in Plainfield, Bailey said.

statue of woman in toga holding up flag
A World War I statue topper at Victory Park in Manchester. Courtesy photo.

Another is the Brigadier General Harrison Thyng Memorial. Thyng, who was born in a one-room schoolhouse in Pittsfield, became one of the five flying ACEs to serve in both World War II and the Korean War before becoming a Brigadier General.

Bailey said that she and her daughter were stunned when they came upon the memorial. She said that it seemed to pop out of nowhere.

“But this is fascinating because you’re going down this dusty back road in Pittsfield,” said Bailey. “There’s nothing there but auto repair shops and little frame houses, and then you come upon this and it’s something that looks like it belongs on the National Mall.”

Bailey said that New Hampshire has a way of remembering its sons and daughters, no matter how long they stayed here. While some memorials are dedicated to soldiers like the Five Guardsmen, a group of five young men in the National Guard who were all from Manchester’s West Side and who were all killed on the same day, some honor people who only lived in New Hampshire for a short part of their lives.

“New Hampshire loves its veterans and takes care of its own,” Bailey said. “Jed Barker did not live in Franklin since he was 6 years old. And the town still put up a plaque for him. He died in Vietnam. New Hampshire loves long and hard.”

Barker was a marine who was killed while suppressing explosives during the Vietnam war, and he saved a fellow soldier’s life.

Bailey said that one of the things she noticed the most during her research was that more modern memorials are less slabs of granite and statues and more places, like gymnasiums, or fundraiser events people can participate in.

“The other thing we noticed was not only did the complexion and design of the monuments change, but starting at the tail end of Vietnam, people started honoring their war dead in more creative ways,” Bailey said. Many people have now chosen to do charity fundraisers, like golf events, or to have recreation centers or town pools named after them.

Bailey said that this only changes the way society recognizes people who fought in wars. Instead of having just monuments memorializing the dead, there are places remembering the sacrifice of those who survived as well.

War Monuments
All the following monuments and memorials, as well as longer descriptions of them, can be found in local historian Kathleen Bailey’s book New Hampshire War Monuments: The Stories Behind the Stones

Amoskeag Bridge
Amoskeag Brg, Manchester
This bridge is dedicated to all New Hampshire soldiers who died in Vietnam, including the five National Guardsmen from Manchester who were all killed the same day.

Brigadier General Harrison Thyng Memorial
Next to Floral Park Cemetery, 30 Barnstead Road, Pittsfield
The monument recognizes one of the few flying ACEs from both World War II and the Korean War.

Derrick Oxford Gravesite
Coreyville Cemetery, Plainfield
Originally, Oxford’s grave was marked with a plain stone. The Plainfield Historical Society found his grave and erected a gravestone with his name.

Jedh C. Barker Memorial Monument
Across from Franklin High School, 115 Central St., Franklin
This monument was erected in 2022, more than 50 years after Barker’s death because Barker is the only Medal of Honor recipient from Franklin.

Merci Train Boxcar
136 Reed St., Manchester
This memorial was given to Manchester by France to honor all the soldiers from New Hampshire who died in France during World War II.

World War I Monument
Victory Park, 91-139 Concord St., Manchester
The monument symbolizes the loss and mourning felt after the first World War.

A grassy oasis

Southern New Hampshire’s smallest city parks

By Matt Ingersoll


There is so much to discover in local parks — even the smallest ones that serve as grassy oases within major New Hampshire cities and towns. Some offer sweeping waterfront views or adequate tree shade perfect for a picnic, while others are home to statues honoring prominent figures in local history. No matter its size, every one of these mini parks has a story to tell.

“We are incredibly fortunate … to have such an extensive and diverse network of parks,” Mark Gomez, Chief of the Parks, Recreation & Cemetery Division for the City of Manchester, said in an email. “In an urban environment, the benefits of parks to both physical and mental health cannot be overstated.”

Nearly half of all 47 of the Queen City’s parks are under 5 acres in area — of these, several can be found within walking distance of the bustle of downtown. Many offer a wide array of amenities and are popular destinations for all kinds of community events and gatherings.

paved walkway beside river with tree lined lawn on other side
Arms Park in Manchester. Photo by Tristan Collins.

Arms Park, for instance, offers a mostly tree-lined walk along the waters of the Merrimack River, which directly faces to the west. It’s also known for being home to “Baer Square,” featuring a memorial statue and bench of Ralph Baer, a longtime Manchester resident widely considered to be “the father of video games.”

Wagner Park, which encompasses the block between Maple, Oak, Prospect and Myrtle streets, is also commonly referred to as “Pretty Park” due to its lush setting. It’s easily identifiable by a Greek-style temple monument in one of the park’s northern corners.

At the intersection of Hanover and Beech streets is Bronstein Park. Its features include an open grassy area, a scattering of trees and plenty of benches lining the sides.

“Bronstein Park … also has a bike FixIt station, which is pretty cool,” parks project manager Kate Waldo said. “We partnered with the Queen City Bike Collective, so if you’re riding your bike through town and you go through that park, [the FixIt station] has little attached tools to it that you can use to make repairs right there. So that’s a really cool, unique element you’ll see.”

According to Waldo, every feature of even the smallest park is maintained, from grass that’s mowed and trees that are pruned on a regular basis to benches and stone tables that are monitored for repairs. Other maintenance needs are commonly addressed, like trash receptacles to maintain a park’s cleanliness and light posts to improve its safety.

In Concord, there are a total of 21 parks and the vast majority of them are within a 10-minute walk of a residential area, said David Gill, the city’s Parks and Recreation director. Small parks like Bicentennial Square and Eagle Square, for instance, are located directly in the hub of downtown Concord’s business district and feature uniquely placed picnic areas and fountains. Fletcher-Murphy Park, which is adjacent to the Concord Community Music School, has its own open area facing the building where visitors can enjoy outdoor concerts and other events.

“Although they do not have the [visibility] or high use like … White Park or Keach Park, they are still very important as they provide space for the community to gather, relax and have fun,” Gill said of some of the Capital City’s smaller parks.

Downtown Nashua is similarly known for having several mini parks within walking distance of its center. Among them is a memorial known as Le Parc De Notre Renaissance Française, which was dedicated in May 2001 by the City to its French Heritage Committee. It has the distinction of being both the first full figure erected in the Gate City in a century and the first sculpture in New England to honor Franco-American culture.

Mini parks

Here’s a list of where you can check out some of southern New Hampshire’s smallest parks within major city and town limits. Features include everything from commemorative statues to playgrounds, picnic tables and benches, gazebos, basketball courts and more. Sources: bedfordnh.myrec.com, concordnh.gov, derrynh.org, manchesternh.gov, milford.nh.gov and nashuanh.gov

Muller Park North Amherst Road
This park features just over 3 acres of conservation land that’s great for hiking, picnicking, and various scouting and camping activities.

Waterfowl Park Beech Street
Waterfowl Park features a scenic area with a ¼-mile walking trail located off Beech Street. The site is ideal for walking, hiking and bird-watching.

Bicentennial Square 1 Odd Fellows Ave.
This park is located in the hub of downtown Concord’s business district, with uniquely placed picnic areas, a fountain and electrical access.

Eagle Square 3 Eagle Square
Just below the historic Clock Tower on Main Street in downtown Concord, Eagle Square is a great place to enjoy a local concert, a stroll or an afternoon lunch break. Like in the Capital City’s Bicentennial Square, there are picnic areas and electrical access.

Fletcher-Murphy Park 28 Fayette St.
Directly adjacent to the Concord Community Music School, this park is known for its open area facing the building where you can enjoy outside concerts. It also features a basketball court and a playground.

Kiwanis Waterfront Park 15 Loudon Road
Behind the Douglas N. Everett Arena is Kiwanis Waterfront Park, situated on the banks of the Merrimack River. It’s a perfect area for a shady riverside picnic, and Concord’s local skateboard park is also located there.

McKee Square 8 Broadway St.
McKee Square is a small triangle-shaped park found at the intersection of Broadway, South and West streets. It’s easily identifiable by its gazebo in the center.

Reed Park 105 Hall St.
Named after the Concord-born Corp. Robert Wellington Reed, this park is nestled just below Interstate 93, featuring a softball field and playground. It’s also the site of youth and adult flag football leagues in the fall.

Riverside Park Tanner Street
Overlooking the Contoocook River in Concord’s Penacook neighborhood, Riverside Park is a great place for picnics due to its shady setting.

Hood Park 4 Rollins St.
Located within walking distance of Broadway in downtown Derry, Hood Park features amenities like basketball courtes, outdoor floor hockey and shuffleboards and a waterfront area.

MacGregor Park East Broadway
Directly adjacent to the Derry Public Library on East Broadway, MacGregor Park is known for hosting several special events throughout the year, like the town’s summer concert series, Memorial Day observances and Derryfest.

Arms Park Between the Merrimack River and Commercial Street
This tree-lined riverside park features scenic views of the waters of the Merrimack River to the west. It’s also known for being home to “Baer Square,” featuring a memorial statue and bench of Ralph Baer, a longtime Manchester resident widely considered to be “the father of video games.”

Bass Island Park Second Street, between West Hancock and Cleveland streets
Located on the Piscataquog River on Manchester’s West Side, Bass Island Park is a peaceful park within a congested area of the city, with a vessel boat ramp and granite stones that provide access to the river’s edge.

Bronstein Park Hanover and Beech streets
This park is named after Ben Richard Bronstein, who was the first man from New Hampshire to die during World War II. The park is within walking distance of Manchester Central High School, with an open grassy area, a bicycle FixIt station, a scattering of trees and plenty of benches lining the sides.

City Hall Plaza, Manchester Elm Street, adjacent to City Hall
Manchester’s City Hall Plaza features several park benches and tables just outside the City Hall building on Elm Street.

Harriman Park Corner of Lake Avenue and Hall Street to the corner of Hall and Central streets
Originally named East Side Park, this park was renamed in 1922 in honor of Lt. Lynn H. Harriman, who served in the 101st Infantry in World War I. The park includes a memorial, a playground and a basketball court.

Kalivas Park Lake Avenue, Spruce Street and Chestnut Street
Located directly behind Manchester’s SNHU Arena, this park is named after Christos N. Kalivas, the first Greek-American from Manchester to be killed in action during World War I. A monument and plaque honoring Kalivas faces the park’s center.

Lafayette Park Notre Dame Avenue
At just over 2 acres on Manchester’s West Side, this park features a statue of Ferdinand Gagnon, widely considered to be “the father of Franco-American journalism.” The park was dedicated by the Franco-American Memorial Commission in 1957.

Martineau Park Montcalm Street and Dionne Drive
Martineau Park is a small triangle of land spanning less than a third of an acre between Montcalm Street and Dionne Drive on Manchester’s West Side. It’s named after Albert R. Martineau of Manchester, who served in the Army during World War II. It features benches, a cobblestone walkway and some tree-shaded grass.

Oak Park Oak and Maple streets
Accessed from Oak, Maple, Brook or Harrison streets, this park features several benches in a mostly tree-covered setting.

Pulaski Park Bridge and Pine streets
Named for Casimir Pulaski, a Polish immigrant who served in the Revolutionary War as a general and one of George Washington’s right-hand men, Pulaski Park has his statue in the center and is surrounded by lush grass fields as well as a basketball court.

Sweeney Park South Main Street
Sweeney Park is named after Private Henry John Sweeney, the first soldier from Manchester to die during World War I. Amenities include a memorial, a children’s playground and a basketball court.

Veterans Memorial Park Elm Street, between Central and Merrimack streets
Veterans Memorial Park is a popular destination for outdoor concerts and festivals, featuring a large covered stage that’s generally open from the spring through the early fall. In 2009, a World War II monument was erected inside the park.

Victory Park Between Concord and Amherst, Pine and Chestnut streets
This park is dedicated to Private First Class Rene A. Gagnon, who fought on Iwo Jima as a member of the Marine Corps. It’s a popular destination for family events throughout the summer months, courtesy of the Manchester City Library.

Wagner Park Maple, Oak, Prospect and Myrtle streets
In 1944, a woman named Ottilie Wagner Hosser granted the entire city block where her house stood to the city to be used as a park. It was modeled after a small park in Paris across from the League of Nations that she loved to visit. Amenities include park benches, a gazebo and a Greek-style temple that stands in the park’s northern corner and serves as the centerpiece.

Emerson Park 6 Mont Vernon St.
The parcels of land that today make Emerson Park were donated to the Town of Milford in 1947. The park is uniquely adjacent to the Souhegan River, just off the Milford Oval, and is the site of Milford’s widely attended summer concert series, which takes place every Wednesday night from 7 to 8:30 p.m., from early July to late August.

Kaley Park 448 Nashua St.
Like Emerson Park, Kaley Park’s location is directly adjacent to Milford’s Souhegan River. Its amenities include two multi-purpose playing fields, a softball diamond, a canoe launch and a conservation area.

Keyes Memorial Park 45 Elm St.
This park was originally farmland that was owned by members of the Crosby family. It was sold in 1957 to the Arthur L. Keyes Memorial Trust, which then gave the land to the Milford School District for athletics fields and a playground. A public swimming pool was added in 1965, followed by tennis courts in 1974.

Deschenes Oval Main Street
Named after Amedee Deschenes, who served in World War I, this park is located in the heart of downtown Nashua, commemorating several war heroes from New Hampshire who gave their lives.

Le Parc De Notre Renaissance Française Water Street
This Water Street park, which overlooks the Nashua River, commemorates local Franco-American immigrants. Dedicated in May 2001 by the City of Nashua to its French Heritage Committee, the featured sculpture is both the first full figure erected in the Gate City in a century and the first sculpture in New England to honor Franco-American culture.

Natural treasures

What land trusts are and where to check them out

By Hannah Turtle


When it comes to finding natural treasures in and around the local community, the role of a land trust is paramount. Land trusts are often nonprofit organizations with the goal of aiding in land conservation.

“We’re all about conserving special places,” said Liz Short, executive director of Five Rivers Conservation Trust, based in Concord. “It really boils down to sustaining the ecological, social and community benefits that nature provides.”

landscape of trees and mountain in background
Photo courtesy of Five Rivers Conservation Trust.

Five Rivers, like many of the other land trusts in the area, focuses on helping community members protect their land through various conservation efforts. Through those efforts, the land often becomes a place that’s open for hiking and recreation, with a whole variety of natural landscapes to explore. Land trusts also play a role in engaging and protecting the community at large.

“Our mission at our core is land conservation, but we try to do that in a way that’s respectful of the need for housing, because it’s all part of a really important network,” Short said. “It’s what goes into making New Hampshire a great place to live, work and play.”

This goal is in part what drives the community events offered by land trusts in the area. Five Rivers, for instance, is hosting a free evening yoga class outdoors on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Dimond Hill Farm in Concord. Piscataquog Land Conservancy, another trust in the local area, hosts the Rose Mountain Rumble, a non-timed gravel bike ride, on Saturday, Aug. 27, which will begin at Center Hall in Lyndeborough. Details on these events are available on the land trust websites, and more opportunities are available through the New Hampshire Land Trust Coalition’s website.

While land trusts endeavor to serve the community, there are also a multitude of ways for the community to get involved in land conservation.

“We have a lot of volunteer opportunities,” Short said. “Every year, we have volunteers help us with our annual monitoring of conserved lands.”

Five Rivers sends volunteers to all their protected lands to check on the conservation efforts, walk the grounds and take pictures.

“We offer training for that, so it’s really great for someone interested in learning more about conservation, and someone who wants to get out into the woods and learn to use a map and compass,” Short said. “We’re also always looking for new ideas on how to engage new members of the community … We really want to listen to what folks in this region care about, and how we can work to create more recreational opportunities and provide more access. A great way to help out and get involved is to join that conversation.”

Local land trusts with public access hiking trails and recreation
Here are some local land trusts with opportunities to check out hiking trails, parks and more. To find a land trust near you, visit nhltc.org.

Bear-Paw Regional Greenways
Deerfield, bear-paw.org
• Burbank Woods Preserve: 25-75 Coffeetown Road, Deerfield
• Great Marsh Preserve: Old Chester Turnpike, Hooksett
• North River Preserve: 128 Stage Road, Nottingham

Five Rivers Conservation Trust
Concord, 5rct.org
• Chichester Town Forest: 130 Hutchinson Road, Chichester
• Dimond Hill Farm: 314 Hopkinton Road, Concord
• Marjory Swope Park: Long Pond Road, Concord
• Winant Park: 11 Fisk Road, Concord

Piscataquog Land Conservancy
New Boston, plcnh.org
• Benedictine Park: 333 Wallace Road, Bedford
• Educational Farm at Joppa Hill: 174 Joppa Hill Road, Bedford
• Ferrin Pond Nature Preserve: Ferrin Pond Road, Weare
• Florence M. Tarr Wildlife Sanctuary: 83 Joppa Hill Road, Bedford
• Tuthill Woodlands Preserve: Tucker Mill Road, New Boston

Featured photo: Ralph Baer statue and memorial at Arms Park in Manchester. Baer, a longtime Manchester resident, is widely considered to be “the father of video games.” Photo courtesy of the City Of Manchester’s Parks and Recreation Division.

This Week 22/08/25

Big Events August 25, 2022 and beyond

Saturday, Aug. 27

Today is the in-person Millennium Running AutoFair New Hampshire 10-miler race around Lake Massabesic, beginning at the lake parking lot (1 Londonderry Turnpike, Manchester) at 8 a.m. There will be awards for the top three male and female runners in each age bracket, relay teams, and overall runner awards. Running bib pickup begins at 6:30 a.m. See millenniumrunning.com/newhampshire10 for information on registration and course details.

Saturday, Aug. 27

The New England Racing Museum (922 Route 106 in Loudon) is bringing back the Hot Rods, Muscle and More Car Show today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be 21 awards handed out for categories like best Ford, best custom, best restored original and more. To enter a vehicle costs $20, spectators cost $5 and children 12 and younger are free. Visit nemsmuseum.com for more information about the car show.

Saturday, Aug. 27

The Capital Mineral Club is hosting the 58th annual Concord Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show today at The Everett Arena (15 Loudon Road, Concord) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show will continue Sunday, Aug. 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be fossils, gems, carvings and more on display, as well as demonstrations from experts in geology. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and younger who come in with an adult. Tickets are purchased at the door. More information is available at capitalmineralclub.org.

Sunday, Aug. 28

Celebrate Gen. John Stark’s 294th birthday today at Stark Park (550 River Road, Manchester) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. After the celebration, Compaq Big Band will give a performance at the bandstand. Compaq Big Band specializes in swing music with a large brass horn section, vocalists and dancers. The event is free to attend. Visit starkpark.com.

Tuesday, Aug. 30

Starting today, with a game at 7:05 p.m., the Fisher Cats play the Sea Dogs for six days straight at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester). Each day features a different highlight, like Bark in the Park (where pups are welcomed to the games), fireworks, Fan Friday and more. Game times and prices vary. See a full schedule and buy tickets at milb.com/new-hampshire.

Save the Date! Saturday, Sept. 3
The 57th annual Exeter UFO Festival begins today at 8:45 a.m. at Exeter Town Hall (9 Front St, Exeter). The event will feature expert speakers on the extraterrestrial, a trolley ride from 10 Front St. that covers the locations where a famed UFO sighting happened nearly 60 years ago, an alien costume contest, events for kids, and more. While the festival is free to attend, pricing for different events varies. Visit exeterufofestival.org to learn more about the events.

Featured photo. Millennium Running AutoFair New Hampshire 10-miler race. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 22/08/25

Excellence in hospice care

The Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Manchester and Southern New Hampshire has been recognized as a “Superior Performer” by Strategic Healthcare Programs. According to a press release, the annual award is given to hospice providers that have established a reputation of high-quality service and is determined by the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Hospice survey satisfaction score for more than 1,000 hospice providers. VNA of Manchester and Southern New Hampshire’s score ranked in the top 20 percent for 2021.

QOL Score: +1

Comment: Patients and caregivers shared comments such as ‘The Manchester VNA was outstanding in all regards in the care of my father,’ and ‘The nurses and staff of the VNA of Manchester were wonderful. They helped my mother pass on with dignity,’ the release noted.

Jamestown Canyon Virus in 2022

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the state’s first batch of mosquitoes to test positive for Jamestown Canyon Virus in 2022. According to a press release, the mosquitoes were collected in Atkinson on Aug. 2 and in Hampstead on Aug. 4. Jamestown Canyon Virus is one of three arboviruses transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes identified in the state. There have been 19 cases of infection in New Hampshire since the first case was reported in the state in 2013.

QOL score: -2

Comment: Most people infected with Jamestown Canyon Virus do not develop symptoms or develop mild symptoms, according to the release, though a small percentage of people infected experience severe symptoms which can lead to central nervous system diseases, such as meningitis or encephalitis. There are currently no vaccines to prevent the virus, and treatment consists of supportive care.

Extreme drought

While most of New Hampshire is in a state of moderate drought or abnormally dry conditions, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that conditions escalated to “extreme drought” in areas of the Seacoast, Merrimack Valley and Monadnock regions, totaling 1.5 percent of the state. The last time an extreme drought was reported in New Hampshire was in 2020. Roughly 230,000 residents are currently living under some kind of community-mandated water restrictions, according to WMUR.

QOL Score: -3

Comment: The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services urges residents to conserve water, eliminating water use for watering lawns and washing cars and only watering outdoor plants in the early morning or in the evening to prevent additional water waste due to evaporation.

Groceries to Grads

Hannaford Supermarkets is launching a new tuition reimbursement program, Groceries to Grads, to provide Hannaford associates attending an accredited college or university up to $5,250 in tuition funds annually, with an additional 10 percent tuition discount offered for Hannaford associates and immediate family members taking online courses through Southern New Hampshire University. The funding can be applied to undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, according to a press release.

QOL Score: +1

Comment:Southern New Hampshire University is one of six colleges and universities in New England and New York — the only one in New Hampshire — partnering with Hannaford to offer exclusive tuition discounts as part of the program. “Through our new partnership with Hannaford, we are excited to provide affordable, flexible educational opportunities to help these staff members grow professionally and reach their career goals wherever they may be in their learning journey,” Jeremy Owens, associate vice president of university partnerships at Southern New Hampshire University, said in a press release.

QOL score: 87

Net change: -3

QOL this week: 84

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at news@hippopress.com.

The bottom lines

News Item: LIV Making Waves In Golf World

I was around in the early days of the AFL and for the birth of both the ABA and USFL, so I get what the players who’ve left the PGA to join LIV Golf are doing. They’re grabbing the incredible money being thrown their way, which is fine if you can block out who is behind where it’s coming from and why they’re doing it. Regardless of that, it brings to mind two other points to me.

First, the players grabbing the cash, as is generally the case in the large me-first, greed-infested segment of our culture, want it both ways. They want LIV money and to play in PGA-sponsored events like the FedEx Cup playoffs. And several have sued the PGA for restraining trade by preventing them from playing in their events. I’m not an antitrust lawyer and I don’t play one on TV, but that’s like taking ABA money and still wanting to play in the NBA too. Doesn’t work that way. Who blames the PGA for saying, “Hey, pal, you can’t play in our events because you work for a rival business that’s trying to take money out of our pockets”?

Second, maybe it’s because it’s just golf or maybe it’s that I’ve been around long enough to see the real fun of the ABA, AFL and USFL, not to mention the XFL, but my attitude for LIV is “who cares?” While I root for certain guys at times, it’s only when they are playing in the tourney of the day. If not, so what? That’s because I watch golf for the events or the courses they’re playing, like Pebble Beach, and not for specific players.

Bottom Line: Keep them out of all four majors to make it hurt until the Saudi money eventually dries up and LIV folds.

News Item: Pats After Two Games

I love the pre-season pronouncements about how a team or a rookie looks in August. Like the Boston Globe’s Tara Sullivan saying the Patriots’ defense “is looking as stingy as ever” after two meaningless games. First, I guess she missed those last two games vs. Buffalo in 2021; I don’t know about “stingy as ever.” Second, they’ve played two series against a starting NFL QB, so how can you tell anything? Especially since Daniel Jones took the G-Men 68 yards down the field for a FG on his first series.

Then we’ve got the ultimate fan boy writer, Concord Monitor alum Chad Finn, saying in the Globe that second-round pick Tyquan Thornton should get the benefit of the doubt from skeptics after scoring a TD in Game 1. Oh, yeah, let’s ignore 18 years of futility between 2003 and 2021 in drafting wide receivers because a guy scored a preseason TD. I’m not saying Thornton is going to be good or bad; I haven’t seen enough of him against anyone, let alone face to face with a guy like Stephon Gilmore. And with him suffering a collarbone injury that could have him missing up to eight weeks his start now is a lot closer to N’Keal Harry than Deion Branch.

Bottom Line: Come see me in October. You rarely can tell much until then.

News Item: Judge Challenges Maris And The Babe

Steroid-tainted Barry Bonds holds the official record for homers in a season at 73, so this is more of a New York thing, but with Aaron Judge on pace to hit 61, all eyes in NYC will be on him as he tries to take the Yankees homer record from Babe Ruth and Roger Maris. While Maris holds the record with 61, many didn’t recognize that, in 1961, he did it in the new 162-game season whereas Ruth hit his 60 in 154 games.

Bottom Line: I’m a “records are made to be broken” kind of guy, so I’m pulling for Judge to do it even if it takes a bit of Yankees lore with it Either way, it should be a nostalgic final month in the Bronx.

News Item: How To End Brooklyn Saga

Enough already with the unending Kevin Durant-Brooklyn trade-me standoff. If I’m Brooklyn owner Joe Tsai I tell Durant we’re not trading you unless we get our price (which they have little chance of getting), so sit out. I’m worth $10 billion, so even losing $100 million is chump change. On the other hand, if you sit out for the three years left on your contract you’ll be coming back at 37 after missing 4.5 of the last six seasons. So good luck with that.

As for Kyrie Irving, that no one wants him is validation for me saying since 2017 he’s not as good as people think and even if he were, a guy who takes it all for granted ain’t worth the trouble.

Bottom Line: Stop letting players try to dictate what you do. Make them put up or shut up.

KD loves to play, so he’ll come back. As for Kyrie, his value will be highest at the trade deadline after somebody gets hurt on a contender and they’re desperate for help.

News Item: Browns Get Stuffed on Watson

Given his unrepentant attitude throughout, even with a $5 million fine and an 11-game suspension Deshaun Watson got off easy for what he did. But to some degree Roger the Dodger’s hands were tied after the arbiter tied her lighter ruling to the weak consequences various owners got for their own behaviors.

Bottom Line: Admittedly an after-the-fact bottom line. But I said last spring the Browns should hold on to Baker Mayfield. If they had, they wouldn’t be scrambling to find a QB in late August because sulking through the season wouldn’t be smart for a guy needing a reboot ahead of being a free agent in 2023. So he was a perfect fit for trying to prevent their season from going down the drain.

Email Dave Long at dlong@hippopress.com.

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