Local Appreciation


The Kearsarge Valley region is blessed with several unique family-owned businesses that show a real concern for improving and investing in their communities. This week our appreciation turns to the Town of Warner NH, which is home to Mainstreet Bookends, an independent and family-owned bookstore. Since 1998, Mainstreet Bookends has earned numerous accolades as one of the best bookstores in the State of New Hampshire.
Mainstreet Bookends serves as a model for other small businesses to adopt in the New England area. Their store mission involves a strong commitment to community, children, teachers, local artists and artisans, local authors and illustrators, and all who enjoy the wonder and excitement of reading the printed word. Furthermore, the store also serves as a community hub for activities such as lectures, art classes, book clubs, community meetings, concerts, author appearances, and farmers markets. Indeed, Mainstreet Bookends provides its community with a local bookstore where children feel comfortable, and all people can gather to talk and find common ground. Clearly, the store encourages its community to be more self-sustainable by providing a space to showcase its community’s energy. In other words, they are putting their money and work where their mouth is.
The idea and belief of a tight-knit community is essential for local businesses to survive and thrive say Neil and Katherine Nevins, longtime residents of Warner and the owners of Mainstreet Bookends. With this in mind, the Nevins just finished construction of the Jim Mitchell Community Park located behind the bookstore. The park features a beautiful stone terrace, gardens, walkways and an amphitheater to host performances. Furthermore, they have invested in a pole-mounted 11.52kW solar system that serves as the stores power source. Obviously, the community-minded people like the Nevins have worked hard to rebuild and reshape the local town economy around energy self-sufficiencies.
On Tuesday Night October 23rd, Mainstreet Bookends provided its aesthetically appealing space to the Kearsarge Valley Transition Initiative. Students from Colby-Sawyer College who are involved in the transition movement as a yearlong project hosted an engaging educational program involving a film screening and discussion of the film, “Transition 1.0”. The enthusiastic audience and atmosphere of this event was magical and inspiring to all participants. The Kearsarge Valley Transition Initiative would like to thank Neil and Katherine Nevins for hosting our event at Mainstreet Bookends. Mainstreet Bookends is truly the central hub for its community!

Lake Sunapee Protection Association

Kearsarge valley is blessed with not only mountains but also numerous lakes and ponds all around. Many people have come together to preserve their natural beauty and value. Our appreciation for this week goes to the Lake Sunapee Protection Association (LSPA) a nonprofit organization, completely supported by its members, dedicated to preserving and enhancing the special environment of the Lake Sunapee region, through education, research and collaborative action. Located at the Sunapee Harbor, LSPA is involved in the maintaining the quality of Lake Sunapee and its watershed.
LSPA has been actively involved in educational outreach programs focusing on water quality and water shed science for residents, students, lake users and visitors in the Lake Sunapee region. They are actively engaged in scientific research, water quality sampling for laboratory analysis of water quality factors, prevention and control of invasive aquatic species, and education programs that are helping to make the life of the residents of the Lake Sunapee region better.
On the evening of 18th October 2012, the students of Colby-Sawyer College from the Kearsarge Valley Transition Initiative hosted a showing of “Transition 1.0”, a short video describing the Transition Town Initiative. The Kearsarge Valley Task Force would specially like to thank June Fichter, the Executive Director of LSPA, for supporting and providing their space for the event at the Knowlton House, Sunapee. The networking between the different Lake Associations in the Kearsarge Valley area really helped to bring the people with similar interests in different parts of the region together at this movie showing.


Poly Recovery:

On November 28th, 2012, Poly Recovery came to the Colby-Sawyer campus and gave a presentation on their business. The presentation started at 7:00 PM in the Curtis L. Ivey Science Center in Room 209. Thirteen community members attended the presentation. John Pelech and Mike Mooney were the two representatives of the company. John Pelech, founder and CEO, and Mike Mooney, Chief Recycler and Sales Manager, are both Colby-Sawyer College alumni from the graduating class of ’02. The company is a sustainable recycling company. There sustainability draws from their “100-Mile Certification”. All inflow of materials, whether it is plastic, paper, or cardboard, comes from within a 100-Miles of the company’s headquarters which is in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. These materials are then reprocessed and distributed to repurposing companies within a 100-Mile radius. An example of this repurposing is that all PET, plastic resin from plastic bottles, is converted into consumer products, such as shirts and hats, 11.7 miles from Poly Recovery. They have shown that traditional recycling is not a closed-loop system and many people do not consider the amount of energy that is used to transport materials, recyclables, throughout the country and world.


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