Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Barn Swallows Have Returned!

As soon as I walked into Town Square this morning I knew the Barn Swallows had returned to Waterville Valley! I heard their unique sound and soon saw them swooping and soaring over Town Square. While stealing a few minutes of sunshine during lunch today, we even watched them already hard at work catching insects over Town Square (don't worry, the black files aren't out yet!).

Give them a hand when you see them, our barn swallows just completed their migratory journey of about 7,000 miles to spend their summer here in Waterville Valley, where they will eat up to 6,000 insects a day, each! You can't beat that for natural insect control.

Contest Winners!
Of course, since the swallows are back, that means it is time to announce the winners of our Waterville Valley Barn Swallow Return Date Contest!

We accepted April 23 or April 24 as correct guesses for the return date of the swallows (they arrived overnight!). Our winners are:

Bobby Foster
Peter Furgal
Ian Switzer

Thanks to the generosity of our contest sponsors (see list below), five additional people have won prizes as well. We drew names at random from the remaining entries and are please to congratulate:

Angel Olarsch
Charles Sullivan
Lynne Morea
Makayla Foster
Ray Kucharski

Thank you to our sponsors of the Waterville Valley Barn Swallow Return Date Contest:
Dreams and Visions
Toad Hall Toys
The Bookmonger
Olde Waterville Pizza Company
Legends 1291 Sports Bar
Waterville Valley Athletic Center

Enjoy these beautiful birds the next time you are in Town Square and thank them for helping to keep our insect population in check.

The information sheet below is courtesy of NH Audubon's Swallow CORE, a citizen science project. Check out to get involved!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Time to Get Your Gardening On With the Rey Center!

Hans and Margret Rey alongside
one of Margret's flowerbeds in WV.
As many long-time Waterville Valley residents may remember, Margret Rey was an avid gardener. Margret’s flowerbeds that surrounded their summer cottage were famous, especially among golfers who knew not to tramp through them trying to retrieve a lost ball! Today, the Rey Center honors Margret’s love of gardening with several different gardening projects.

The Margret and H.A. Rey Center’s Mary Bierbrier Community Gardens, which provides raised beds available for rent by community members to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers, kicks off the season with some new and exciting additions. The Mary Bierbrier Community Gardens were located adjacent to the Curious George Cottage for many years, and were relocated and rebuilt after the Curious George Cottage was moved in 2010. In the spring of 2011, ten new raised beds were built and were rented immediately by local community members and a waiting list was started. The spring of 2012 brought two more beds, LOTS of bark mulch and more demand for beds. Another wait list was started. This year brings not only more raised beds, but also a new garden shed built by the students in the Sustainable Structures class at Plymouth State University, a new potting bench with a utility sink, new garden hoses, a beautiful new sign, and a new entrance into the gardens from Noon Peak Road so neighbors out for their daily stroll can appreciate the gardens close-up. The Bierbrier Family and the Town of Waterville Valley generously sponsor the Mary Bierbrier Community Gardens.

Another great way to get involved in gardening while helping to keep our Waterville community
beautiful is through the Margret’s Hat Garden Club, in which volunteers adopt a Town flowerbed. The Town has ten flowerbeds throughout the community that need some TLC. Volunteers are needed to adopt a flowerbed and be responsible for weeding, planting, and general maintenance of the bed throughout the summer and fall. The Town of Waterville and the Rey Center will supply plants, mulch, tools and weekly watering. If you would like to get involved, stop by the Rey Center for a map of the available flowerbeds or select your bed at the Community Clean Up on Wednesday, May 15th from 1:00-3:00 pm at the Recreation Department. Once you choose your flowerbed, an order form to select your plants will be provided. The Margret’s Hat Garden Club is a joint project of the Waterville Valley Recreation Department, the Margret and H.A. Rey Center and the Town of Waterville Valley.

If you can’t commit to a long-term garden project, but still want to give back to your community, then the Rey Center’s Garden Volunteer Day is for you! On Saturday, June 15, 2013 Rey Center staff and volunteers will be building two more raised beds, creating the new public entrance to the gardens from Noon Peak Road, installing the new sign, and doing some general clean up and weeding of the flower beds. Lunch will be provided. In the Fall, the Rey Center will have a fall harvest celebration and garden volunteer day when the gardens will be put to bed for the season with one final clean up, and a pot luck made from the harvest will be enjoyed. Stay tuned for the date and details!
If you would like to be involved in the Mary Bierbrier Community Gardens, the Margret’s Hat Garden Club, or Garden Volunteer Day, please contact the Rey Center at 603-236-3308 or