We know that folks who attend Radically Rural LOVE their communities. That’s why the prize for our event app game last year was a visit from the RR team to the winner’s hometown so that we could feature them and share what’s working.
Last week, the Radically Rural team visited winner Matty Leighton, Facility and Operations Coordinator at Grafton Regional Development Corporation and Director of the Central NH Chamber of Commerce. We learned all about what makes Plymouth, NH special and what models and solutions they have implemented that are worth sharing.
Matty is originally from NH, and moved back to the state in 2003 after being away for some years. She has diverse career experience, including higher ed, healthcare, mortgage lending, financial services, and more. She was thrilled that everything she has done has prepared her for her current roles and said, “If you follow the things that interest you it can come together in ways that are very fascinating.” She is excited about coming back to Radically Rural this year and bringing a big group from Plymouth with her! Be sure to find Matty at the summit and ask her all about her love of Dr. Martens, running, rugby, interactive games, problem solving, and her fun weekend job on a tiki hut boat!
Coming up… We will be visiting Perry, New York in July.
Want us to visit your community?
Attend this year’s summit for a chance to win a community feature from RR
What’s Working in Plymouth
Pemi-Baker Land Trust
We had the amazing opportunity to visit Quincy Bog in Rumney, NH. Quincy Bog is one of many conserved lands in the region. The Pemi-Baker land trust works with land owners in the area to place perpetual conservation easments on land that may otherwise be developed. The board of directors are also passionate about getting the next generation involved in land conservation. One of the ways that they accomplish this is by hosting a Junior Naturalist program for school-aged children to visit the bog and learn about the land. Learn more.
Matty shared her experience as a Circle Program mentor with us. The Circle Program is a summer camp and mentorship program that provides enrichment for girls and young women in the area. Since 1993, The Circle Program has been supporting self reliant young women and encouraging them to engage in their community. The program currently serves over 80 girls and teens from 32 towns throughout NH’s Lakes Region. Learn more.
Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI)
Radically Rural sat down with PAREI Director, Sandra Jones, to discuss programs including NH Solar Shares, Little Gardens NH, and Local Foods Plymouth.
We walked the solar trail complete with chestnut trees, informational signs, and solar panels that provide energy for low income families in the area. NH Solar Shares increases clean, renewable energy on our grid, builds a more sustainable community, and addresses the issue of equitable access to clean energy in the region.
At the entrance to the solar trail sits the beginnings of a community garden that is a part of Little Gardens Everywhere, a non-profit program that through community collaboration creates and unifies neighbors and their gardens for diverse, abundant, accessible, and local food supply by offering educational workshops, resources, and community. Little Gardens NH also hosts a local television show, Kitchen Inspired.
We also had the opportunity to discuss Local Foods Plymouth, an online farmers’ market that provides locals with accessible farm fresh, locally grown food. The pre-order system allows more farmers to participate in selling their goods without the potential for over harvesting that comes with traditional farmers’ market models.
For Mid-State Health Center, health extends beyond providing primary care. Being all in for health includes meeting the needs of the community. In 2007, Mid-State Health Center founded their very own children’s learning center to do just that. Little Antlers Learning Center provides early childhood education that fosters natural curiosity, nurtures independence, self-confidence and inspires a lifelong love of learning. Learn more.
Some other great businesses and organizations we learned about were: