Doing Good NH: Sam Durfee of PermaCityLife

This week I had the privilege of speaking with Sam Durfee – Regional Planner for the Central NH Regional Planning Commission, President of the PermaCityLife (PCL) Board of Directors and recent Helping Hand Award recipient from the Concord Fire Department for providing CPR to a citizen at a local movie theater!  

Sam at an event at the TakeRoot co-working center in Franklin. Submitted by Sam.

Sam grew up in North Andover, Massachusetts, but camped in the White Mountains every year while growing up! Over time Sam fell in love with the mountains and the state! That love would lead him to Plymouth State University and eventually calling New Hampshire his home!

Blacksmithing at Sanborn Mill Farm in Loudon. Concord Monitor – Cameron Johnson

When Sam isn’t working or volunteering you can find him in Concord playing for the Barley House Wolves Hurling Team, Blacksmithing at D Acres Educational Homestead in Dorchester, or exploring the White Mountains!  

The mission of PCL is to serve as the catalytic organization to lead the charge for positive and sustainable development in downtown Franklin while protecting past investments through ingenuity and collaborative partnerships with local government, private investors and the philanthropic sector and improving the livability of the downtown to make people want to spend time there.

Sam helping to build the Loon Ice Castle. Photo Submitted by Sam.

Here are five things you should know about PermaCityLife:

  1. It currently has a five member Board of Directors, an Executive Director, a Community Development Assistant and an Advisory Council.
  2. Over the past year, ten businesses have been brought into town leading to the creation of over 40 jobs in Franklin!
  3. PCL works collaboratively with a litany of community partners such as the City of Franklin, CATCH Housing, Franklin Savings Bank, the Franklin Business Industrial Development Corporation, CDFA, BFA, Colby-Sawyer College and many others.
  4. The efforts of the PCL have been praised by political leaders on both sides of the aisle.
  5. They receive almost monthly press coverage from the Concord Monitor. A collection of stories can be found on the PCL website.

Speaking on a panel for a discussion following the showing of Inhabit: a Permaculture
Perspective at Red River Theater. Owner, Red River Theater. Steve Whitman to Sam’s right.

Want to help but just don’t know how? Well here is your chance!

To volunteer:  

PermaCityLife is always looking for talented, driven individuals to lend a hand in the fundraising, event coordination and communications aspects of the operation!. They also host speakers and events at the Take Root Co-Working space located at 361 Central Street in Franklin! Check out the opportunities!

To donate:  

You can donate directly through the website at

Advice to other young professionals:

Sam said “Get involved with something you have a passion for. There are so many causes and groups out there. Find the one, or two, or three that really speak to you where you feel you can make an impact.”

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. 

– Abraham Lincoln

There are so many wonderful people and agencies making a difference in our own back yards! If you would like us to feature your non profit agency or know of an amazing NH professional giving back like Sam email me at

Until next time –Do Good NH!

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