Our Strength is Our Communities

Every five years, the Regional Economic Development Center Serving Southern NH (REDC) hosts visioning sessions to give folks in its service area an opportunity to participate in the creation of the goals that will guide their Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the next five years. 

Among other things, participants at each of these visioning sessions were asked to share what they love about the region (what they wish to preserve). At every session, New Hampshire residents talked about the diversity of the state’s landscape and the proximity to a variety of indoor and outdoor amenities. It was at the very first listening session, in Hampton, where Taylor Caswell, the Commissioner of New Hampshire’s Business and Economic Affairs department, gave this post its title: 

Our strength is our communities.

Taylor Caswell, Commissioner of New Hampshire’s Business and Economic Affairs department, speaking at the first CEDS visioning session, hosted by the REDC. Photo by Laura Harper Lake of the REDC. 

If you’re a New Hampshire native, you likely understand that the state is an amalgamation of very different worlds: Rye, Conway, and Manchester have almost nothing in common beyond their area code. You’ve probably heard a proud granite stater brag about being an hour away from the mountains, the ocean, and Boston (or perhaps you were the proud granite stater doing the bragging). New Hampshire’s 259 towns, cities, and unincorporated places are rooted in tradition and history, and have diverse amenities, landscapes, and characters. 

And, that’s what I love about New Hampshire, too. I occasionally forget to appreciate it, but a recent trip up to Bretton Woods reminded me what a difference an hour or two can make. I asked some friends to share some of their favorite spots in New Hampshire and highlight that beloved diversity. My friends (and some strangers!) did not disappoint — mountains, lakes, oceans, and cities were all represented.

We love living by a lake in the summer and being only a half-hour away from the ocean. In less than an hour, we can be skiing at Gunstock.

Photo submitted by Ashlee Iber Amenti.

I grew up in the Midwest and while beautiful in it’s own way, there is nothing like the natural diversity NH provides. The ocean, mountains, hiking trails, and beautiful lakes and rivers are all within a short drive. 

Photo submitted by Jenna Anand; taken at Locke’s Fall/Gonic Trail in Rochester, NH

Photo submitted by Jenna Anand; taken at Loon Mountain

Sharleigh Thomson shared a picture of a field that sits on a floodplain and becomes a lake in April and May in the Holderness/Plymouth area.

You can sometimes see turtles and fish in it. New Hampshire is chaotic and wild and beautiful. 

Photo submitted by Sharleigh Thomson; taken in the Holderness/Plymouth area.

Krista Cambara shares the classic New Hampshire sentiment of being able to go to the beach one weekend and the mountains the next.

An hour drive is nothing for us, and all parts of New Hampshire are worth the trip.

Photo submitted by Krista Cambara; taken somewhere near the Franconia Notch!

Don’t forget the wildlife. I can’t imagine a life that doesn’t include stopping in the middle of the road for a turkey!

Photo submitted by Ma Reike; taken in Stratham, NH.

And because I didn’t want the city to feel left out…

Street art in downtown Manchester, NH. Photo by Sarah Wrightsman.

Cat Alley in downtown Manchester, NH. Photo by Sarah Wrightsman.

Thank you to all who shared a photo with me!

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