East Derry’s First Parish Church is still going through major renovation and preservation efforts. Photo by Chris Paul
Every week at Hood Park Beach and bodies of water all across the state, water samples are taken and sent to the Department of Environmental Services (DES) for testing to make sure the water is safe. For the past five weeks, Hood Park Beach’s results, according to the DES website, have been over the state limit for fecal bacteria and have warranted an advisory that will remain until the levels drop below the state standard.
Fecal bacteria can enter the water in a myriad of ways, including, but not limited to: bird excrement, runoff from sewage, individuals swimming with an illness, and pollutants from lawns and areas surrounding the beach.
Blanche Garone has led the garden club at the Greater Derry Boys and Girls Club since 2009, thanks to a grant from the New Hampshire Master Gardeners Association. Earlier this year, she even received the Member’s Honor Award from the National Garden Club for her work in our community.
Last Wednesday morning, July 9, she was seen putting a smelly concoction called “homemade liquid fence” around the perimeter of the large and flourishing garden. “We have a groundhog problem,” she explained. “We think he is living under the shed and digging under the fence to get to the broccoli and kale.”
The groundhog isn’t the only fan of the Boys and Girls Club’s garden. Garone and a few other members of The Derry Garden Club (DGC) were soon joined on Wednesday morning by about a dozen children who come out to work in the garden. These kids are the core group of children who work in this garden. They have named themselves the Green Thumbs, and along with Garone and other volunteers from the Derry Garden Club, they have been preparing for this garden since late winter. When there is a lot of work to do and vegetables to harvest, more children are invited to join them.