2014 Spirit of New Hampshire Awards – Nancy and Dick Byrd and Beth Urda are being honored for their efforts on behalf of everyone who uses and loves Mirror Lake.

The 2014 Spirit of New Hampshire Awards will be held on November 10th, at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH.  Although dinner is not provided, Volunteer NH hosts a pre-event reception in the Governor’s Hall at the Capital Center for the Arts, Main Street in Concord, NH with light appetizers beginning at 5:30, with the awards ceremony running from 7:00PM to 9:00PM to recognize individuals and organizations for their commitment to service and New Hampshire’s tradition of volunteerism.

Nazzy from WJYY is the Master of Ceremonies, and Miss New Hampshire and Governor Hassan attend to “kick off” the recognition ceremony at 7pm.  Everyone should plan to arrive no later than 6:45 to get to their seats in Chubb Theatre.

Check out the following website for additional information:  http://www.volunteernh.org/html/events_62.htm

Nancy and Dick Byrd

Since 1991, volunteers from the Mirror Lake Protective Association (MLPA) have participated in the University of New Hampshire Lakes Lay Monitoring Program (UNH LLMP).    Nancy and Dick Byrd assumed responsibility for this water sampling program upon their arrival in New Hampshire in 2005.  Water samples from 5 locations in the lake are collected, processed following technical protocols, refrigerated and transported to UNH’s testing laboratory in Concord.  Nancy, a trained biologist, is the ideal volunteer for this program.  Nancy’s efforts on behalf of Mirror Lake were recognized by the Tuftonboro Conservation Commission and she has served on that commission for several years.  Nancy is currently on the Board of Directors of MLPA and Dick recently retired, after 3 years, serving as its Treasurer.  They are also active in other community events.  They are currently the co-presidents of the Lakes Region Newcomers which has a membership of over 200 couples/individuals.

Beth Urda

In 2007 Mirror Lake experienced a cyanobacteria outbreak which bacteria are harmful to humans. Excess phosphorus in the lake causes these bacterial outbreaks. It was suspected that one of the possible sources of this phosphorus was runoff of untreated effluent from an adjacent town’s septic spray fields. In order to substantiate this, testing of a tributary from the septic fields, along a 1.7 mile stream to Mirror Lake was required. Beth Urda volunteered to undertake this testing. She met with NH Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) to select the 5 spots along the tributary to take water samples.  In addition to the work Beth has done on the water sampling, until this year, she was the “point person” for the NH Lakes Lake Host Program. For the past 7 years, she has applied for the grant, hired, trained and supervised both the paid summer staff and the volunteers required to match the grant. She also works with the Loon Preservation Committee to place a raft for nesting on Mirror Lake.  She and her husband clean out the raft in the fall and store it in their garage, annually.  They also repair and rebuild it, as needed.  Last year was the first year, in recorded history, that Mirror Lake’s single loon pair (all that a 321 acre lake can support), belatedly, gave birth to two loon chicks.  This year, the pair found the nest again, figured out how to procreate earlier in the summer which gives the chicks more time to mature and, again, produced two chicks.  Sadly, each year it appears that snapping turtles got one of the chicks but, last year, the second chick survived to fly to the ocean.  This year, we lost a chick, again, but we continue to watch the surviving loon chick grow and thrive.

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