Annual 5K, read to animals, mosquito control: Community news update

Great Bay Stewards preparing for the 24th Annual Great Bay 5K

Runner’s Alley Team holding the New England Oyster Cup in 2021.

Runner’s Alley Team holding the New England Oyster Cup in 2021.

GREENLAND — The Great Bay Stewards, a local non-profit dedicated to protecting and conserving Great Bay, announced that registration is now underway for the annual Great Bay 5K|Race for a Healthy Estuary, to be held Oct. 29. Now in its 24th year, the Great Bay 5K is a major fundraiser for the Great Bay Stewards, having brought in more than $300,000 since its launch.

The Great Bay 5K includes a team competition and the chance for teams to vie for the New England Oyster Cup, won in 2021 by the Runner’s Alley team. Groups of 10 or more receive customized race shirts and team photos taken before the race. They can also compete for fastest female team and fastest male team, with a pizza party for the winning teams. “We’ve had a lot of fun with the different teams over the last few years,” says Nancy Eckerson, director of the team competition. “We get everything from the New England 65-Plus Runners Club to local elementary school groups to highly competitive racing teams to competing neighborhoods. I’m excited for even more new teams to join the event in 2022.”

This year will also represent the third year of the accompanying Great Bay 55K Challenge. The 55 kilometers represent a suggested route that circumnavigates the entire estuary, traveling from the Discovery Center in Greenland, through Newmarket, Newfields, Durham, Portsmouth, Newington, and returning to the waterfront at the Center. People can choose to complete the entire 55K any way they prefer – including on a treadmill – and log their miles along the way. A virtual Great Bay 5K option will also again be available. Participants have between Oct. 1 to 29 to compete the virtual 55K and/or 5K.

The Great Bay 5K is a fast, mostly downhill race that takes place along the shores of Great Bay in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire. The course begins at Stratham Hill Park in Stratham, N.H., and ends at the Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland, N.H. Runners and walkers often come dressed in their Halloween costume and the race is home to many participants’ personal record. The Great Bay 5K is the last race in the popular Seacoast Series, with each race in the series benefiting an area nonprofit. Registration for both the 5K and 55K races is open online through Oct. 27. Participants in the 5K will receive a long-sleeve, high-tech race shirt race t-shirt if they register by Oct. 3, while those who sign up for the 55K Challenge will receive a commemorative hat.

For the third year, complimentary beer, cider and oysters will be available for participants who visit supporting breweries and restaurants the weekend of the race. Participating this year are Deciduous Brewing Company, Liars Bench Beer Company, North County Hard Cider, Sawbelly Brewing, Stoneface Brewing Co., Tributary Brewing Company, and The Franklin. Numerous race prizes are available, including for five-year age groups, age-graded winners, best costume, the first male and female contestant to finish the 55K course, and more. Registration costs range from $15 to $40, including special youth and senior rates.

The Great Bay 5K is the largest fundraiser for the Stewards, a local non-profit that has been dedicated to protecting and conserving Great Bay for more than 25 years. Funds raised through the events will go toward improving and updating exhibits in the Discovery Center, bring students from socioeconomically challenged schools on fieldtrips, research into threatened as well as invasive species around the estuary, and more.

To learn more about supporting the Stewards and our work, please visit us at

Portsmouth’s Mosquito Control Program monitoring

PORTSMOUTH — The Mosquito Control Program began monitoring on April 11. Crews from Dragon Mosquito Control, Inc., the city’s contracted service, will be checking swamps, salt marshes, woodland pools, ditches, catch basins and other shallow, stagnant water for mosquito larvae.

When mosquito larvae are found, treatment may occur using one or more of the following: VectoBac (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis 2.8%); VectoBac 12 AS (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis 11.61%); Fourstar Bti CRG (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis 10%); Natular (spinosad 2.5%); CocoBear MLO (mineral oil 10.0%); BVA 2 Mosquito Larvicide Oil (mineral oil 97.0%); SunSpray MLO (mineral oil 98.8%).

Citywide night-time road spraying for adult mosquitoes is not planned. Any decision to conduct emergency spraying of adult mosquitoes on city-owned property is made by city officials based on the mosquito surveillance data, disease test results and weather conditions provided by Dragon Mosquito Control. Diseases such as EEE and West Nile Virus are generally found in mosquitoes during the latter part of the summer and early fall. Residents will be advised in advance if spraying is planned.

Residents who do not want their property treated can sign up with the No-Spray Registry at or write to Dragon Mosquito Control, Inc., P.O. Box 46, Stratham, NH 03885. When writing, residents should be sure to include name, physical address, phone number, the color of the house and acreage or road frontage.

Residents with wetlands on their property who would like Dragon Mosquito to check it for mosquito activity, should email [email protected], call 603-734-4144 or request a survey through the contact link. There is no charge for this service.

Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire awarded Pandemic Recovery Grant from the American Historical Association

PORTSMOUTH – The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire has been awarded funding from the American Historical Association’s Grants to Sustain and Advance the Work of Historical Organizations Program, which provides relief to institutions adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This opportunity was made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

“We are really excited about this grant because it enables us to concentrate on organizing and building our research archive,” according to Valerie Cunningham, founder of the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail and creator of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire’s archive. “It also gives us additional help to finally get our many oral history interviews transcribed!”

Under the terms of the grant, the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire will be hiring one or two research associates to assist Cunningham and senior researcher Jody Fernald with their volunteer work on our archives. The associates will compile information on resources for Black history throughout the state under the supervision of Barbara Ward of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire and consultant Kabria Baumgartner of Northeastern University. This work will culminate in a handbook that will be available to researchers throughout N.H.

The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire is one of 50 grant recipients, which include site-based organizations, membership associations, and history departments at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Awardees will implement short-term projects that explore new ideas or build on experiments initiated during the pandemic—from online programming or publications to using new technologies or expanding audiences and accessibility.

“The past two years have been challenging for small history organizations,” said James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association. “Our awardees have made compelling cases for their status as essential resources, making vital contributions to public culture. The American Historical Association is pleased to provide funding for our colleagues to promote historical work, historical thinking, and the presence of history in public life.”

“NEH is grateful to the American Historical Association for administering American Rescue Plan funding to help history organizations around the country recover from the pandemic,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “Small museums, historical societies, college history departments, historic sites, and community archives are essential to keeping and telling America’s story. These ARP awards will allow these institutions to develop new programs and resources that will expand access to this important history.”

To learn more about the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire’s grant project please visit: or

Pope Memorial Humane Society’s reading program is back

Children aged 6 to 13 years of age are welcome to participate in Pope Memorial Humane Society’s Reading program and read cats and small animals.

Children aged 6 to 13 years of age are welcome to participate in Pope Memorial Humane Society’s Reading program and read cats and small animals.

DOVER — Pope Memorial Humane Society-Cocheco Valley (PMHS-CV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 1984 in Dover, N.H. to serve the animal welfare needs of Strafford County, N.H. and Southern Maine. PMHS provides a transitional safe and loving home to more than 1,000 animals each year. Care and medical treatment is provided to every animal with help from the generous support of our community.

PMHS-CV announced that their Reading Program is back. Children aged 6 to 13 years of age are welcome to read to our cats and small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.). Reading to shelter animals has many benefits for both the animal and the reader. Because animals don’t judge a child’s reading level, a child is likely to feel less hesitant to read out loud. This provides an environment for readers to gain confidence and improve their literacy skills. The animals also benefit from story time. A shelter is a stressful place for animals; reading time provides a calm, low-stress socialization opportunity. Scared and skittish animals have an opportunity to develop social skills and learn that humans are kind. Friendly animals get to have extra social time and are able to take a break from the shelter’s stressful environment.

All reading sessions are chaperoned by adult staff members and volunteers. The adults provide reading support to the children and make sure safety protocols are being followed. If you are interested in participating in our Reading Program as a reader or as a volunteer, please contact Jess Miller, our Volunteer Coordinator, at [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Annual 5K, read to animals, mosquito control: Community news update