On April 7, 2021

Free webinar held on how to create ‘quests’ for waterways

By Peter Allison
Lilypads on Mascoma Lake

Thursday, April 8 at 7 p.m.— The Springfield Town Library will present a free webinar on how to write a waterway “Quest” in the style of the Valley Quests compiled by Vital Communities, a White River Junction-based nonprofit.

Learn to Write a Waterway Quest, a hands-on webinar with Vital Communities’ Sandy Gmur, takes place Thursday, April 8 from 7-8 p.m., sponsored by the library and the Black River Action Team.

Valley Quests are treasure hunts set in special locations around the Upper Valley. Each quest follows a unique set of clues that teach you about a place’s ecology, wildlife, and history while leading to a “treasure box” with a special stamp and log book for you to sign. But they’re not restricted to dry land! Wetlands, streams, and lakes are also among the special Upper Valley places that quests explore.

Participants can bring ideas for a waterway quest of their own and will work with Gmur and their fellow participants to create quests that could be added to Vital Communities’ quest directory. All ages are welcome. Register at eventbrite.com/e/learn-to-write-a-waterway-quest-tickets-141475469939

Having moved to the Upper Valley two years ago, Gmur said she has found quests invaluable activities to help her get to know her new communities. With so many beautiful bodies of water throughout the Connecticut River watershed, using a canoe or kayak is a great way to introduce people to these special places, she said.

“Quests can help people appreciate a precious natural asset,” said Kelly Stettner, director of the Black River Action Team. “Our waterways are priceless treasures in and of themselves, as places to boat and fish, swim and splash. They also provide incredible value to the healthy function of the entire ecosystem: everything alive relies on clean water. From turtles to trout, salamanders to songbirds, and dragonflies to deer (and everything in-between!), wildlife depends on our rivers and streams, lakes and ponds, and even wetlands and bogs to flourish. By writing your own water-based ValleyQuest for a public waterway in your area, you can help visitors as well as residents responsibly explore and come to appreciate these fascinating and sometimes overlooked gems. Awareness of a river or lake is a first step toward appreciation and a desire to help keep it clean and healthy, fully functional for humans as well as for wildlife.”

For more information on how to make your own quest, visit: vitalcommunities.org/valleyquest/makeaquest.

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