Annual Gathering

Every year, NH Audubon holds its Annual Gathering to bring members together for a day of outings, awards and to celebrate the year’s accomplishments.

This year, on September 23 from 9am-4pm, we are thrilled to be holding our 2017 Annual Gathering at Alnoba – a place to “reflect, connect and create change”, in Kensington NH, on the seacoast.

Alnoba is the perfect setting for our event as we celebrate the past year’s accomplishments and look forward to opportunities for continued success.

The day will include:

  • Keynote address by ecologist and author Tom Wessels
  • Field trips exploring the coastal area and Alnoba’s 400-acres of serene forests, fields and ponds
  • Awards presented to conservation leaders and outstanding volunteers
  • Farm to table buffet luncheon featuring locally raised produce
  • Time to connect with old friends and new

Keynote speaker: Tom Wessels


This event is sponsored by Normandeau Associates  and ReVision Energy.


For questions, email Ruth Smith.

Field Trips will run from 9-11am at a variety of locations. Pre-registration is required. Options include:

9-11:00 Field Trips and programs:

Mindfulness Walk with Helen Dalbeck, Director of Amoskeag Fishways Learning Center. Join Helen for a peaceful walk on the beautiful trails at Alnoba. Participants will explore the mindfulness method, model a simple technique and experiment with pace and postures. This exploration will include a meditative quality and an awakening to what more is seen and heard when we begin to step and walk into the present moment.  Conditions: Easy walking.

Coastal Birding with Kyle Wilmarth and Dan Hubbard of NH Audubon’s Seacoast Chapter. Search for migrating waterfowl, shorebirds and off shore species in the harbors and saltmarshes along NH’s coastline. Conditions: Some driving/riding in a car pool will be required for this trip.

Inland Birding Trip with Phil Brown, NHA’s Director of Land Management and George Gavutis, Brookside Sanctuary Steward and Alnoba Consulting Naturalist. Visit NHA’s Brookside Wildlife Sanctuary in South Hampton, a rich wildlife habitat which includes a heron rookery and osprey nest. Then explore trails at and near Alnoba, through early successional zones and along a birdhouse trail. This excursion will also explore wildlife management areas and the site of several rare plants. Conditions: Moderate walking.

Paddle on PowWow Pond with Carol Foss, Senior Advisor for Science and Policy and Senior Biologist Laura Deming. Explore this extensive pond/wetland system which is host to a wide variety of aquatic plants. Participants will see why this pond is designated as Important Bird Area and a favored spot for a wide variety of waterfowl, including the Ruddy Duck, American Coot and Pied-billed Grebe. Bring your own boat.

Interpreting the Landscape with keynote speaker Tom Wessels. Discover clues to past land use, unique adaptations in trees and plants and examples of co-evolved interrelationships along the trails at Alnoba. This trip is limited to 15 so register early. Conditions: Moderate walking.

Solar Energy Tour with ReVision Energy. Learn how ReVision is partnering with Alnoba to build one of New England’s first net-positive communities through solar and complementary clean energy technologies. This session will begin a hands-on technical tour of the Alnoba solar farm, followed by a presentation on the future of community solar initiatives and the clean energy transition in New Hampshire by ReVision’s Director of Market Development Dan Weeks.


The event is open to members and non-members. Pre-registration by September 11 is required ($40/NHA member and $50/non-member) and includes field trips, lunch and the keynote address. Field trips run from 9-11, check-in begins at 11:15, the buffet lunch will start at 11:45.

For individuals who are unable to attend the entire gathering, there is a speaker-only fee of $12/NHA member or $17/non-member, allowing for admission at 1:30 p.m., in time for Tom Wessels’ presentation.

Schedule for the day:

9-11           Field Trips (off site and at Alnoba)

11:30        Check-in, view exhibits, silent auction items

11:45        Buffet Lunch, Silent Auction

12:15        Welcome by Board Chair David Ries

12:20        President’s address by Doug Bechtel

12:40        Honoring Donors

1:00           Annual Business Meeting

1:30           Break: Refreshments, exhibits, mingle, silent auction

1:45           Keynote address – Tom Wessels

2:45           Awards and Appreciations

3:30           Last chance at Silent Auction, mingle and book signing

3:45           Silent Auction closes

4:00           Silent Auction check out



Keynote speaker Tom Wessels will present a talk, “Self-organization, Co-evolution, Resiliency, and Stability” which will explore the processes by which natural systems become more complex and stable over time and lead to incredible biodiversity. Many regional examples will be used to illustrate how co-evolution works. Wessels will conclude by describing how this process is a wonderful model for creating sustainable human systems. Tom will also offer an interpretive walk in the morning.

Tom Wessels is an ecologist, author and Faculty Emeritus at Antioch University New England in Keene, where he founded and directed the Master’s Degree program in Conservation Biology. He has conducted landscape ecology and sustainability workshops throughout the United States for over 30 years. His books include: Reading the Forested Landscape, The Granite Landscape, Untamed Vermont, The Myth of Progress, Forest Forensics: A Field Guide to Reading the Forested Landscape and newly released Granite, Fire and Fog: A Natural and Cultural History of Acadia National Park.


The Tudor Richards Award will be presented to John Harrigan

The Goodhue-Elkins award will be presented to Dr. Pamela Hunt

The John Thalheimer Volunteer of the Year Award will be presented to Joanne and Kevin Jones for their exceptional efforts as Sanctuary Stewards and Conservation Department assistant.

 Silent Auction

Go home with a piece of art, gift certificates for services, an autographed book, tools for outdoor exploration. Bring your checkbook or credit card. All proceeds help support NH Audubon.