RiverMead Day at MacDowell Lake

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With summer winding down, RiverMead residents recently took over MacDowell Lake in Peterborough for a spectacular day of events. Shuttles took dozens of residents to and from the lake throughout the day to participate in various events, activities, and presentations.

Throughout the day, residents could enjoy the lake's ambiance, walk the trails and play yard games. The first scheduled event was fishing with Doug Sharp, our Director of Capital Improvements. Beginners and expert anglers alike were offered the opportunity to spend the morning fishing and exchanging stories.

Residents were then joined by the Harris Center for a Birding Walk with Eric Masterson, their Land Program Manager. We had a group of roughly twenty residents walk the trail along the lake and view the changing bird life. This walk was open to all residents, and they were provided with the appropriate equipment to maximize and really take advantage of the experience.

After the Birding Walk experience, a Park Ranger took to the stage to go over the history of the MacDowell Dam, which officially opened in 1950. In the late-1930s, significant flooding in the region resulted in homes and downtown buildings being destroyed. This flooding and destruction prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to plan and design the 1,000-ft dam on the Nubanusit Brook. Over the past seventy-plus years, the lake and surrounding parkland have been utilized by outdoor enthusiasts for swimming, hiking, kayaking, and more.

Residents were then provided a picnic lunch under the pavilion with live music by Mark Lanen. Mark performed rock and swing from the 1950's-1960's under the pavilion. The music evoked memories of the era and prompted many residents to dance.

Then residents were joined by Susie Spikol, who is a naturalist with the Harris Center, for a Pond-life Experience session. Susie and our residents deeply dove into what animals make their home in the waters of MacDowell. They searched for the tiny creatures that live in the much sand and make up the basis of the lake's food web. They discussed scuds, mayflies, isopods, and many other creatures in the hands-on ponding experience.

The day ended with a leisurely kayak ride on the 165-acre lake where the RiverMead Fitness Center Staff accompanied residents.

The programming team and committee are developing a comprehensive programming calendar for the fall and winter that will include more excursions, events, and programs!

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