Portsmouth plants trees, submit your poetry: Community news update

Portsmouth will plant 400 trees for the 400th Anniversary

The City of Portsmouth celebrated Arbor Day in 2022 by planting trees around the city.
The City of Portsmouth celebrated Arbor Day in 2022 by planting trees around the city.

PORTSMOUTH — The National Arbor Day Foundation has named Portsmouth a “Tree City” for more than 20 consecutive years, thanks to annual efforts to plant and care for the City's urban forest of more than 15,000 trees. In 2023, the Department of Public Works will celebrate the City’s 400th anniversary by planting 400 trees: 100 that are part of the usual annual enhancement of the City's urban forest, an additional 100 trees donated by Portsmouth Rotary to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023 and 200 more trees that will be made available for local residents to plant at their homes or businesses.

Portsmouth Rotary has announced the donation of $15,000 for the trees and $15,000 for accessibility improvements to Portsmouth playgrounds as part of its $100,000 commitment to the community in celebration of its 100th anniversary in 2023.

In 1876, the City of Portsmouth celebrated the nation's 100th birthday with the dedication of Langdon Park on the bank of South Mill Pond and the planting of 100 trees by the community. For the 400th, the City again welcomes local citizens to take part in the project.

DPW and the State Urban Forestry Center have placed an order for 200 trees, divided in lots of four different varieties selected for their suitability for City neighborhoods. Residents (first come, first served) who agree to plant and care for one of these trees will receive a cloth bag containing a four to six foot sapling, an appropriate amount of compost to help prepare the ground for the tree and instructions on planting and caring for the new tree.

Residents interested in receiving one of these trees for planting on their private property should sign up at: https://www.cityofportsmouth.com/publicworks/400-trees-400th. They will be notified in April, once a date is selected for a tree-planting workshop and pickup at the Urban Forestry Center.

The DPW Parks & Greenery Division has also created an instructional “how to plant a tree” video, now posted to the City website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kjXsRT3F7E.

For more information about the City’s urban forest and its Tree Protection and Planting guidelines, please visit: https://www.cityofportsmouth.com/publicworks/parksandgreenery/urban-forestry.

Portsmouth Poetry Contest

PORTSMOUTH — RiverRun Bookstore Announces Poetry Anthology Contest. In 2013, RiverRun Bookstore compiled Piscataqua Poems: A Seacoast Anthology. The resulting collection of poems were all inspired by the Piscataqua watershed region: Portsmouth, Kittery, Rye, Eliot, Durham, and, of course, the Isles of Shoals, which have inspired writers to put pen to paper since Celia Thaxter held her famous artist salons there in the 1800s.Now, ten years later, we are calling for submissions again. Submissions will be open from now to March 1.

For this follow-up anthology, we are seeking 100 poems that memorialize our bridges, celebrate our forests and rivers, our past and present, and the intense emotional connection that this region so often inspires. This project will mark the 10th anniversary of the original anthology and will celebrate Portsmouth's 400th anniversary.

Poems will be juried by Mary Anker, Erine Leigh and Courtney Marshall. The jurors' top five selections will win cash prizes in the following amounts: 1st prize - $500; 2nd prize - $250; 3rd, 4th and 5th prize - $100.All contributors will receive one copy of the book. Prize winners and selected poems will be announced May 1.

You may submit an unlimited number of poems. Each individual poem must be submitted in a separate Word document. Submissions must be sent via email to piscataquapoems@gmail.com.

Upon acceptance, poems will be published in the physical book and social media with non-exclusive copyright reverting back to the author upon publication. The completed anthology will be published in September 2023 and a portion of the sales will benefit the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program.

The Roger R. and Theresa S. Thompson Endowment Fund awards $118,425 in grants

PORTSMOUTH – The Roger R. and Theresa S. Thompson Endowment Fund announces the awarding of $118,425 in grants to six non-profit organizations in New Hampshire and Maine with programs that benefit Seacoast residents.

The Trustees of the Trust have approved grants for the following initiatives planned by the non-profits designated in the Trust:

  • Strawbery Banke Museum of Portsmouth N.H. – to expand and enhance the Museum’s Abenaki Heritage Initiative by enlarging its “People of the Dawnland” exhibit and producing educational materials for training staff. The museum will debut the enhanced exhibit with a traditional pow wow in August 2023 to ensure Indigenous stories are part of the Portsmouth NH 400 commemorations;

  • Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, Dover N.H. – to support the museum’s 40th Anniversary Refresh Initiative by funding the refurbishing of the museum entry vestibule and outdoor murals and upgrades to four signature activity areas and technology stations;

  • Crotched Mountain Community Care of Greenfield N.H. – to address the unmet needs of very-low income Community Care clients who live on the Seacoast;

  • Future In Sight (formerly NH Association for the Blind) of Concord N.H. – to support the growth of its Living Well with Vision Loss Initiative that benefits the public, including Seacoast residents;

  • Pine Tree Society for Handicapped Children and Adults of Scarborough Maine – to expand the impact of the Pine Tree Camp Dirigo Experience for children with developmental disabilities in the NH Seacoast and Maine;

  • Berwick Academy of Berwick Maine – to support the Thompson Scholars scholarship program for local youth.

To learn more about Thompson Fund beneficiaries and prior grant-funded initiatives, please visit ThompsonFund.org and follow the Thompson Fund on Facebook.

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Portsmouth plants trees, submit your poetry: Community news update