N. WALPOLE, N.H. – With the original idea going back to 2011, North Walpole is the home of beautiful new park, the North Walpole Village Park, with an official sign dedication ceremony in June of 2019. The idea to create the park, located on Main Street at the foot of the hill leading to the elementary school, came from North Walpole resident Kaelan Hanson, who envisioned the idea as his Eagle Scout project.
In the spring of 2016, a group of North Walpole residents formed a group, the NW Village Volunteers, to continue Kaelan’s work and vision in making the park available to the community. The park is the property of the town of Walpole and supports the committee’s efforts to develop the park by providing funds each year through the Walpole Recreation Department.
“We receive a set amount of money every year through the Walpole Recreation Department, and the village pays for the park’s water usage,” committee member Diane Harty said in a recent interview. “Community members donated funds to pay for the water hookup, electricity, and a new wrought-iron fence. We also rely on contributions by community members to achieve all our goals.”
Several granite benches throughout the park have all been donated by community members, most of which are memorial tributes to past North Walpole residents. Community members have donated plants, and volunteers also mow the park lawn, do weeding, planting, and general cleanup, truly making the park a “community effort.”
Terry Griffin, who grew up in North Walpole, created and donated a beautiful new sign for the park, replacing the original sign created by Kaelan. His sign is currently hanging on the park’s storage shed, and there is a plan to create a plaque to honor Kaelan’s work in developing the park.
The town holds two park get-togethers each year, one in the spring to kick off a park cleanup and one in the fall, which included a cook out and volleyball game with the North Walpole Fire Department.
“We have received a lot of praise for our efforts and the community shows their thanks by treating the park respectfully,” Harty said. “Through this project, I’ve learned that there is such a sense of pride for North Walpole that abounds in people that grew up there.
“Even though some may have moved away, they still keep track of what’s going on and are quick to respond to assist in keeping ‘their’ hometown a source of pride. I love driving by the park and seeing people walking their dogs, children playing, people playing volleyball, or picnicking. We do not have a huge budget, and it will take time to get to where we want to be, but together, we’ll get there.”
Future plans for the North Walpole Village Park include continued landscaping and cleanup and a community gathering in December to decorate a live tree that was donated and transplanted last summer. There are also talks about creating a unit for a community book exchange, as well as an informative display featuring the history of North Walpole and the park itself.