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Manchester Urban Ponds Restoration Program




Dorrs Pond / Livingston ParkBackground

The Manchester Urban Ponds Restoration Program was established in the year 2000. For the first five years (2000-2005), the program was a component of the overall “Supplemental Environmental Projects Plan” (SEPP) which was an agreement between the City of Manchester, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to address combined sewers in the city. During this time, and under the SEPP agreement, the program had a full-time coordinator who worked in the Planning Department under the guidance of the Manchester Conservation Commission. The initial tasks of the program were to evaluate and monitor seven waterbodies in Manchester for their restoration potential.

With the end of the formal SEPP agreement, from 2006 to the present, the program has continued as a partnership between several city departments which include, but have not been limited to, the Environmental Protection Division; Public Works Department; and the Parks, Recreation, and Cemetery Department. The program continues to work closely with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. It also has a part-time, seasonal coordinator and has partnered with hundreds of volunteers.

"Urban Ponds by the Numbers" fact sheet

Goal and Objectives:

The original goal of the program was to “return the ponds to their historic uses” (such as boating, fishing, and swimming) with the following objectives:

  1. Promote public awareness, education, and stewardship.
  2. Reduce pollutant loading and nutrient inputs to improve water quality.                  
  3. Maintain or enhance biological diversity.
  4. Provide improved recreational uses at each pond.

Projects and Activities:

Since 2000, specific restoration projects to meet the program's goals have been and continue to be identified, funded, and completed. While the program has been involved in several projects over the years, it continues to coordinate the following activities:

Accolades and Recognition:

In May of 2011, the program received an EPA "Environmental Merit Award." In 2018, several dedicated, long-time volunteers were formally recognized by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen for their many years of service at pond and park cleanups.

For More Information or to Get Involved:

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