Dover Apple Harvest 2013

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Fall is in the air, and with it all the fun activities that come with this time of year. Apple picking, carving pumpkins, hot cider, and not to forget, NH’s fairs and festivals, are all crowd favorites during the autumn season.

Dover Apple Harvest Day, a local favorite, was held this year on October 5th.  Combining some of the best elements of fall, the 29th annual Apple Harvest day drew over 50,000 individuals to Dover’s downtown center. Strafford Regional Planning Commission was able to attend for the second year in a row, enjoying the chance to talk with locals, and visitors alike.

SRPC set up their big white tent, bulls-eye theme banner, and some sweet incentives, ready to engage with those passing by. In attending, SRPC staff hoped to gain a better understanding of what individuals viewed as important regional themes when considering a vision for the Strafford Region. In particular, what participants loved, as well as what they believed could be improved.

Judging from the 47 responses, individuals LOVE the Strafford Region because of:

  • The Community
    • Love the local community
    • Downtown Dover has a lot to offer
    • Great activities for children
    • Like the size of the community
    • Safe communities
  • The Recreation/Environment
    • Like the walkability in downtown Dover
    • Like the access to recreation opportunities, while also being close to the City

Participants thought the following could be improved:

  • Transportation
    • Dislike the heavy traffic
    • Local roads needs to be repaired
    • Need to improve the public bus system by adding more stops, and running more frequently
    • Road maintenance is an issue, Mast Rd. in Dover specifically
    • Dislike parking meters in Dover
  • The Recreation/Environment
    • More attractions in the area
    • Want to see more recycling
    • Existing community trails should be more clearly marked and symbolized
    • Communities and corporations need to be more accepting of climate change data and trends
    • Would like to see the installation of public exercise stations in parks
  • Education
    • There needs to be a better relationship between the school and the city council
    • Feel as if the school system in Dover is too big
    • Lack of funding for schools is a big problem
    • Would be willing to pay more in taxes for increased educational funding

SRPC enjoyed the opportunity to reach out to those both living in and visiting the Strafford Region. In addition, SRPC values the responses that were heard. SRPC has now reached over 1500 individuals in the region through outreach efforts, which equates to 1% of the total population in the region! If you shared your thoughts, thanks for the input! It will be analyzed and included in SRPC’s Regional Master Plan to be completed by December 2014.