The Trail currently known as Hawkins Brook Trail will soon become the Samuel Laverack Nature Trail. Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB) and Merrimack County Savings Bank (the Merrimack) recently contributed to the Meredith Village Pathways in honor of Sam Laverack, who retires as President and CEO of New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp (NHMB) on June 30, 2018. MVSB donated $150,000 and the Merrimack donated $50,000 to this community supported project for the benefit of local residents and visitors. It will become a scenic, off-road pedestrian trail with views of Hawkins Brook.
Laverack, who announced his retirement at the end of last year, was presented with the gift from Charles Hanson, Chair of the Board for Meredith Village Savings Bank and Vice Chair of Trustees for New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp. “On behalf of the MVSB Board and NHMB Board of Trustees, we’re thrilled to contribute to the Meredith Village Pathways in honor of Sam,” said Hanson. “The trail will be universally accessible, allowing for wheel chairs, walkers and strollers. Sam’s support of the project really speaks to his dedication to the preservation and conservation of our environment. We’re excited to honor him in his retirement with a gift that’ll bring pleasure to so many.”
“It’s an honor to support and champion the Hawkins Brook Trail, an endeavor that is so near and dear to Sam,” said Rick Wyman, President of Meredith Village Savings Bank. “It’s a great way for residents, employees and school children to experience our beautiful natural environment while keeping active on a safe, contained walkway.”
Philip Emma, Merrimack County Savings Bank President added, “It’s no mystery why the Hawkins Brook Trail has been a passion project for Sam. It will provide a great service to the community by improving our local citizens’ quality of life. The health and well-being of the community is a commitment all of our companies are incredibly dedicated to.”
Laverack’s passion as an outdoor enthusiast has also been evidenced by his role as a Board member for the NH Lakes Association, and the Squam Lakes Conservation Society. Throughout his decades-long tenure in banking, Laverack has inspired countless employees to donate their time to non-profits they are most passionate about in the Central NH, Lakes Region, Seacoast and Greater Nashua communities. As a result, hundreds of employees from NHMB, MVSB, the Merrimack and MillRiver donate tens of thousands of hours to an extensive list of local causes each year.
“Sam leads by example, and he’s been devoted to giving back throughout his career,” said Cindy Hemeon-Plessner, SVP and Marketing Officer for NHMB. “He is known for saying ‘leave everything you are involved in better than how you found it’, motivating employees to exhibit stewardship in their daily lives, a key principle and code of conduct from our organization’s values.”
The Meredith Village Pathways Committee leads the effort in developing the Hawkins Brook Nature Trail. Located in a large and diverse wetland complex that drains into Lake Winnipesaukee, the trail is conveniently located in the heart of Meredith Village. The trail will be universally accessible and will connect residents and visitors from the Village to Prescott Park. The trailhead at the Meredith Village Savings Bank main office leads to a raised boardwalk that meanders through the wetlands with observation platforms along the way. The trail winds into an upland area where it transitions to a natural surface through the woods, and to a second trailhead at the tennis courts in Prescott Park. A trail from the park extends a short distance up to the Inter-Lakes School Campus, making the Hawkins Brook Nature Trail an educational opportunity for students.
The Hawkins Brook Nature Trail offers public health, educational, economic and accessibility for the community. Its features:
- Interconnections between downtown, Prescott Park, the Community Center and the Inter- Lakes School Campus in a unique setting
- Wetland and ecological education for casual users, as well as educators and students of all ages through outdoor classroom opportunities
- Enhancing the local economy, connecting outdoor users with local businesses and providing an easily accessible outdoor experience for guests and visitors
- Universally accessible trail for people with all abilities to experience the beauty of nature present along the trail
The Committee was founded in 2012, and consists of community volunteers for the promotion of a safe, walkable community. Through partnerships with the Conservation Commission, Inter-Lakes School District and local businesses, a thoughtful plan for a trail has been developed to take advantage of the many opportunities Meredith, Hawkins Brook and the natural environment have to offer. For more information, please email Andrea Bourn of the Pathways Committee at hawkinsbrookNT@gmail.com.