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The Governor Supports Franklin Falls

The Governor Supports Franklin Falls

Chris Sununu, the Governor of New Hampshire, stands with our City, a community historically known as Franklin Falls, and with outdoor enthusiasts, believing in the sustainability of outdoor infrastructure and the benefits it provides. Not only in attracting visitors, but also as a sustainable means of attracting residents and businesses. Days ago, we received proof: the referenced letter identifies a one time investment of $1.5 million in Mill City Park as a flagship project to promote economic development though outdoor recreation. The state is focusing on outdoor infrastructure as a new economic tool, or rather that would be the job of their new proposed office within the department of Business and Economic Affairs.

Governor Sununu and State Officials -

Our Team, City, and Partners are incredibly grateful that you and your administration recognize a different vision of economic prosperity and sustainability for this city, region, and state through the outdoors, the people they attract, and the vibrant communities that they build.

This substantial contribution moves us significantly closer to our goal of breaking ground on the whitewater park component of Mill City Park in the Winnipesaukee River. It will create a unique iconic outdoor destination free for all to enjoy in their own way, while rebranding and refocusing our community to look inward to build our city’s sustainable future.

Today, the national annual revenue of the outdoor industry is larger than annual car parts, car sales and gasoline sales combined. Outdoor gathering spaces and outdoor experiences have positive impacts for children ranging from higher intelligence to reduced stress, improved self confidence, and enhanced connection to the environment and to those around them. When designed appropriately, outdoor spaces can improve the environment, connect people to the environment, promote a healthy outdoor lifestyle, and attract visitors and new residents.

This is the economic value of Mill City Park; it will breathe life into old underutilized spaces for new entrepreneurs and business owners. It will attract both residents and visitors alike to stay and play here. It will provide new free outdoor sport venues for school children, connecting them both to the community, to each other, and to the environment. In building a vibrant city, it will also build the tax base, providing sustainable solutions to some of our greatest challenges: education and infrastructure.

This investment is a testament to the relentless perseverance and adaptability of every team member, whether they are a volunteer, partner, believer, or contributor.

Thank you, Governor and all for enabling this project to grow.

To ensure this investment remains in the Governor’s budget “it will be critical for your voice to be heard.” Please reach out to to learn how and to get involved. Let’s break ground on a new Franklin Falls!

The Board of Directors

Mill City Park at Franklin Falls



The First Boat Bash Snow Crash was a success despite the 25+ mph gusts and the well below freezing temperatures. As Northern Yankees we are hearty, as such, every New England state was represented in the over 140 people that came out to our inaugural event. The event was a collaboration between the Franklin Outing Club and Mill City Park, which brought in positive donations for both groups.

However, this event would not be possible without our gracious sponsors and volunteers!

Thank you all for making this event a reality!

Donations |

Rowell's Services, Beck & Bellucci, New England Pro Greens & Turf, JA Garneau, Grevior Furniture, Franklin Studio, Blackfly Canoe, Franklin Savings Bank, Morrill's Landscaping, SKR Site Work, Sweet Protection, LiquidLogic, Hidden Collective, Franklin Fire Department and Outdoor New England.

Volunteers |

Mark Pickard, Steve Nelson, The Stanley's, Colby Morrill, Chris Downey, Dave Curdie, Tom Atwood, Steve Donahue, The Mullavey's, Scott Burns, Chad Carey, Cheryl Joyce, Eric Keck, The Coulter's, Jamie Parent, The Ford's, Alan Carigan, Bob Lucas, Orli Gottleib, Rob Schafsteck, Jeremy Laucks, Owen P, The Grevior's, Jim Jones, Daniel Fithian, James Detzel, Dominic Capozzi and CREEKBOAT MAN!

Boat Bash Snow Crash | SHORTY

Boat Bash Snow Crash | SHORTY

Two nights of no sleep... Super low temps... Making snow at Veterans Memorial Ski Area for the first time in it's lifetime...

Those were some of the challenges that the volunteer crew faced heading into this signature event. And oh my the juice was worth the squeeze!!!! What an event! Over 120 people on a bitter cold New England winter day.

Enjoy this shorty and we will see you there next year!

Video & Editing Services provided by R. Mooney.

I rode backwards down a ski hill in a kayak. On Saturday, you can too.

I rode backwards down a ski hill in a kayak. On Saturday, you can too.

Concord Monitor | Elodie Reed

   The author's friend and volunteer Orli Gottlieb finishes up a couple test-runs kayaking down the Veterans Memorial Recreation Ski Area in Franklin on Friday, the day before the Boat Bash Snow Crash event. Elodie Reed—Concord Monitor


The author's friend and volunteer Orli Gottlieb finishes up a couple test-runs kayaking down the Veterans Memorial Recreation Ski Area in Franklin on Friday, the day before the Boat Bash Snow Crash event. Elodie Reed—Concord Monitor

This job has landed me in some pretty peculiar circumstances. They range from holding a pig to eating meat from the same pig months later, listening to a state senator’s soliloquy about firecrackers, and walking in the woods with a Chichester woman who was wearing nothing but shorts and a sports bra in the middle of January. 

Then on Friday, I went kayaking down a Franklin ski hill.

Outdoor New England owner and paddler Marty Parichand lent me a boat for a “test-run” before today’s Boat Bash Snow Crash event at Veteran’s Memorial Ski Hill. For 12 hours, people can sled using kayaks provided by Parichand or canoes provided by Blackfly Canoes of New Hampton, listen to music, visit vendors and, starting at 3 p.m., compete in a downhill elimination race.

Parichand, who is holding the event in conjunction with the Franklin Outing Club, said it’s the first of its kind on the east coast. Only people in Colorado and Europe, apparently, have figured out before now that cruising downhill in a boat is actually a great idea.

A fact-check seemed important for this story. As Parichand led me over to a boat and handed me a helmet to squish on my head, I had another peculiar, though not uncommon, experience on the job: one of my best friends from high school pulled up in her car.

Orli Gottlieb, who is an engineer, fellow Bow High School alum and a board member for Parichand’s nonprofit whitewater park project, Mill City Park, agreed to sled with me. (She also became my iPhone videographer).

Snowmobiles and a T-bar will be up and running for the actual event, but we had to walk up the ski hill with our kayaks Friday. After slipping our way over some icy patches, we found a spot with reasonable elevation, and not in the immediate trajectory of anything we could hit.

(There was a big snow pile at the bottom of the hill – insurance, Parichand told me, just in case someone reaches top-end speeds).

Orli and I sat into our short kayaks, though my winter boots made it difficult to get my legs bent enough so they were completely inside. I didn’t have a paddle – I needed my hands to hold my camera.

“With a paddle you’d be able to control which end is going forward,” Parichand told me.

I shrugged like the amateur I was.

Orli expertly managed to balance both paddle and my iPhone, and she scooted her boat forward first. I followed – rocking back and forth with perfect muscle memory from my childhood sledding days – and off we went.

I rode backwards, giggling, for half of the hill. But all’s well that end’s well: I finished my run with grace, sliding in smoothly – and frontwards – next to Orli.

There was more giggling after that.

We did just a small portion of today’s course. Parichand told me there would be two tracks side-by-side for the races, though before those could be made, they needed a whole lot more snow after the past few weeks of warm temperatures.

The Veterans Memorial Recreation Ski Area has never made its own snow. But with donated hoses, compressors and snow gun stands, the retired Franklin Fire Department member and “Goddamned genius” Alan Carignan, and half a dozen volunteers, it was possible.

Getting the hoses connected right, controlling for the best pressure, and stopping the snow guns from tipping over (and spraying my entire pantleg) took a little while. But by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Parichand and his crew were making snow.

They expected to cover the hill in 8 to 12 inches throughout the night, with some time to spare to construct the race course.

Parichand and his crew have been working long hours to make the Snow Bash Boat Crash come to fruition. They only got the snow makers functioning correctly at 1:30 a.m. Friday morning, and they weren’t sure how much sleep they would get, if any, the night before the event.

With proceeds from the event going to both the Mill City Park project and the Franklin Outing Club, plus the general momentum for outdoor sports and downtown development in Franklin, Parichand told me he’s okay pulling all-nighters to make some snow. 

“There isn’t anything I’d rather be doing,” he said.

The Boat Bash Snow Crash will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today. Entry just to watch is $5 per person, $20 to sled, and $25 to sled and race.

Thank you Watts Water Technology!

It is validation to the idea, cause and Franklin's Future when a large donation finds its way to us.

We can not be more thankful to Watts Water Technologies (, the largest employer in Franklin, for their gracious $10,000 donation!

With that planning sessions with the whitewater architects is occurring and we are planning their site visit to Franklin!

Chicken Barbecue was a Success!

The whitewater park chicken barbecue fundraiser was a first. The first PermaCityLife Event in Marceau Park. The first event planned by a team made up of Franklin residents, permaculture people and whitewater enthusiasts. But with a duck race, corn hole tournament and the Morrill's famous chicken barbecue recipe there is no way it could have failed... right?

Right!!! The barbecue was a success!!! With over 120 meals served, over 80 ducks in the race and over 20 teams playing corn hole the park was a beacon of activity! We had supporters from all over New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey and a father and son from California!

As a result, we raised over $3,000 and pushed our total funds over $10,000!!! It was a huge success! Thank you to Franklin Parks and Recreation Director, Krystal Alpers for helping and showing up in light of her daughter and father's birthdays. Thank you to the Morrill's for letting us "capitalize" on your family's recipe. Thank you to the Central Street Media, Franklin Studio, PermaCityLife, Outdoor New England and all of the 10+ volunteers that helped out with our first event!

The Way Back to Franklin Falls

Indiegogo Campaign

Franklin has a diverse history. Downtown Franklin exists because of the rivers and mill buildings. We are now ready to reuse the rivers to repurpose and reinvent ourselves focusing on recreational activities and a true sense of community.

Although we are presently the smallest and poorest city in New Hampshire, we are poised and heading in the right direction with momentum to change that. We are ready to overcome common place issues such as obesity, drug addiction, crime, lack of economic opportunity and stigma that challenge many small towns by bringing in new opportunities.

We need a catalyst to support our residents, visitors, restaurants and new businesses. This iconic outdoor destination will give that boost.

A diverse and motivated partnership of community members are planning to improve our community’s quality of life through getting dirty or wet at our new park:

  • Community Garden, which will supply our residents with fresh and organic fruits and vegetables free of charge
  • Whitewater Park on the Winnipesaukee River enabling whitewater kayakers, surfers, stand up paddleboarders to utilize our river year round
  • Mountain Bike Pump Track winding through the hills and valleys adjacent to the river, designed for each and every rider

The combination of a whitewater park and a pump track in close proximity to a downtown exists nowhere else in New England, making Franklin the next stop for any outdoor recreationalist.

With Your Help
Our goal is to raise $45,000 in order to pay certified engineers from McLaughlin Whitewater and trail designers from Highland Trails. In return, these companies will provide conceptual designs, detailed designs and planning documentation to support the construction of this iconic destination.

By supporting us in the creation of an innovative community park you’ll be supporting the revitalization of this historic mill town - one that is rooted in the principles of sustainability and community development.

PermaCityLife isa NH non-profit with Franklin Business and Industrial Development Corporation as our 501 (c) 3 fiscal sponsor. All donation made to our campaign are tax deductible.

Our Project in Numbers
Whitewater Park Consultation Services with McLaughlin Whitewater: $28,000
Pump Track Master Plan with Highland Mountain Bike Park: $15,000
Indiegogo Campaign Fees: $2,000

The Impact
Through getting dirty and wet, we plan on having a positive impact on every person in town, even those who do not take full advantage of our park. Our project will:

  • Increase the community’s quality of life
  • Increase property values
  • Develop a community identity & build a sense of pride
  • Create environmental attachment & promote Franklin as a regional outdoors destination
  • Provide opportunities to community, business owners, sponsors, vendors & entrepreneurs

The community garden will not only provides a green space in the heart of downtown but also a place for people to socialize, and enjoy the edibles planted by our own community members.  Our partnership with Franklin Regional Hospital, the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Coalition and Pay It Forward Farm will help increase access to local organic food grown right in our community.

The Winnipesaukee River is already a whitewater kayaker’s playground, However, it is only at a suitable level when dams upstream release water. Altering the mill infested river sustainably to improve the quality and safety of the rapids would provide the public continuous use of the river. This amenity - a 1.5 mile feature from Cross Mill Bridge to Trestle View Park-would be the first of its kind in New England.

While kayakers are running the rapids, bikers can be enjoying the Mountain Bike Pump Track adjacent to the river. Our neighbor and staple in the biking world, Highland Mountain Bike Park, will design a course enjoyable for people of all ages and skill levels.

Kayaking and Mountain Biking are sports which promote flow moments – a moment in which a person is totally engulfed in the activity. Flow moment sports have direct connections to personal happiness, and are being used to combat issues such as; PTSD, cancer and drug addiction in other parts of the country.

According to a recent study, Franklin's Outdoor Activities & Associated Economic Impact, developed with NH Department of Resources and Economic Development office, it was estimated that iconic amenities such as these would account for $6.8 Million in direct spending, and another $4.68 Million via indirect and induced spending into the local economy.

This park is a holistic solution to some of the issues Franklin’s residents live day to day.

This campaign will provide the designs and engineering documentation necessary to start building. However, it will not provide the funds for the actual construction. Our collaborative team, will have to raise additional funds to begin the implementation phase. However, given our dedication and successful public-private partnership, we are confident that we will achieve our vision.

Another issue is perception, for a long time these buildings were closed, vacant and deteriorating. Seeing them vibrant with activity and construction is wonderful and it combats the idea that Franklin’s history is Franklin’s future.