• Large room with people seated at round tables listening to speaker
  • Large room with people seated at round tables listening to speaker
  • Large room with people seated at round tables listening to speaker
  • Room of people seated at round tables watching a presentation

Last month, staff from UNH Extension’s Community and Economic Development team were invited back to Hopkinton, NH to present the completed Downtowns and Trail program report for the community. The Downtowns and Trails program in Hopkinton-Contoocook, NH kicked off in the Spring of 2023 and the report was completed in November of 2023.

The public event was hosted by the Hopkinton Economic Development Committee. During the evening event, Extension staff shared details on the Downtowns and Trails program completed in the community, including findings from the assessments of the natural and built assets throughout the community, data gathered through surveys and interviews, and key findings and next steps focused on improved connections between the village center and natural amenities in the area in support of economic development. Community members in attendance also asked questions and engaged in conversations after the presentation.

This event also highlighted another initiative led by the town’s economic development director. As the Downtowns and Trails program was under way during the summer of 2023, the community embarked on a series of walking audits to explore opportunities to improve connectedness in the village of Contoocook. Between the Downtowns and Trails program and the walking audits, similar themes relating to opportunities for improved safety, accessibility, and general connectedness emerged. These themes and findings helped inform community members as they discussed ways to address these opportunity areas in the community moving forward. There was positive energy throughout the evening. We look forward to supporting Hopkinton as they work through their next steps.

Thanks to the program steering committee, the town Economic Development Director, Hopkinton Economic Development Committee, Hopkinton Conservation Commission, and the Contoocook Chamber of Commerce for supporting the Downtowns and Trails program in Hopkinton-Contoocook, NH. Access the completed Downtowns and Trails report for Hopkinton-Contoocook here: Strengthening Connections: Downtowns & Trails - Hopkinton-Contoocook, 2023 | Extension (unh.edu)

Hopkinton was our fourth Downtowns & Trails in the past five years, we are excited to share our new evaluation report as we look to future programming. Access the Downtowns & Trails Evaluation report here: Downtowns & Trails 5 Year Evaluation Report.

Author(s)

Merrimack County
Extension Field Specialist, Community & Economic Development
Phone: (603) 255-3556 ext. 814
Office: UNH Cooperative Extension Community & Economic Development, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824

Associate Extension Professor
Affiliated Faculty
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Extension State Specialist/Professor
Phone: (603) 862-5171
Office: Cooperative Extension, Nesmith Hall, Durham, NH 03824