Alien Invaders, Floating Rocks, and Bears


Freedom — June 24, 2005 — Islands that move, rocks that float, and the year you could walk the channel to Broad Bay are among Ossipee Lake’s natural and unnatural phenomena that noted educator Barre Hellquist will present at Calumet Conference Center at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6th to launch this year’s Tales of Ossipee Lake series.

The series, now in its third year, was created by Ossipee Lake Alliance to increase awareness of the lake’s unique human and natural history through entertaining free public events. Past presentations have ranged from lake ghosts to rare plants to vanished communities.

Hellquist’s presentation, “Mysterious Islands, Vanishing Peat Mats,” will feature some of the most unusual phenomena that the long-time lake resident has collected from the 1940s through the 1960s. “It’s an opportunity to learn more about what the lake was like in a time when it was quite different than it is today,” Hellquist says. His presentation is co-sponsored by the Calumet Nature Series.

The Alliance is also bringing “Among the Bears” author Ben Kilham to the lake for Freedom Old Home Week on Saturday, August 6th at 8 p.m. Profiled in National Geographic and TV specials, Kilham will talk about his work rescuing and raising orphaned bear cubs in an entertaining evening for the whole family.

Two other events round out the season. Exotic weed specialist Amy Smagula’s “Alien Invaders!” presentation on Wednesday, July 13th will highlight invasive plants that can destroy boating and recreation on the lake. Then on Wednesday, August 10th, State archeologist Dick Boisvert will discuss prehistoric times on the lake in his “Ancient Residents” presentation. If you have an artifact you’ve found in the lake area, bring it with you and Boisvert will examine it. Both events are co-sponsored by the Calumet Nature Series and will start at 7:30 p.m.

All of this year’s events will be held outdoors under the big tent at Calumet Conference Center, Ossipee Lake Road in Freedom. Directions to the site are online at, and a complete list of events is on the Ossipee Lake Alliance website at

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