Civic Engagement Month

Each week in March we shared ideas about civic engagement.

We encourage you to let us know what it means to you, and what you think is most important that we get right.

Like so many of the things that matter most in life, it’s both simple as an idea and hard to do well. There are also lots of words to describe it – evolving language used by those working hard to promote civic engagement. “Civil responsibility”, “community involvement”, “participatory democracy”, “civil society”, “civic muscle” (a newish one), and more. We recognize that it can sometimes feel like jargon. At the core of all of these efforts to find the right words: being involved in the community … listening to one another and working together to create a world that’s built around our shared values, addresses our varying needs, draws on our shared abundance.

We lean into civic engagement this month, because it’s Town Meeting time. Please be part of the process by joining as many of the conversations as you can. They are happening at a candidate forum and scheduled town meetings, on the Listserv, and on the street. It’s all important. Find Detailed Lyme Town Meeting Information from the Town of Lyme Website.

Events leading up to Town Meeting:
  • Sunday 3/5: Meet the Candidates (Online Forum)
    6-8pm on Zoom. Hosted by Converse Free Library’ s Judy Russell.
  • Thursday 3/9: School District Meeting
    6pm in the Lyme School Gymnasium. Voting on Budget Items.
    You must be a registered voter to vote at this meeting.
  • NEW DATE Tuesday 3/21 6pm: Lyme Town Meeting – Business Meeting
    To discuss and vote on Town Warrant Articles 3-18.
    In the Lyme School and Community Gymnasium. You must be a registered voter to vote at this meeting.
  • NEW DATE Tuesday 3/28 7am-7pm: Town of Lyme Official Ballot Voting
    For Town and School District officers (Article 1) and zoning amendment (Article 2).
    In the Lyme School and Community Gymnasium. You must be a registered voter to vote.

Week 1 (March 3) – “Civil Responsibility and Community Values

Jeff Valence shares his perspective on civil responsibility in a small town, with a reminder of the Lyme School Values. Jeff is a CommunityCare of Lyme board member and former principal of the Lyme School.

Week 2 (March 10) – “Here’s to Your Voice, Your Vote, and Volunteerism

Shelby Wood lifts up volunteerism as an important part of civic engagement, especially in a small town. Shelby is CommunityCare of Lyme’s Manager of Volunteer Participation, and has LOTS of ideas for meaningful and high impact ways to share your gifts. Contact her at 603-795-0603 or

Week 3 (March 17) – “Shall We Build a Bridge?

Part of civic engagement is building bridges between people, so we are connected as neighbors and feel a sense of belonging. Introducing “Tea with Shelby”. Beginning in April, once per week she’ll be at a different spot in town for open conversation over a comforting cup. Stay tuned for details or contact Shelby at 603-795-0603 or

Week 4 (March 24) – “A Broader View of Community

Martha Tecca considers our place as neighbors in the Upper Valley and in the world, reminded by recent sharing of gifts and learning across the different communities we are a part of. There’s so much to be gained from collaborating across our small Valley, and as we welcome our homes and hearts to newcomers. The Upper Valley is becoming more welcoming all the time, and we got a small taste of the enormous benefits when Andrii Zharkov performed at the Cabin Fever Music event on March 26th. (Listen to an NHPR piece with Andrii here.)