Watershed Quest Challenge

Do you have a favorite river, pond, wetland, or swimming hole?

Share it in a Quest!

Vital Communities launched a special Valley Quest program in 2017 known as the Watershed Quest Challenge. Through this fun, educational contest, we challenged individuals and teams (including school classes) to write a Quest about any river, stream, pond, or wetland in the Upper Valley.

The Challenge ran for the 2017 Questing season and closed to submissions on December 15, 2017. The submissions we received will be judged over the course of the spring and the winning Quest will get a special prize. The top 5 Quests will be featured on the 2018 Super Quest!

Miss the Deadline?

If you’re inspired to write a Quest but have missed the Watershed Challenge deadline, never fear. We accept Quest submissions year round, and anyone can write a Quest. All Quests are written by community members looking to share the wonder and delight of a place they find special.

While we won’t be able to feature new submissions in the 2018 Super Quest (it is already in the works), your submission will be tested by our staff and volunteers, and published on our online Quest database. Writing a Quest can be a big undertaking, but Valley Quest is here to help!

We have plenty of resources to help you write your Quest:
  1. First, check out our easy instructions for making your own Quest. Here you’ll find written and video directions that walk you through the Quest making process.
  2. Hungry for more? Read through our four Questing curricula for sample lessons and activities to enhance your Quest.  (Note: the Adaptable Curriculum provides a great template for writing a Quest about any subject!)
  3. Can’t get enough information? Look for Questing: A Guide to Creating Community Treasure Hunts. This book by Steve Glazer and Delia Clark is the ultimate resource for creating amazing Quests. You can find it in some local bookstores as well as Amazon.
  4. When you’re ready to submit your Quest, download and complete this New Quest Submission Checklist. Then send us your Quest clues AND the Checklist.E-mail is the easiest way to submit, but you can also mail your Quest and Checklist to us at: Vital Communities ATTN Valley Quest, 195 North Main St, White River Junction, VT 05001.

Submissions Received

We’ve received some amazing submissions and are thrilled to add them to our official Valley Quest list this winter. These new Quests spotlight a wealth of Upper Valley treasures. They include:

A well-loved stream in Barnard, Vt.

A brook edged with bountiful wildlife in Brownsville, Vt.

A state park hugging the Black River in Springfield, Vt.

A waterfall-filled tour of Strafford, Vt.

A peek into the old mill history of Lebanon, N.H.

And so much more!

Thank you so much to all who took on this Challenge. We’ve received a pile of well-researched, thoughtful submissions that really showcase the value of healthy, vibrant watersheds. We’ll announce the winning Quest submission May 1, 2018. You’ll also be able to see our top 5 Watershed Challenge submission picks in the 2018 Super Quest, which will be unveiled at Vital Communities’ Flavors of the Valley on April 8, 2018. Stay tuned!

Thank you to the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and Farm-Way, for sponsoring this project!

VT DEC license plate logoFarm-Way Logo

Want more information?

Vital Communities Program News


Lauren Griswold

Valley Quest and Volunteer Coordinator, Valley Food & Farm Program Assistant

Valley Quest, Food & Farm

 802.291.9100 x 107

Valley Quest, Food & Farm

— Lauren Griswold, Valley Quest and Volunteer Coordinator, Valley Food & Farm Program Assistant

Lauren Griswold joined Vital Communities in May 2017 to coordinate Power of Produce (POP) clubs at Upper Valley farmers' markets and farmstands. In August 2017 she became our Valley Quest and Volunteer Coordinator, in addition to her role as the Valley Food & Farm Program Assistant. Lauren grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in English and Environmental Studies. Her passion for sustainable agriculture took her out West, where she served as a garden educator in Bend, Oregon. After an enriching chapter in the high desert, Lauren is thrilled to be back in central Vermont. She is passionate about the rich communities and natural beauty of the Upper Valley, and enjoys engaging the next generation with wonder and enthusiasm about this special place. In her free time, Lauren can be found mountain biking, cross country skiing, gardening, knitting, and savoring meals with friends and family.