I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to “spring ahead” on March 10 for daylight-saving time. That will mean winter is almost, hopefully, behind us.

It’s been a bizarre weather pattern for sure, and snow lovers here have felt left out for the most part. But, hey, the groundhog didn’t see his shadow so — as legend would have it — we’re in for an early spring.

Pennsylvania’s finest furry creature, Punxsutawney Phil, has been doing his forecasting since 1887. But let’s be honest: The rodent extraordinaire has only been accurate about 40 percent of the time, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Here in the Gate City, the annual Granite State Groundhog Gathering Breakfast was recently held to raise funds for the Salvation Army of Nashua, an occasion for plenty of humor and to recognize folks who do a lot of good in the community.

One of those standouts is Fire Chief Brian Rhodes.

Congratulations, Chief Rhodes, for the distinct honor of being named Nashua’s “Citizen of the Year.”

Rhodes is a guy loves his community and being in public service. He’s been a firefighter for 32 years, and understands the dedication, sacrifice, bravery and long hours that go into keeping Nashua a safer place.

He and his department have also seen the ravages of the opioid crisis up close but have witnessed, too, the many successes that come from the Gate City’s Safe Stations program.

The seven Safe Stations are located at the city’s firehouses and dispatch center and allow anyone seeking help with substance abuse to walk into one and get connected with recovery.

It’s been a wonderful program that works effectively with our city leaders, AMR (American Medical Response), Harbor Homes and others.

The statistics tell the story: Nashua Safe Stations has now been accessed more than 2,600 times since the program’s inception on Nov. 17, 2016.

Even more encouraging is the drop in the number of fatalities from opioids. According to AMR’s regional director, Chris Stawasz, deaths here were down to 33 in 2018 (45 in 2017).

Perhaps, the best news of all occurred in the month of January where zero fatalities from drug overdoses were recorded, Stawasz said. That’s a first in three years for Nashua. Here’s hoping the good numbers continue in 2019.

In keeping with the “Hope springs eternal” theme, it’s time to think about growing things green. Nashua Public Library’s outreach coordinator, Carol Luers Eyman, has reminded me of NPL’s annual tradition, the famous “Seed Swap” program.

Mark Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. on your calendar for the swap and gardening lecture. It sounds like a good one and will feature experts in sustainable food cultivation.

The event at 2 Court St. is free, and the seed swap is being hosted by the Nashua Garden Club.

Please show up with a bag of seeds, and include a label with its name and growing instructions.

By the way, if you are seedless at the moment, that is OK. “Come anyway and take some home so you can share next year.”

For more details, call Carol at (603) 589-4610.

Ms. Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column is published weekly. She can be reached at jtania512@gmail.com.