2020 Grant Recipients
Speaking by video at the 2020 LCHIP grant award announcement event, newly reelected Governor Chis Sununu told the audience of grant recipients and legislators: “Big congratulations to all of LCHIP’s award winners this year! We cannot thank you enough for your hard work making projects happen and keeping them on track through some tough times. The projects that LCHIP helps all over the state – both conserving lands and historical restoration projects – really impact our community and its economic revitalization.”
Retiring Senator Martha Fuller Clark of Portsmouth, among the creators of LCHIP twenty year ago and a long time member of the LCHIP Board of Directors said “Today I would like to congratulate all the awardees. And to remind them and us that LCHIP is not just about preserving lands and buildings. It is about the people of NH. It is about protecting our quality of life now and for future generations. It is about communities coming together and forming partnerships along with the state to protect what each community and its people value and are willing to invest in so that all of us can continue to enjoy what makes NH special. I am very proud of the success of this program, now in its 20th year. I’m proud of all of you for the contributions that you have made to further its success. Thank you all and congratulations to everyone.”
The natural resource projects will provide permanent conservation for more than 4,300 acres. Projects range in size from thirty-two acres in Hampton Falls to eleven hundred acres of mountainous woodland in Jackson and Bartlett. Five of the projects represent additions to or expansions of existing conservation lands, increasing the ecological value. There are unusual riverfront projects, in both Northumberland and Shelburne. All of land conserved with help from LCHIP is open for public use, so in total, these projects will open up an array of new locations for low impact outdoor activities like hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
A $125,000 LCHIP grant for the Shelburne Riverlands Project will help the Mahoosuc Land Trust (a regional land trust based in Bethel, Maine) purchase 853 acres of islands and riverfront parcels along the Androscoggin River in Shelburne NH. This conservation project is a long-held priority of the Shelburne Conservation Commission, a project partner along with The Conservation Fund. The land’s silver maple floodplain forests, braided oxbows and flood channel wetlands will protect 18 miles of river and stream shoreline. The area’s rich natural communities host wildlife species of conservation concern and connect hundreds of thousands of acres of intact forests on the two sides of the Androscoggin. Public access opportunities include fishing, paddling and new trails to connect with the existing Shelburne Trails system.
Buildings receiving grants date from the 1750 Penhallow House at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth to the 1915 Willing Workers Hall in Warren, the only building in the state owned by Willing Workers, a once-popular community service effort. Twenty-seven of the historic resource projects involve building rehabilitation, including roof replacements in Nashua, Portsmouth and Tilton. Five of the historic resource grants are for studies to determine the needs and priorities for further work on historic structures.
The Town of Effingham will receive a $165,000 grant to assist with rehabilitation of a remarkable building that has played several roles in the town’s history. Constructed in 1858 as the New England Masonic Charitable Institute – the only private school in America operated by Freemasons – the building passed into Town ownership in 1891 with the Masonic Lodge retaining rights to a remarkable upper meeting room with noteworthy historic frescoes. The downstairs served as both library and Town Hall until 2005, when the town offices moved elsewhere. The ambitious LCHIP-supported project will rehabilitate historic features inside and out as well as upgrade building systems to better serve as a twenty-first century library and community center.
Grant recipients are required to raise a minimum of one dollar for each dollar provided by LCHIP. This year’s awards of $4.1 million will be matched by more than $17 million that the project proponents will raise from other public and private sources, infusing a total of twenty-two million much needed dollars into the state’s economy in direct project activity.
Click here to view the complete list of 2020 Grant Recipients.
Photo: 2020 LCHIP grant award recipient, Shelburne Riverlands, Photo credit Jerry Monkman, Ecophotography