2018 Grant Recipients

Farmington Scrutons Dairy JMonkman

Speaking at the gala announcement of the 2018 Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) awards, Governor Chris Sununu praised the program for combining three elements that are important in New Hampshire – economy, history and natural resources. Governor Sununu said “LCHIP defines the 603. It’s about not becoming like everyone else.” According to the Governor, the resources LCHIP helps to protect, whether opera houses or family farms, are exactly what makes New Hampshire so special. Saving and using these treasured resources is an important part of the New Hampshire brand. The projects the state supports through LCHIP are about investment and opportunities.

Forty-two projects all across the state will receive $3.9 million in matching grants. Sixteen natural resource conservation projects will be supported by $2 million while twenty-six historic resource projects will receive $1.9 million. This year’s grants support projects in each of the ten counties of the state. Historic resource projects will help with rehabilitation of structures ranging in date from 1721 (Ladd-Gilman House, Exeter) to 1916 (Whitcomb Hall, Swanzey). The natural resource projects will ensure permanent protection of more than 13,000 acres in parcels ranging from ten acres in Durham to over 6,000 acres in Gorham. Grant recipients are required to provide at least one matching dollar from another source for every dollar received from the state through LCHIP. This year, they will provide more than $3.70 for each state dollar. The smallest grant is $7,500 for a planning study to help the Great North Woods Committee for the Arts explore what is needed to convert the former Shrine of Our Lady of Grace into a cultural and arts center. The largest grant of $350,000 will help the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire create the Birch Ridge Community Forest in New Durham.

The First Congregational Church in Farmington will receive a matching grant of $70,000 to help pay for a range of rehabilitation activities for its historic 1875 brick building. With its thick buttresses, soaring steeple, and stained-glass windows, the church building exemplifies the Gothic-revival style. The LCHIP grant will support repairs to the upper part of the steeple and restore and provide translucent exterior protection for the distinctive stained-glass windows. The still-functional bell in the steeple is a tribute to Henry Wilson, a Farmington native who served as Vice-President of the United States under U.S. Grant. In addition to its physical location as an architectural anchor in the center of the community, the church serves as an important provider of social services, hosting concerts, community meetings, educational workshops and the town’s food bank and a thrift shop.

Two North Country towns will use $520,000 to expand their Community Forests. Community Forests differ from more traditional town forests by the larger level of citizen participation in forest management decisions. This can build civic engagement and thus strengthen rural communities. In Milan, the town’s Community Forest Committee will use a $220,000 grant to add 768 acres to their Community Forest, including a parcel that wraps around the iconic Nansen Ski Jump. In Gorham a $300,000 grant will help the town acquire 2,005 new acres and place permanent conservation restrictions on 4,000 acres of existing town-owned land. The new total of 6,000 permanently protected acres includes the Perkins Brook and Ice Gulch Watersheds, source of drinking water for 90% of Gorham’s residents. Both towns are partnering with The Conservation Fund to accomplish these additions.

Click here to view the complete list of 2018 Grant Recipients.

Photo:  2018 LCHIP grant award recipient, Scuton's Dairy, Farmington  Credit:  Jerry Monkman, EcoPhotography