2019 Grant Recipients

Newport Opera House

Governor Chris Sununu spoke to an excited crowd of over a hundred people at the public announcement of the 2019 Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) awards. “These grants not only help preserve some of our state’s most important natural, cultural, and historic sites, but provide an immeasurable benefit to Granite Staters.” The Governor congratulated the grant award recipients, highlighting the variety of projects and sources of match funding and noted that it’s not just about submitting a written application and getting a check – important relationships are forged between applicants, LCHIP and elected officials. In this highly competitive grant round, thirty-three projects received a total of $3.5 million in matching grants through LCHIP.

Twelve natural resource projects will provide permanent conservation for 3500 acres. Projects range in size from twenty-two acres of farmland in Winchester to 1368 acres of wildlife habitat in Gilsum. They include five farms, a Lakes Region view point, more than sixteen miles of river and pond frontage and 11,000 maple taps.

LCHIP is awarding a $400,000 grant to help The Nature Conservancy (TNC) purchase 1,368-acre Surry Mountain in Gilsum. A conservation easement held by the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game will further ensure public access to the property and top-notch management for black bears, bobcats, fishers and other wildlife. Remote Lily Pond, miles of stream frontage, acres of bogs, beaver ponds and other wetland areas are included and protect drinking water for people downstream. The well-managed forest will filter air and water to contribute to human health and provide the opportunity for outdoor adventures for inspiration and restoration.

Grants are being awarded to twenty-one historic resource projects for structures that date from the 1759 Ebenezer Hinsdale House in Hinsdale to Belmont’s 1928 library. Restoration to be carried out with assistance from LCHIP includes repair or replacement of leaking roofs, repointing mortar in walls and chimneys, rebuilding historic shutters, structural repairs to failing framing and foundations and more.

The town of Newport will receive up to $87,750 from LCHIP for rehabilitating the 1886 Opera House, an iconic downtown presence. Once noted as the largest performance venue north of Boston, the building fell into disrepair by the mid-twentieth century. A restoration in the 1970s returned the building to its 19th century grandeur and reestablished its importance to the community as a performance and gathering space. This year’s LCHIP funds will be matched by town money to replace the auditorium floor and fix stairway, masonry and drainage problems. Newport looks to this project as a focus for economic activity around cultural tourism.

Grant recipients are required to raise a minimum of one dollar for each dollar provided by LCHIP. This year’s awards of $3.5 million will be matched by more than $10 million that the project proponents will raise from other public and private sources, infusing a total of almost $14 million into the state’s economy in direct project activity.

Click here to view the complete list of 2019 Grant Recipients.

Photo:  2019 LCHIP grant award recipient, Newport Opera House