The Board of Directors of the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) is delighted to announce the awarding of over $4.7 million in matching grants for forty projects supporting both historic preservation and land conservation. Projects are well distributed among the state’s ten counties, in twenty-seven towns and eight cities.
Governor Chris Sununu has this message for the grant recipients: "Congratulations to all of this year's LCHIP grant award recipients," said Governor Chris Sununu. "These grants help preserve and define the character of our local communities. It's what New Hampshire is all about."
LCHIP Board member state Senator Bob Giuda of Warren joins the governor in extending congratulations: “I am pleased to congratulate this year’s grant recipients for their successful efforts in obtaining LCHIP grants to help fund their local projects. LCHIP continues to be a highly effective state program that offers matching grant funding to protect New Hampshire’s natural, historical, and cultural assets. This funding has been vital in not only preserving our state’s heritage, but supporting local jobs, enhancing local tax bases, and promoting tourism and additional investment.” Senator Giuda continued: “I have seen firsthand how LCHIP directly advances local revitalization projects all across Senate District 2 such as the Wentworth Congregational Church and the Tilton Mansion. Our communities are rich in history, and preserving these resources is a tribute to the past and a gift to future generations."
LCHIP Board member state Senator Tom Sherman of Rye observed: “Since 2001, LCHIP has been providing essential funding to our communities to support the conservation and preservation of New Hampshire’s most precious natural, cultural, and historical resources. The projects supported by LCHIP represent the heart of the Granite State. They mean the preservation of our history, our culture, and our stories for generations to come.”
The natural resource projects awarded funding in this grant round include land to help meet the increased interest in outdoor recreation activities, farmland to supply local food for local people, land with scenic and environmental values and working forests to sustainably transform a highly visible part of the landscape into products needed by the people of the state. The ten natural resource grant-supported projects include several that have been community priorities for many years, and will protect a total of more than 4500 acres. Projects range in size from eleven acres in Wolfeboro to two related projects in Shelburne totaling more than 3,700 acres. Grants will help conserve two family farms that have been actively farmed by the same families for six generations and part of the new Cross NH Adventure Trail.
The thirty historic resource projects range from a $5,250 grant to assist with a Planning Study for the St. Anne Church in Berlin to $369,000 to assist with the redevelopment of the 1894 Gale School in Belmont, a building that was moved to a new location in 2020 with assistance from an earlier LCHIP grant. The historic resource grants include projects as straightforward as roof replacement and as complex as near-total rehabilitation of entire buildings. Many of the buildings represent community gathering spaces, whose importance is newly appreciated following the isolation of some phases of the pandemic. The Northern Rail Trail passes close to three of the historic resource projects. The oldest and newest buildings receiving grants are both town halls: Salem (1738), now historical society headquarters and Wilmot (1906), still in use for town meeting and voting but needing repairs from flood-related structural damage.
LCHIP Board Chair Ben Wilcox of North Conway observed: “Now in its 20th year, the 2021 LCHIP Grant Round met the needs of a many of this year’s worthy applicants. Special thanks to the LCHIP staff, Review Panels and Board of Directors who do their diligence before awarding grants. LCHIP and its grant recipients work hand-in-hand to protect and preserve what makes NH special.”
Wilcox continued, “Special recognition goes to Dijit Taylor, LCHIP’s Executive Director, who will be retiring in the New Year. Her passion for fulfilling LCHIP’s mission and her leadership are a large part of LCHIP’s success.”
LCHIP grant recipients are required to raise a minimum of one dollar for each dollar provided by LCHIP. This year’s awards of $4.7 million will be matched by $19 million that the project proponents will raise from other public and private sources, infusing a total of more than twenty-three million dollars into the state’s economy in direct project activity.
Photo: 2021 LCHIP grant award target, Drew Mill Dam, Wakefield