On Tuesday, NH’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) announced major grants to two Upper Valley land conservation projects – Mason Pond and Smith Pond Shaker Forest. Statewide, thirty-two grants were awarded at an event which included remarks by Governor Maggie Hassan and Senator Jeanie Forrester. Praising the recipients for their effective efforts at conserving important land and preserving significant historic buildings, the governor reiterated the importance of land conservation and historic preservation to the state’s economy, environment, and quality of life. She noted that there is an $8 return for every dollar invested in the program.
“Thanks to the support of governor and council, and both legislative branches, LCHIP is able to award significant monies to a number of projects this year.” stated Doug Cole, Chair of the LCHIP Board of Directors. “Thirteen natural resource projects will conserve lands that will help insure access to local food, clean water, and a wide variety of recreational opportunities—as well as preserving the scenic and rural character of our great state. Nineteen historic buildings will be saved or revitalized because our New Hampshire state leaders have insured LCHIP funding remains available for its intended purpose.”
For each of the Upper Valley projects, the LCHIP grant will supplement fundraising from individual donors. Campaigns are currently underway. The Orford Conservation Commission prepared the successful Mason Pond grant application and is leading the local campaign in partnership with UVLT. An appeal for the Smith Pond Shaker Forest was mailed to area residents last week.
The New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program is an independent state authority that provides matching grants to New Hampshire communities and non-profits to protect and preserve the state’s most important natural, cultural, and historic resources. Its legislatively mandated mission is to ensure the perpetual contribution of these resources to the economy, environment, and the quality of life in New Hampshire. Up until the current grant round, 341 LCHIP grants have helped 143 New Hampshire communities conserve more than 278,000 acres of land and 180 historic structures and sites. The $36 million of state money invested in these projects has leveraged more than $234 million in funds from other sources. LCHIP grants are supported by fees on four documents recorded at the Registry of Deeds in every county of the state.