LCHIP grants help to fund local preservation, conservation efforts
In Canterbury, a historic building at Shaker Village will likely get restored.
In Concord, a plot of land that’s part of a historic agricultural neighborhood is set to be preserved.
And in Barnstead, about 500 acres of property are expected to be protected from development.
These are among the local projects that received funding last week through the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. Thirty-nine different historic preservation and conservation initiatives from across the state were given grants this year, with the total amount of funding coming in at about $3 million.
The LCHIP program receives its funding from fees imposed on county deed filings. Organizations given grants also must receive matching funds from other sources in order for the projects to be completed.
But the money granted through LCHIP helps to spur those additional fundraising efforts, said Funi Burdick, executive director of Canterbury Shaker Village.
Her organization received $150,000 from LCHIP to go toward a $358,000 effort to restore the four-story, 22-room trustees’ office building at the historic site.
“This will allow us to leverage that money and go to other funders and other grantors and say, ‘The state of New Hampshire believes in this project, and has awarded this money, won’t you help us by matching it?’ ” Burdick said.
“Having this money is critical to our success,” she added.
The project likely won’t be completed for another two years, but contractors will start this summer, installing a new electrical and heating system in the building, and later fixing some cosmetic issues, Burdick said.
The building, which was constructed in the 1830s and has been closed since 2000, will house most of the organization’s offices and host some exhibits when it reopens.
“It’ll be a great opportunity for the public to get back inside the building,” she said.
There are about 30 buildings on the site of Canterbury Shaker Village, which was once home to a Shaker community.
In addition to the Shaker village project, LCHIP also awarded $91,945 to the Five Rivers Conservation Trust, which is trying to place a conservation easement on about 18 acres along Stickney Hill Road in Concord.
The money will be used to purchase the developmental rights of the property from its owners, Lorrie and Peter Pierce, ensuring that the land will remain open forever, said Jay Haines, executive director of Five Rivers Conservation Trust.
The project is expected to cost a little more than $200,000, he said.
“When the land is sold, the easement will still be with it,” said Haines.
The land abuts two other properties that have already been placed in easements, he said, and the three plots make up an area that’s been designated as a historic agricultural neighborhood by the city. Haines said Five Rivers is still working to secure additional funding for the project, and that it would take another few years for the easement to be complete.
A similar project in Barnstead also received a grant from LCHIP. The program awarded $125,000 to Bear-Paw Regional Greenways, a land trust, to go toward placing about 500 acres at the T.L. Storer Camp in a conservation easement.
The land trust is seeking to buy the developmental rights of the property from the Boston-based council of the Boy Scouts of America, which owns and runs the camp. The total project will cost $704,000, said Dan Kern, executive director of Bear-Paw.
“We still have about $95,000 left to raise,” Kern said. He said he expects the easement to be complete by next September.
Other local groups that received funding through LCHIP grants this year include the New Hampshire Historical Society, which received $200,000 for upgrades to the Tuck Library building; the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, which received $340,000 to help fund a land preservation project on Mount Major in Alton; and the town of Boscawen, which was granted $23,250 to restore the 1913 Boscawen Public Library.
Thirty-six organizations that applied for grants from LCHIP this year didn’t receive funding for their projects.
(William Perkins can be reached at email@example.com.)