Merrimack Conservation Partnership Opens New 2018 Grant Rounds

The Merrimack Conservation Partnership (MCP) today released a request for proposals for its 2018 grant programs:

  • Land Conservation Grant Program, which funds transaction-related expenses on land conservation projects in the lower Merrimack Valley watershed of southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. The program underwrites transaction costs—appraisals, surveys, title research, staff time, etc.—on conservation transactions that protect land identified as a priority in the Merrimack Valley Regional Conservation Plan (2014). The MCP has $100,000 to re-grant in 2018 for this grant program.
  • Environmental Science, Education and Outreach Grant Program, which provides funding for environmental science, education and outreach activities related directly to the Merrimack River or its watershed.  Funds can be used for activities such as Youth or public environmental educational activities, development of outreach & educational materials, river cleanups, water quality testing & monitoring activities, and other related activities. The MCP has $15,000 to re-grant in 2018 for this grant program.

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Merrimack Conservation Partnership Announces 2017 Environmental Science, Education and Outreach Grant Awards

The Merrimack Conservation Partnership (MCP) announced the 2017 recipients of its first round of Environmental Science, Education and Outreach grants in the Merrimack Valley Watershed region of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In this first round of grants, the MCP awarded grants totaling $15,000 to four projects that will help fund environmental science, education, and outreach activities related directly to the Merrimack River or its watershed. Funds can be used for activities such as youth or public environmental educational activities, development of outreach and educational materials, river clean-ups, water quality testing and monitoring activities, and other science, education, and outreach efforts.            Continue reading

Merrimack Conservation Partnership Announces 2017 Land Transaction Grant Awards

The Merrimack Conservation Partnership (MCP) announced the 2017 recipients of its third round of Land Conservation Grants, which help underwrite conservation projects that protect the ecologically important Merrimack Valley Watershed region of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In the latest grant round, the MCP awarded grants totaling $75,450 to seven projects that will conserve a total of approximately 647 acres of land. The total value of the land to be protected in the latest grant round is conservatively estimated at $1.1 million.

In 2010, the Merrimack was identified by the US Forest Service as the most threatened watershed in the nation in terms of projected loss of private forest land over the next 20 years. The two-state region of the Merrimack Watershed spans a total of 2.1 million acres and 3,275 square miles of which 54% is in NH and 46% in Massachusetts. The Merrimack River starts in Franklin, NH and flows through eight of NH’s largest cities, then continues into Massachusetts to its mouth at Newburyport.
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Merrimack Conservation Partnership Opens New Grant Round

The Merrimack Conservation Partnership (MCP) today released a request for proposals for its third round of Land Conservation Grants, which fund transaction-related expenses on land conservation projects in the Merrimack Valley watershed of southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. The grant program is privately funded and administered by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests on behalf of the Merrimack Conservation Partnership. Non-profit land trusts, municipalities, and state agencies that have land conservation as a primary function are all eligible to apply for an MCP land conservation grant.

The Merrimack watershed is home to more than 2.6 million people – 1.87 million in Massachusetts and 748,000 in New Hampshire. This represents 57% of the total NH population and 29% of the MA population. The 2010 U.S. Forest Service report, Forests on the Edge, identified the Merrimack River watershed as the most threatened in the nation in terms of projected loss of private forest land over the next twenty years.

Completed in 2014, the Merrimack Conservation Partnership is the product of two years of effort by a dedicated group of conservation and planning professionals representing 33 private organizations and public agencies in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The Partnership is a collaborative, landscape-scale effort. Working together, the group has developed a science-driven, consensus land conservation plan that integrates the best-available natural resource data with expert judgment to prioritize land protection to protect water quality (especially drinking water supplies), preserve aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, conserve the region’s working farms and forests, and provide recreational open space. The Merrimack plan identifies 1.3 million acres of land, representing about 54% of the watershed’s total land area, as a priority for conservation. As of the completion of the plan, only 23% of these priority acres are permanently conserved.

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Merrimack Conservation Partnership Announces Grant Awards

The Merrimack Conservation Partnership (MCP) announced the recipients of its first round of Land Conservation Grants for the fall of 2015, which help underwrite conservation projects that protect ecologically important Merrimack Valley Watershed region of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  In the fall 2015 round, the MCP Partnership awarded grants totaling $112,500 to nine projects that will conserve a total of approximately 1,073 acres of land.  The total value of the land to be protected in the latest grant round is conservatively estimated at $3.5 million.

In 2010, the Merrimack was identified by the US Forest Service as the most threatened watershed in the nation in terms of private forest land lost over the next 20 years. The two-state region of the Merrimack Watershed spans a total of 2.1 million acres and 3,275 square miles of which 54% is in NH and 46% in Massachusetts. The Merrimack River starts in Franklin, NH and flows through eight of NH’s largest cities. The river continues into Massachusetts to its mouth in Newburyport.

Launched in 2012, the Merrimack Conservation Partnership is a collaborative effort of more than twenty private organizations and public agencies working on land conservation in the Merrimack Valley Watershed. The partners share a vision of conserving (on a strictly willing-seller/donor basis) the region’s most ecologically significant forests, and key connections between them for wildlife passage and human recreation.

For the first time, the Merrimack Conservation Partnership is launching its Land Conservation Grants program, which underwrites transaction costs – appraisals, surveys, title research, staff time, etc. — on conservation transactions that protect land identified in the Merrimack Valley Regional Conservation Plan. Below is a list of the grant recipients: Continue reading

Up the Merrimack River with Thoreau

thoreauOn this day, Aug. 31, 175 years ago, Henry David Thoreau and his elder brother John set out on an expedition from Concord, Massachusetts, in a homemade wooden boat. Over the course of two weeks they traveled first downstream on the Concord River, then upstream along the Merrimack River past Nashua, Manchester, and Concord, NH. That trip would become the backbone of Thoreau’s first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, published ten years later in 1849.

Today, 175 years after Thoreau’s river expedition, the Merrimack still flows. But it is threatened. In 2010 the US Forest Service identified the Merrimack watershed as the most threatened in the nation, due to projections of population growth and our reliance on land intensive suburban development patterns. In response, 33 organizations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts recently completed a comprehensive land conservation plan for the Merrimack River watershed. The good news is that there is still forestland that, once conserved, can help maintain the health and vitality of the river.

– Excerpted from the Forest Journal, published August 31, 2014. Read More…