By Lois R. Shea, Senior Writer and Content Manager |
Mike Kelley of Milan is a forester, logger and trucker. The forest provides a living for him and his 40 employees. George Pozzuto spent a career with the U.S. Forest Service.
Pozzuto led efforts to create Milan’s new community forest. Kelley’s company harvested timber from other town-owned land to help pay for it. The logs were sold locally, the money circulating through the North Country economy.
The creation of locally controlled community forests — which provide income, lumber and open space for recreation — is one way that the Northern Forest Center boosts the forest-based economy.
Through its many programs, the center has helped create or sustain an estimated 4,000 jobs, bring in an estimated $176 million for projects in a four-state region and conserve 254,434 acres for community benefit.
The Foundation has supported the center since 1999 through the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund and more than 30 other charitable funds established by generous donors.
Pozzuto hopes Milan can grow its community forest to 5,000 acres, which could yield $50,000 in timber income annually — and provide ongoing work in the woods. Students will have an outdoor classroom, and a working forest remains part of the community. “The forest,” Pozzuto said, “is our future.”
This story originally appeared in our 2015 Annual Report.
Jobs for America's Graduates and the Appalachian Mountain Club have partnered up to offer Berlin students meaningful, paid summer employment, skill-building work in environmental stewardship, and exposure to careers in conservation and land management
Families will have increased access to nutritious foods. Community forests in Gorham and Milan will expand, providing additional income, lumber and open space for recreation. A local community college will train students for high-demand careers in industrial mechanics. And more.
Since 2007, the Louise Tillotson Fellowship has awarded $445,100 to North Country public school educators
A few examples of recent grants making a difference in communities around the Granite State: Portsmouth Music and Arts Center builds community through the arts; Christa McAuliffe's legacy continues; Kids in Chichester get new playground equipment; Empower Coös Youth Grant Committee makes its first round of grants; Veterans get support and services; History is preserved in Manchester; The largest remaining dairy farm in the Monadnock region is conserved
Results of the 10-year Coös Youth Study by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire show that a strong civic culture and deep sense of community act as protective factors for young people in the North Country, even as the region struggles to adapt to a shifting economy and out-migration. Data will be used to inform grantmaking in the region
Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund announces more than $350,000 in grants to support efforts in the North Country
Adventure seekers will learn about mountain-biking opportunities in Coös County thanks to a new marketing campaign. A local theatre will entertain thousands of guests with live performances and film. And more
White Mountain Science, Inc.'s Mobile STEM Lab crisscrosses the North Country to bring STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — programs to students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to dive into this modern curriculum. The mobile lab was launched with support from the Charitable Foundation's Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund
Tilly Players, after-school program at Boys & Girls Club of the North Country and After School Kids in Whitefield receive support from youth-led program of the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund
The Coös Cycling Club is providing outdoor recreation opportunities for local residents, drawing tourists, and contributing to economic revival in the Gorham area. The group has now joined forces with the Borderlands Trail System, which is promoting trail networks and communities across the Northern Forest region. Grants from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation support this work and other efforts to promote sustainable economic development for the North Country
Coös Family Dental, on Berlin's Main Street, is open to anyone in the community who needs care. The clinic is filling a need that is particularly acute in the North Country, where more than two in ten adults have not seen a dentist in the past five years, and very few dental practices are accepting new Medicaid patients. The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has supported the clinic with a grant to upgrade equipment
A decade-long collaboration funded by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has resulted in a coordinated system of care and services aimed at improving outcomes for every child in Coös County. A research brief about that work, “By Us and For Us, A Story of Early Childhood Development Systems Change and Results in a Rural Context,” has been published in the The Foundation Review, a national, peer-reviewed journal. Now, lessons learned in Coös County can be applied to other rural communities around the country to improve outcomes for children
The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation made more than 70 grants and totaling $3.3 million in 2018. Read the stories of just a few of those grants in the Tillotson Fund's annual Report to the Community