By Lois R. Shea, Senior Writer and Content Manager |
The realtors call. Kim and Randy Gaudette politely decline the offers.
They are the fourth generation of the Lucy family to farm this 88-acre parcel of land fronting on the Saco River in North Conway, with views of Cathedral Ledge and easy access to the famed Diana’s Baths. They keep goats and chickens and pigs and alpacas and honey bees, manage a pristine sugar bush and produce vegetables.
They are trying, with help from the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, to make sure the Lucy Brook Farm remains farmland forever.
This river valley, with its fertile floodplains and deep topsoil, boasts some of the best farmland in northern New England. The land trust has been conserving farmland since it was founded in 2000.
But conservation is not enough. The land trust is also actively helping farmers keep farming. Local Food Systems Advocate Jesse Wright coordinates farmer-driven efforts — from “scaling up” workshops to collaborative marketing campaigns — to help the region’s farms thrive.
New England produces only 12 percent of the food it consumes, with just 5 percent of land in agricultural production. Those numbers do not bode well for food security.
“If we let some of these farms go,” says Wright, “they are not coming back.”
Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund announces more than $210,000 in grants to support efforts in the North Country
Hikers exploring the Cohos Trail in Pittsburg will cross bogs using new bridges — and leave vegetation intact. The City of Berlin will update its master plan. Teachers in Colebrook will get the tools they need to support the social and emotional well-being of their students. And more
Victoria Elbroch of Kittery, Maine has been awarded the $25,000 Artist Advancement Grant, one of the largest unrestricted grants made to a single artist in the country. The fund from which the annual grant is made was created at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation by a group of generous people who wanted to help cultivate the Piscataqua Region's arts community, boost artists’ careers and help keep them living and working in the area. It may be used for anything an artist needs to advance her work
The executive director of New Hampshire Humanities in conversation with the Charitable Foundation's Lois Shea about the urgency of the humanities at this moment in history; bringing new voices into the conversation in New Hampshire; and how politically conscious hip-hop changed his world
Life science teacher and the STEAM coordinator at White Mountains Regional High School awarded fellowship that recognizes excellence in public education and strives to retain outstanding educators in North Country schools
Weekly grocery deliveries are being made to children during summer break and school vacation weeks; high school cross-country skiers will be able to participate on teams and enjoy New Hampshire’s official state sport; new art will be installed on the Franconia ArtWalk — and much more. The Charitable Foundation’s Express Grants program, which has a streamlined application process and short turnaround time, provides small grants (less than $5,000) to nonprofits in need of flexible funding to help with specific projects and programs
The New Hampshire Theatre Project's “Elephant in the Room” series uses theatre to bring people together to talk about immensely difficult things — suicide, eating disorders, substance misuse — and connect people with resources available to help
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
The Penacook Community Center offers programs for neighbors of all ages — from infants to elders. For Kathy and Paul St. Louis, the center's senior programs gave them a way to create strong community connections when they moved to town
The Austin17 House in Brentwood is a place where young people feel connected, and heard, and celebrated
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
Brandon Pierre is a mentor with the Mayhew Program. Mayhew doesn’t change people, Brandon says. It gives boys “an authentic, honest belief in themselves — which allows them to change their future.”
The Dover Adult Learning Center serves about 1,000 students a year in its core classes — from high school diploma and equivalency classes to English for speakers of other languages, adult literacy, computer skills and career pathways