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.”
Grants from the David M. Brooks Music Fund are sending new cellos, trumpets, trombones, flutes, violins and more to children in Manchester public schools; and guitars, keyboards, ukuleles and xylophones to public-school children in Laconia
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
Project LAUNCH, a coalition of nonprofits and public agencies, has been building a coordinated system of services and care to make sure that every child in Manchester has the social and emotional supports she needs to learn, thrive and grow: developmental screening that leads to earlier interventions; professional coaching and development for early childhood teachers; making behavioral health a routine part of pediatric visits; parenting classes and home visiting; a rapid-response team for children who have been affected by trauma.
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 Charitable Foundation invested $17.5 million to increase opportunities for young people through its New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative last year. Read our 2018 progress report
Kearsarge Elementary School teacher plans to make the traditional three R’s more meaningful to young students by exposing their teachers to three C’s — creating, collaborating and connecting
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
The 350-acre Chickering Farm, on the Connecticut River in Westmoreland, will remain intact in perpetuity
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