Governor Sununu announced $4.3 million in matching grants to support thirty-four land conservation and historic preservation projects across the state by the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). The grants will assist municipalities, nonprofit organizations and community groups in rehabilitating 17 historic structures and permanently conserving more than 2,700 acres of farm, timber, and ecologically significant land in all ten counties of the state, including Ash Cottage in Hebron.
NH Audubon is proud to announce that among those awards, we have received a $90,000 grant to support the historic rehabilitation of Ash Cottage, a local meeting location and seasonal staff housing for our Paradise Point Nature Center on the shores of Newfound Lake.
“We are very appreciative of LCHIP’s investment in preserving the unique cultural resource that is Ash Cottage” said Marc Nutter, NH Audubon’s Director of Conservation Programs. “The LCHIP award will enable NH Audubon to protect and enhance the utility of Ash Cottage for the long-term use by the community. All are welcome to visit Ash Cottage and our adjacent trails in the Hebron Marsh to enjoy the views of Newfound Lake.”
Ash Cottage in Hebron was built at the turn of the 19th century, soon after the town was incorporated in 1792. It is an example of a New Hampshire farmhouse that was converted to a summer home by out-of-state city dwellers during a tourism boom that began in the 1890s, and that continued to evolve to suit the changing needs of its owners for more than 200 years.
Located just beyond the historic town limits, this red cottage is a welcoming signal to anyone driving west along North Shore Road, indicating that they have made it to Hebron. The property around the building is a 40 acre wildlife sanctuary open to the public boasting 1.5 miles of easy trails and great views of Newfound Lake and Hebron Marsh.
The LCHIP funded portion of this project will focus on the exterior of the building including improvements to the site drainage, replacing the cedar shake roof, repairing the three chimneys, repairing the exterior trim, painting the exterior, and restoring the historic windows. Concurrently, NH Audubon plans to improve the interior space to be more welcoming to visitors and more livable for seasonal staff to be able to provide high quality environmental education experiences to residents and visitors alike during the summer months.
LCHIP grant recipients are required to match each dollar contributed by LCHIP with a minimum of one additional dollar, and to complete the funded projects according to the program’s rigorous standards. This year’s awards of $4.3 million will be matched by more than $15 million in funding from other public and private sources, infusing a total of more than nineteen million dollars into the state’s economy in direct project activity. Recipients will be expected to completed the funded work within two years. A list of previously completed LCHIP-funded projects can be found at www.LCHIP.org.