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Grants fund Hanover, Grafton projects

  • The Mink Brook Community Forest in Hanover, N.H., received a $200,000 Land and Community Heritage Program grant to enrich the Town of Hanover's conservation efforts. (Courtesy photograph) Courtesy photograph

  • The Haverhill Library Association received a $47,000 Land and Community Heritage Program grant towards repairs to the library building in Haverhill, N.H., originally built in 1840 as the Grafton County Office Building. (Courtesy photograph) Courtesy photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/22/2020 8:37:45 PM
Modified: 11/22/2020 8:37:27 PM

HANOVER — Plans to create a community forest near Mink Brook in Hanover, restore an old mill in East Grafton and upgrade an historic library building in Haverhill Corner have all won funding from New Hampshire’s 2020 Land & Community Heritage Investment Program.

The Trust for Public Land, which is working with the town of Hanover and the Hanover Conservancy, was awarded a $200,000 LCHIP grant for the plan to turn more than 250 acres of woods and old farmland along Greensboro Road into what would be called the Mink Brook Community Forest.

The plan, which involves TPL buying the land which crosses Mink Brook and includes a brick farmhouse that dates to 1850, won approval from Hanover voters at Town Meeting earlier this year as they approved contributing $500,000 in town funds toward the project.

TPL has agreed to purchase the property, once eyed for a major housing development, from the Leavitt family for about $2.2 million and then will convey it to the town. A $600,000 federal grant, some $219,000 in local fundraising and a $500,000 anonymous donation are also helping finance the project, and the town also plans to sell the farmhouse to raise more than $400,000.

Town Manager Julia Griffin on Friday said the LCHIP grant was the the last piece of financing the Trust for Public Land needed to close on the property early next year. After the farmhouse and some accompanying acreage are sold, “then the Town will begin work with Twin Pines on developing the small workforce housing project we want to do on a 3-acre parcel adjacent to the farmhouse,” she said via email.

J.T. Horn, a senior project manager for the Trust for Public Land in Montpelier, said the Hanover project “will serve a triple bottom line by protecting the headwaters of Mink Brook, providing new recreation opportunities for residents, and balancing sustainable forestry with ecological protection.”

In other LCHIP grants announced last week,  the Haverhill Library Association received $47,000 to rehabilitate its building in Haverhill Corner, which has been serving as a library since 1916.

It was built in 1840 as the Old Grafton County Office Building, and the brick structure includes vaulted interior chambers to protect books and other items from fire, according to a news release from the Concord-based LCHIP program. The money will go toward repairing the foundation of the building, reducing moisture in the crawlspace and repairing the ground floor frame.

The nonprofit Mascoma Valley Preservation group won $62,250 for work to restore a mill and home it obtained as part of a 175-acre donation from the children of the late East Grafton native Stanley Kimball.

The Mascoma group is also restoring the old Grafton Center Meetinghouse in town.

“The Kimball property is a very special place and MVP is grateful to LCHIP for their investment. We’re excited to continue our mission of marrying historic preservation and community and economic development,” MVP President Andrew Cushing said on Friday.

The grants were among some $4.1 million going to 32 different projects around New Hampshire, including $125,000 at Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth to restore the Penhallow House, which was built in 1750. 

And the Willing Workers Society received $32,775 to go toward the Willing Workers Hall in Warren, which dates to 1915. 

News staff writer John P. Gregg can be reached at jgregg@vnews.com or 603-727-3217.




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