John M. and Eileen R. Weeks Conservation Project
Your help is needed to conserve the 65-acre John M. and Eileen R. Weeks property located on Belknap Mountain Road in Gilford, NH. In partnership with the Town of Gilford, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) needs to raise $145,000 to conserve this property, which is located on the west face of Gunstock Mountain.
The Weeks property abuts 9,000 acres of existing conservation land in and adjacent to the Belknap Mountain Range, including the Muehlke Family Tree Farm.
The land lies within a Wellhead Protection Area to a public water supply source for the Town of Gilford and plays a significant role in maintaining the quality of ground and surface waters in the Sanders Bay Sub-watershed, which drains into the Winnipesaukee River Watershed.
If you would like to help conserve the John M. and Elieen R. Weeks property, please consider making a gift to help us meet the early spring closing deadline.
How You Can Help:
- Donate online now
- Donate by check: Donations may be made payable to “LRCT” with “Weeks” in the memo field. Please mail checks to PO Box 766 Center Harbor, NH 03226
- Donate by phone: Call us at 603-253-3301
Gifts will be used solely to acquire, conserve, and monitor this land for its wildlife, forestry and water quality benefits.
Mount Pleasant Property
Tuftonboro & Wolfeboro, NH
In Tuftonboro and Wolfeboro, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) is working to permanently protect 132 acres on Mount Pleasant. This project will provide recreational, nature observation, and education opportunities for the community, as well as protect wildlife habitat and water resources.
LRCT plans to improve the trail to a prominent open ledge, where visitors will be able to enjoy expansive views extending to Lake Winnipesaukee, Red Hill, the Belknap, Sandwich, and Ossipee Mountain Ranges, and points beyond. In addition, the project will protect the historic Mount Pleasant-Haley-Walker cemetery, which served the farming settlement known as Brighton and is believed to contain the grave of one of eight Revolutionary War soldiers thought to be buried in Tuftonboro.
How You Can Help:
- Donate online now
- Donate by check: Donations may be made payable to “LRCT” with “Mount Pleasant” in the memo field. Please mail checks to PO Box 766 Center Harbor, NH 03226
- Donate by phone: Call us at 603-253-3301
December 4, 2019:
The Board of Directors of the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) has announced $3.5 million dollars in matching grants awarded to thirty-three projects across the state, including the Mount Pleasant Property in Tuftonboro and Wolfeboro.
LRCT has received a $75,000 grant award to support the Mount Pleasant Property. “We are very grateful for LCHIP’s investment in conserving the Mount Pleasant Property” said Don Berry, LRCT’s President. “The LCHIP award will help to ensure that the property’s scenic value, wildlife habitat, and public access opportunities are preserved for future generations.”
Projects are being supported in each of the state’s ten counties. This grant round was highly competitive, with over $7 million in funding requests compared to $3.5 million available for grants. LCHIP Board Chair Amanda Merrill of Durham observed “The LCHIP Board of Directors was particularly impressed with the variety and quality of projects seeking support this year.”
Grant recipients are required to raise a minimum of one dollar for each dollar provided by LCHIP. This year’s awards of $3.5 million will be matched by more than $10 million that the project proponents will raise from other public and private sources, infusing a total of almost $14 million into the state’s economy in direct project activity.
Belknap Woods Expansion
Center Harbor, NH
For more than 30 years, Belknap Woods has been a favorite place for outdoor recreation, nature observation and enjoyment for people in Center Harbor and surrounding communities. Owned by the Squam Lakes Association (SLA) with a conservation easement held by the Squam Lakes Conservation Society (SLCS), this forested property provides a network of trails for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. It also provides an opportunity for carry-in boat access for canoes and kayaks to Dog Cove on Squam Lake.
In October of 2019, Belknap Woods was substantially expanded to nearly 130 acres through an extraordinarily generous gift of an abutting parcel of land by the Mattson family of Center Harbor. This beautiful property encompasses designated prime wetlands and critical wildlife habitat, including beaver ponds and heron nesting sites. The permanent conservation of this expansion enhances the role that Belknap Woods plays in protecting water quality.
LRCT is proud to have partnered with SLA, SLCS and the Mattsons on this outstanding project. SLA is now the owner of the former Mattson land, the SLCS conservation easement has been expanded to encompass this land, and LRCT holds a backup interest in the conservation easement on the entirety of Belknap Woods. The organizations look forward to working together in stewarding this key property in the Squam Watershed.
Munroe Preserve Conservation Easement
In 2016, the Dan Hole Pond Watershed Trust (DHPWT) acquired the Charles Norman Munroe Preserve, protecting 177 acres of diverse and highly ranked habitat along the Pine River, in Ossipee. The DHPWT recently conveyed a conservation easement to the Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) to ensure the protection of this preserve forever.
LRCT will monitor the property regularly to ensure continuing protection of the Munroe Preserve’s conservation values, including its extensive wetlands and upland forests that are home to a wide variety of wildlife.
The Munroe Preserve includes almost two miles of river frontage along with 28 acres of wetlands, and abuts the 3,244-acre Pine River State Forest, thus adding to a magnificent wildlife corridor. According to Dr. Rick Van de Poll, the diversity of ecosystems on the preserve provide exceptional habitat for a large variety of plants and wildlife.
LRCT and DHPWT have had a long and collaborative relationship in their complementary work of conserving important landscapes in and around the Ossipee Mountains. This is the first official partnership between the two organizations on a conservation property. The two organizations look forward to their partnership in permanently preserving the Munroe Preserve’s spectacular habitat and making it available for public benefit and enjoyment.
Moultonborough Falls Conservation Easement
The Moultonborough Falls Conservation Area is an outstanding community resource, a 37-acre woodland and wetland parcel along the Red Hill River between Whittier Highway (Route 25) and Lee’s Pond. The property encompasses significant habitat, including 3,800 feet of shoreline, and protects water quality downstream in Lee’s Pond and Moultonborough Bay of Lake Winnipesaukee. It provides a scenic setting for outdoor recreation and learning by people of all ages, and includes historical sites that were part of the thriving village of Moultonborough Falls in the 1800s.
The Town of Moultonborough purchased the land in 2018 after voters at Town Meeting agreed to the acquisition and the Moultonborough Conservation Commission raised necessary funds for the project. Earlier this year, the Town granted a conservation easement to LRCT, to ensure permanent legal protection for the land in perpetuity for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of the community. The Moultonborough Conservation Commission is developing plans for a parking area and trails that will facilitate the use of the property for recreational and educational activities, and LRCT will be responsible for monitoring the conservation easement to ensure that the property’s conservation values are protected.
The Red Hill River and its tributaries flow from and through areas, such as Red Hill Pond, Red Hill, and Garland Pond, where significant land has been conserved by the Town of Sandwich, The Nature Conservancy, and LRCT. The Moultonborough Falls Conservation Area is an important addition to the conserved lands in this river corridor. LRCT is proud to work with the Town of Moultonborough, and we are grateful to the generous donors and Moultonborough property owners whose commitment made this project possible and also to realtor Tom Howard for his role in conserving this important property. Finally, we are very grateful to the members of the Moultonborough Conservation Commission for their leadership and dedication, and we look forward to working with the Commission on future land conservation opportunities.
Red Hill Conservation Area Expansion
The Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) is proud to announce the expansion of its Red Hill Conservation Area in Moultonborough. LRCT’s acquisition of 88 acres of land on the eastern flank of Red Hill increases the size of the conservation area to 2,664 acres. The newly acquired parcel aids in the protection of tremendous natural beauty, valuable wildlife habitat, and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation and nature education as part of an expansive unfragmented woodland habitat.
Red Hill has long been an important recreational resource for residents and visitors alike. With over ten miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling, Red Hill is one of the best places in the region for family hikes and is visited by thousands of people each year; for generations of children, Red Hill has been their first mountain climb.
For nearly 30 years, conservation of land on Red Hill has been one of LRCT’s highest priorities. LRCT is very grateful for extraordinarily generous support for this project from many individuals and families in the area, as well as from E.M. Heath’s Supermarket in Center Harbor, where over 320 customers donated to the project by adding a contribution to their total at the checkout counter.
As owner of the Red Hill Conservation Area, LRCT looks forward to conserving and stewarding this important property for the benefit and enjoyment of the community for generations to come.
Farm Trust Conservation Easement Project
LRCT has acquired a conservation easement that protects 1,615 acres owned by The Farm Trust in Tamworth, New Hampshire. Conservation of land in the Ossipee Mountains has long been one of the Lakes Region Conservation Trust’s highest priorities.
For more than 10 years the LRCT has been working to protect these lands that encompass scenic mountain summits and slopes, the upper part of the Cold River Valley, productive farmland, working forests, and pristine wilderness. With the support of a grant from the Open Space Institute’s (OSI) Resilient Landscapes Initiative, LRCT has permanently conserved this landscape for future generations.
Many qualities make the permanent protection of this property particularly noteworthy. The conservation easement protects significant areas of biodiversity, substantial wildlife habitat highly ranked by the NH Fish and Game Department, and resilient landscapes naturally resistant to drought, flooding, and changing temperatures, as identified by The Nature Conservancy and OSI. This project provides critical protection for vernal pools and the water quality of Cold Brook, a tributary of the Bearcamp River.
The land includes vast woodlands used for sustainable forestry, virtually untouched wilderness areas and old growth forests, and farmland used for livestock pasturing and haying. The land also provides access to Larcom and Little Larcom Mountains on abutting LRCT land and opportunities for nature education and scientific study. Finally, the property’s scenic value is unsurpassed.
The conservation easement will ensure that all of these qualities are protected forever. The land is part of a 21,150-acre conserved landscape in the Ossipee Mountains, including thousands of acres already protected by LRCT, such as the Ossipee Mountains Preserve in Tamworth abutting The Farm Trust land and the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area in Moultonborough and Tuftonboro.
This project has been critical to the ongoing efforts to preserve unspoiled landscapes in the Ossipees and the creation of a habitat corridor connecting the Ossipees to the White Mountains. We are grateful to The Farm Trust for wanting to work with LRCT to pursue a conservation vision for this magnificent landscape and the support from OSI for making this project a reality.
Thank you for your generous support!
Whiteface Mountain Conservation Easement
The Town of Wolfeboro, through its Conservation Commission and the Land Bank of Wolfeboro-Tuftonboro, Inc., have donated a conservation easement to the Lakes Region Conservation Trust on three key parcels of land on Whiteface Mountain in Wolfeboro.
This conservation easement will ensure the permanent protection of 118 acres of land, including a one mile trail and the summit of Whiteface with its stunning views, for the enjoyment and benefit of future generations.
The opportunity to protect this important landscape has been made possible by the hard work and generosity of the two organizations. The property will be known as the Whiteface Mountain Conservation Area.
Last year, the Student Conservation Association was contracted to establish a trail on the property. The trail is beautifully constructed, ensuring that hikers have an easy and scenic walk to the summit. The trail winds through a young, healthy birch forest and glacial erratics supporting vibrant lichen communities. These parcels provide a wonderful woodland setting for hiking and nature observation and also contribute significantly to the protection of water quality and wildlife habitat.