December 15, 2023

Upper Saco Valley Land Trust Celebrates $250,000 LCHIP Award

Upper Saco Valley Land Trust Celebrates $250,000 LCHIP Award

NH’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) Awards 25 Grants to Communities and Non-Profit Organizations Across the State

Concord, NH: Governor Sununu joined the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) today in announcing $3.7M in matching grants to support 25 land conservation and historic preservation projects across the state. The grants will support efforts to rehabilitate 12 historic buildings and permanently conserve more than 4,300 acres of farm, timber, and ecologically significant land in all 10 counties of the state.    

Chain of Ponds in Madison, NH

Upper Saco Valley Land Trust recently received a $250,000 grant award to support the acquisition of Chain of Ponds in Madison, NH. USVLT is working in partnership with The Conservation Fund to purchase this unique 625-acre property that protects expansive and interconnected wetlands as well as breathtaking views of the Sandwich Range and the hills of Madison and Eaton.

“We are incredibly grateful for LCHIP’s investment in Chain of Ponds,” said Mike Morin, USVLT’s Conservation Director. “The LCHIP award provides key support for this project and allows us to build on the 20+ years of advocacy and effort by local residents and organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy, to pursue a conservation outcome for this incredible landscape.”


Exploring Chain of Ponds by Paddleboard. Photo: Anne Skidmore.

Chain of Ponds features a glacial-trough-valley ecosystem created by the glaciers as they retreated millions of years ago. Glacial eskers rise above inland waters such as Mack Pond, Blue Pond, and many bogs and interconnected wetlands. WIth more than half of the property directly atop an aquifer, protecting this land means protecting drinking water and the waters that feed area lakes, streams and rivers. Learn more about Chain of Ponds at

LCHIP grant recipients must match each dollar contributed by LCHIP with at least one added dollar and complete the funded projects according to the program’s rigorous standards. This year’s $3.7 million awards will be matched by more than $9.3 million from other public and private sources, infusing $13 million into the state’s economy through direct project activity.  

Madison Chain of Ponds, Madison PC 2 Joe Klementovich

LCHIP Awards Ceremony in Concord, NH on December 11, 2023. Pictured from left: Governor Sununu; Carissa Milliman, USVLT’s Community Steward; Mike Morin, USVLT’s Conservation Director, LCHIP’s executive director Paula Bellemore, LCHIP’s board chair Ben Wilcox, and Jennifer Pribble, USVLT’s Executive Director. Photo: Joe Klementovich

About Upper Saco Valley Land Trust

Upper Saco Valley Land Trust (USVLT) is a nonprofit land trust, accredited by the Land Trust Alliance, that works to protect land for community benefit. Since 2001, USVLT has completed 84 conservation projects, totaling nearly 12,000 acres throughout the towns of Hart’s Location, Bartlett, Jackson, Albany, Chatham, Conway, Eaton, and Madison in New Hampshire, and Brownfield, Denmark, and Fryeburg in Maine. To learn more, visit or by following @USVLT on Facebook and @UpperSacoValleyLandTrust on Instagram.

About New Hampshire’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program

The New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) is an independent state authority providing matching grants to New Hampshire’s municipalities and non-profits, helping to preserve the state’s most important natural, cultural, and historic resources and ensure their contribution to the economy, environment, and quality of life in New Hampshire.

Since 2000 LCHIP has awarded 589 grants, investing $62 million in 200 NH communities to help conserve 241,000 acres of land and rehabilitate 172 historic structures. Learn more about how LCHIP is helping to preserve and protect New Hampshire’s heritage at, by following LCHIP_NH on Instagram, or Facebook.

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