Can you transform “house into a forest” without destroying the house? YES!
Ellen Kennelly donated this summer house in Dublin
surrounded by 49 protected acres to the "Assets to Acres"
program. The Forest Society sold the property to a
conservation buyer and applied the proceeds to stewarding
the surrounding conservation lands. Photo: Jeff Sluder
Mrs. Ellen Kennelly donated her land in Dublin to the Forest Society. The property included a summer home with a view of Mount Monadnock. She wanted the 49 acres surrounding the house to be permanently protected, so the Forest Society agreed to retain those acres as the Kennelly Forest, now one of its many tracts on and around Mount Monadnock.
As she pondered the future of the house and a few acres around it, Mrs. Kennelly realized that she had an opportunity to do even more for conservation. She decided to include the house in her donation and to allow the Forest Society to sell it. She agreed that the proceeds from the sale would best be used to fund more land protection and stewardship of the Society's lands and conservation easements.
With the help of a local real estate firm, the property was quickly sold in the late fall of 2007. The new owners, old family friends of Mrs. Kennelly, were delighted to take ownership of this house and its gardens in the Monadnock region.
One half of the net proceeds from the sale have been dedicated to the Forest Society’s Land Action Fund, which is used to protect land in many parts of the state. In the past year, the fund protected an old growth forest in the North Country, and helped protect Moose Mountain in Middleton and Brookfield, protect the Hebron Town Forest and expand the Lamprey River Forest in Epping. The remaining net income has been deposited into the Conservation Easement Stewardship and Reservation Stewardship Funds to ensure that the Society's lands and easements on Mt. Monadnock will always be well cared for.
Mrs. Kennelly’s house was “converted” into hundreds of acres of well managed and permanently protected lands. And the house is still there, under the care of new owners who can look out their windows and see the fruits of the Forest Society’s work, every day.