Gardner House Sale Benefits Conservation

Assets to Acres Program Leverages Land Protection

In late August, the Forest Society sold a historic house and surrounding five acres in Hollis, NH, to a young couple and their three children from Massachusetts. How did we get in the business of selling houses? Because of the generous donor who gifted us the property, with instructions to sell it and use the proceeds to advance our conservation mission.

This is the latest transaction of the Forest Society's Assets to Acres program. Many who cherish the New Hampshire landscape and want to contribute to its protection choose to give a house, cottage, or parcel of land to the Forest Society. With the donor’s permission to sell the donated property, the Forest Society can convert the value of that real estate “asset” to support the Forest Society and its mission. Think of it as turning a house into a forest.

The Gardner Memorial Forest was devised to the Forest Society in 1991 through the will of Millicent Gardner. The gift of the land included her home and several outbuildings. Mrs. Gardner retained a life estate for her son Herb Gardner to live in the house and have exclusive use of the entire 162-acre property during Herb’s lifetime.  Millicent Gardner’s will clearly explained that if the Forest Society didn’t wish to use the home for programmatic uses, the home, outbuildings and up to 5 surrounding acres could be resold. Last fall we were notified that Herbert Gardner had passed away.  The home was placed on the market this spring and quickly placed under agreement.

We thank both Millicent Gardner and the Scotts for making this possible. For more information on the Assets to Acres Program, call or write Anne Truslow, vice president for development, or Brian Hotz, vice president for land conservation, at 603-224-9945 or or