Powder Major's Farm & Forest Update
It was high fives all around here at the Forest Society last week. Voters in Madbury and Lee resoundingly said “Yes” to supporting the Powder Major’s Farm & Forest project at their town meetings on March 8!
This project, if you haven’t yet heard, aims to create a new Forest Society conservation property in Madbury, Lee and Durham that will be a community resource featuring trails, wildlife and Oyster River frontage. We’re really excited about having another reservation in the Seacoast Region! (The above is a bare-bones summary, so to find out what the project is all about, head over to the Powder Major’s Farm section of our website.)
Town support is critical for this $2.25 million project to succeed.
In a heartening vote of 639 to 210, Lee voters approved contributing $155,000 from existing conservation funds to go toward the purchase of the 195-acre property owned by the Goss family.
In a voice vote called “a spirited, unanimous – almost raucous – ‘YEA!’” by reporter Lorraine Morong on Fosters.com, Madbury voters approved contributing $75,000 toward the land purchase. Voters also approved conveying a conservation easement (valued at approximately $175,000) on a parcel of town-owned land surrounded on three sides by the 195-acre piece (see map).
The two votes bring the total raised for the project so far to $817,300, leaving $1.11 million left to raise. It’s a great start!
So what’s next? The third leg in this stool of town support is Durham, which, along with UNH, gets some of its drinking water supply from the Oyster River that flows through the proposed reservation. Durham’s town council members will be considering a proposal from the Durham Conservation Commission to contribute $120,000 of existing conservation funds to the project, and we are anxiously awaiting the council’s April/May decision.
Meanwhile, we continue to seek donations from individuals and groups interested in protecting this Seacoast community resource. We must raise another $1.11 million by Oct. 31, 2016. Please consider a gift today!
We are grateful for these grants and contributions:
- $380,000 from the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP);
- $148,000 from the N.H. DES Aquatic Resource Mitigation Program;
- $20,000 from the Conservation License Plate (Moose Plate) through the N.H. State Conservation Committee Grant Program;
- $10,000 from an anonymous family trust
- $2,333 from the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Program;
- $6,500 from the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership;
- Donations from private contributors.