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Conservation Opportunity Fund

The mission of the Conservation Opportunity Fund is to provide funding for owners or stewards of small tracts of land who are interested in improving the wildlife habitat on their property. This program is an annual opportunity to support environmental stewardship and the ecological integrity of Cheshire County, NH.
 

Bee on Flower

Applications for 2024 are now Closed

The Conservation Opportunity Fund awards up to $1,500 to implement a wildlife habitat improvement project!

Eligible applicants include private landowners or land stewards in Cheshire County, NH with tracts of land 25 acres or less in total. This can include individuals, businesses, farmers, and forestland owners/stewards. 

Wildlife habitat improvement projects include (but are not limited to):

  • Installation of pollinator habitat, rain gardens, wildlife-focused plantings, and riparian buffers

  • Creation and improvement of early successional habitat, aquatic habitat, and turtle habitat in priority areas

A list of previously-funded projects can be found further down the webpage

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Have a plan for long-term maintenance and sustainability

  • Demonstrate landowner inputs of time and resources

  • Are informed by the ecology of our region

  • Provide opportunities to partner with the CCCD to offer community education

 

The following will not be funded:

  • Landowner/steward time

  • Research and feasibility studies

  • Efforts that will not lead to improved wildlife habitat

The Cheshire County Conservation District (CCCD) requests proposals from applicants that meet the eligibility criteria above.

Applications for 2024 are Now Closed

Interested in Applying?

Before submitting an application, please Review the 2024 Request for Proposals (RFP)

Watch the Virtual Informational Session

Interested land stewards are encouraged to watch the recording of this year’s informational session to learn more about eligibility, project types and grant requirements. Watch the recording on our Youtube channel.

Ready to Apply

If you have reviewed the RFP above and confirmed that you meet all of the eligibility requirements please complete an application: 2024 Application [PDF] [Word]

View an Example Application from a Successful Awardee Here!

Applications were due on February 1, 2024 

Check back later this year for info on future grant opportunities. 

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Previously-funded projects

In 2020, we awarded $5,500 between four projects:

    Laura Andrews & Cary Gaunt of Keene for pollinator habitat installation
    Anne Fletcher of Alstead for riparian buffer and pollinator habitat installations
    Hillside Village of Keene for pollinator habitat installation
    Douglas Clayton of Jaffrey for pollinator habitat installation

 
In 2021, we awarded just over $5,800 between five projects:

    Sophia's Hearth of Keene for pollinator habitat installation
    Marlborough Garden Club for pollinator habitat installation
    Tom Winmill of Walpole for pollinator habitat installation
    Bob Ziman of Swanzey for pollinator habitat installation
    Kris Snowman of Walpole for pollinator habitat installation

 

In 2022, we awarded $6,445 between five projects:

    Leslie Casey of Sullivan for regenerating forest edge

    Georgina Carley of Hinsdale for pollinator habitat installation

    Dian Matthews of Keene for pollinator habitat installation

    The Friends of the Ashuelot River Park of Keene for rain garden installation

    The United Church of Christ of Keene for pollinator habitat installation

 

In 2023, we awarded $11,558 between ten projects:

     Emily Daigle of Keene for pollinator habitat installation

     Emily Elliot of Walpole for early successional habitat installation

     Ioana Stoian of Walpole for a rain garden installation

     Jill Robinson of Walpole for erosion control and wildlife habitat installation

     Peter Oliviera Soens of Marlborough for early successional habitat installation

     Rachel Brice and Jeremy Ahouse of Walpole for pollinator habitat installation

     Skylar Roach and Wendy Wolleager of Stoddard for early successional habitat installation

     Gene and Olga Kissin of Alstead for pollinator habitat installation and restoration

     Shanon and Michael Lucas of Ashuelot for early successional shrubland habitat installation

     Shelley Woodson of Marlborough for pollinator habitat installation

 

In 2024, we awarded $11,113 between nine projects:

     Eileen Casey of Keene for native shrub hedgerow installation

     Gemmo Forest of Keene for early successional habitat installation

     Keene Parks and Recreation Department and Edgewood Neighborhood for pollinator           habitat installation

     Jake Pipp of Keene for pollinator habitat installation

     Albie Mason and Phylicia Roberts of Keene for rain garden installation

     Eli Rivera of Keene for pollinator habitat and rain garden installation

     Laura Shim of Keene for pollinator habitat and rain garden installation

     James Sullivan of Fitzwilliam for pollinator habitat installation

     Lynn Zimmerman of Surry for pollinator habitat installation

Habitat Planning Resources

Below are some links that might help you start thinking about your own wildlife project.
Rain Gardens

 

Pollinator Habitat

 

Planting Buffers

Early Successional Habitat
 
Forest Management for Wildlife
 
Lawn Conversion 
Ecologically Trained Landscaper Directory

CCCD encourages applicants to research and install projects, but also recognizes that some projects require assistance. CCCD does not endorse any individuals or businesses listed in this directory:

Where to Purchase Native Plants and Seeds

Educational Tools for Plant and Animal ID and Citizen Science Research

 

Understanding Your Soil Type

Read a Past Grant Award Recipient's Blog on their Conservation Opportunity Fund Project: 
  • Bob and Lynn Ziman's blog HERE, or 
  • Georgina Carley's blog on our website HERE!

Thank you to our Funders!

This program would not be possible without the funding support of private donors and the generosity of community members.

 

If you would like to make a donation to support future funding of the scholarship, please do so here!


Donations to the fund may also be made by mail, checks can be made payable to "CCCD" and addressed to 11 Industrial Park Dr., Walpole, NH 03608. Please include “COF” in the memo line. Contributions of any amount are greatly appreciated and make a difference!

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