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.
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:
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
Applications were due on February 1, 2024
Check back later this year for info on future grant opportunities.
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
Habitat Planning Resources
Below are some links that might help you start thinking about your own wildlife project. If you have questions about the eligibility of your project, contact Matt: 603-756-9282
https://www.uvm.edu/seagrant/sites/default/files/uploads/publication/VTRainGardenManual_Full.pdf (List of plants that are good for rain gardens and refers to salt tolerance on their chart)
Early Successional Habitat
Forest Management for Wildlife
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:
Read a Past Grant Award Recipient's Blog on their Conservation Opportunity Fund Project:
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!