By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
MEREDITH — Food, wine and music, along with a silent auction, will be featured at Thursday’s fundraiser for the Belknap County Conservation District, which will recognize two individuals who have supported protection of the environment.
Moulton Farm is donating its services to allow the agency to keep all of the proceeds of the evening to continue its efforts to protect Belknap County’s natural resources.
Donna Hepp, chairman of the board of supervisors, said the event will begin with a farm tour at 4:30 p.m., with the farm-to-table harvest supper beginning at 5:30 p.m. Rob and Patsy Tucker will provide live bluegrass music.
Wine from Hermit Woods Winery will accompany Moulton Farm’s locally grown and sourced harvest supper.
The conservation district is actively seeking grants and donations to support its work, which includes helping landowners and municipalities with natural resource issues ranging from questions about best management practices to technical guidance on particular problems involving soils and slopes.
Although it receives assistance from Belknap County, the conservation district is considered an “outside agency” and consequently cannot rely on continued support. While county contributions remained consistent for a number of years, Hepp said the funding has dropped for the last three years, from $92,000 to $80,000 to $60,000.
The agency successfully applied for some grants to support its projects, and last year received $70,033 in a New England Forest and Rivers grant to develop a forest plan for Gunstock Mountain Resort. The New England Forests and Rivers Fund is a public-private partnership between the National Fish and Wildlife Fund, Eversource’s Partners for New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife, the American Forest Foundation, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Forest Service.
The conservation district also leveraged a $10,000 Moose Plate grant to work with Trout Unlimited to develop a stream restoration assessment for Poorfarm Brook.
As a result of that work, the agency was successful in seeking a $55,730 Forest and Rivers grant this year to create American woodcock habitat and restore two miles along the Poorfarm Brook. The agency also plans to hold stream restoration workshops at Gunstock which will include visiting the stream restoration project site.
Hepp said last year’s grant also allowed the group to do research into the latest boardwalk construction methods to address problems with the Wetlands Walk, a quarter-mile trail next to Gunstock’s campground. They held 10 work days to make temporary repairs to the boardwalk, but they still need to address sections that are tilting by augmenting the supports, Hepp said.
The agency lists its top priorities for Belknap County as being agricultural conservation, community planning and water quality, wetlands and surface mining, wildlife and woodlands, and air quality and energy.
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 921