Campaign for Sunnycrest Apple Orchard (NH) Gains Momentum
Concord, New Hampshire: The campaign to permanently protect Sunnycrest apple orchard in Concord passed an important milestone today, with the announcement that $250,000 in private contributions and pledges has been raised. In addition, the Concord Conservation Commission recently agreed to recommend that City Council approve a contribution of $150,000 to the orchard project from the city’s conservation fund.
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) recently reached an agreement to purchase the 176-acre orchard on Carter Hill Road from its current owner, Sunnycrest Farms, Inc. Now TPL is working with the Friends of the Orchard and the Concord Conservation Trust to raise $1.2 million by March 31, 2001 to conserve the orchard property, replace farm equipment that is not included in the sale, and cover costs associated with the project.
“It has been less than a month since we announced TPL’s agreement to purchase Sunnycrest orchard, and we have already raised $250,000 in private pledges,” said Shireen Tilley, a member of the citizens group Friends of the Orchard. “This reflects tremendous support from the Concord community, but we still have a long way to go to meet our goal of raising $400,000 in private funds by the end of the year. As the holidays approach and our minds and hearts turn to family and festivities, we want to make a special appeal to residents Concord to make a gift to the campaign to preserve Sunnycrest orchard.”
“The Campaign for Sunnycrest Orchard has cleared its first hurdle by raising $250,000 in less than a month. These pledges are especially important because they will provide the local matching funds that enable the project to be eligible for potential state and federal grants—the more we raise locally, the more we can apply for from other sources,” said David Houghton, director of the Trust for Public Land’s field offices in northern New England. “We are preparing to apply for state funding from New Hampshire’s new Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) and for federal funding through the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Our goal is to have all funding identified by March 31, 2001.”
“In the spirit of the holiday season, I can think of no greater gift to the community than supporting this effort. Raising another $150,000 by December 31, 2000 will help us make the strongest possible case for receiving state and federal funds,” said Tom Masland, chairman of the Concord Conservation Trust.
The groups plan to place a conservation and public access easement over the orchard that will prohibit development permanently, and then sell the property to a private buyer for continued agricultural use.
Last week, the Concord Conservation Commission voted to request approval by the City Council for a $150,000 contribution from its conservation fund to the project. The City Council will consider the request in early January.
“The Concord Conservation Commission is delighted to request funding for the orchard project. Because of the strong community support for protecting this important property, we are hopeful that the City Council will approve our recommendation,” said Christopher Morgan, chairman of the Concord Conservation Commission.
With spectacular views of Mount Moosilauke and Mount Cardigan, 50 rolling acres of mature fruit trees, a thriving farmstand, and a long history, Sunnycrest Orchard is an important community meeting place that offers Concord residents a chance to connect with the area’s agricultural heritage. In addition, the orchard is also an important educational and recreational resource. More than 2,000 school children visit the orchard annually on field trips, and the property’s extensive system of hiking and cross-country skiing trails is enjoyed by local residents all year long.
Contributions to the Friends of the Orchard/Concord Conservation Trust are tax-deductible and can be sent to the Friends of the Orchard, 73 Carter Hill Road, Concord, NH 03301. For more information about making anonymous gifts, or gifts of stock and securities, please contact Anne Truslow at the Trust for Public Land, (207) 772-7424 x1.
The Trust for Public Land is a national conservation organization dedicated to protecting land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres nationwide, including nearly 10,000 acres in New Hampshire. To learn more, contact TPL’s Northern New England Field Office at (802) 223-1373 or visit www.tpl.org.
Note to editors:
To have a scanned picture e-mailed to you, contact Erin Rowland at (617) 367-6200 x321.