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Update #4: Momentum for Birch Ridge!

Wow!  That’s the simple summary of an amazing week for the effort to conserve Birch Ridge.

Our friends at SELT report that over the past 10 days they were overwhelmed with more than 75 new pledges and gifts for Birch Ridge.  This included many who put pen to paper and formalized their verbal commitments into signed pledges outlining the specifics of their gift and payment schedule. As of today, nearly 200 families have contributed to Birch Ridge – thank you all! 

The impact of this tremendous response: you all have risen to the Birch Ridge Matching Challenge, securing the full matching challenge and contributing more than $900,000!  All told, private pledges and gifts now total over $1.75 million.  Thank you!

This outpouring of private support has greatly enhanced our prospects for a positive response from our remaining public sources.

Here’s why.  Private support for Birch Ridge is demonstrating the importance of this project and making it more viable.  This fall two state funding sources (the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program and the NH Aquatic Resources Mitigation Fund,) will be deciding on whether to fund our partner SELT’s application for the Birch Ridge project.  Competition amongst these funding programs is intense, and both programs seek to fund the largest number of projects possible to spread their impact across the State of New Hampshire.  This often results in grants being awarded less than the applicant's requested amount.  SELT is cautiously optimistic that the project will receive a grant from one or both programs. 

If you have not made your gift or pledge yet, there is still time, and private contributions remain important.  While the matching challenge has been fully met, your gift or pledge is still needed to conserve Birch Ridge.  As a reminder, to make a gift, use SELT’s online gift form or mail a check payable to “Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire” to PO Box 675, Exeter, NH 03833 (with Birch Ridge in the memo line).  Should you like to discuss a potential gift or pledge, make a gift of securities, or make a qualified charitable distribution from your Individual Retirement Account, please contact SELT’s Executive Director Brian Hart ( or Deputy Director Bev Shadley ( or by phone at 603/ 778-6088.   They will guide you through the process, answer your questions, and tailor your gift or pledge to meet your goals and circumstances. 

Thank you again to all whom have contributed, and for those who are considering it, please join nearly 200 families by making your gift today!

Thank you.
Kind regards,

William Bassett

President, Merrymeeting Lake Association

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Birch Ridge Community Forest

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