Mary H. Perry Land Conservation Fund

The Mary H. Perry Conservation Fund (MHPCF) was established in 2008 as a partnership between the White Oak Pond Watershed Association (WOPWA) and the Squam Lakes Conservation Society (SLCS) to promote protection and preservation of White Oak Pond Watershed land. The fund encourages conservation easements by assisting donor landowners with costs associated with protecting land.

 

Conservation easements are one of the most important tools for ensuring long term protection of natural landscape and wildlife.  Donating an easement to a land conservation organization is a generous act that puts love for the natural qualities of land ahead of future material gain for oneself or one’s heirs. Everyone benefits: witness the numerous hiking trails, islands, and undeveloped hillsides that residents and visitors to Holderness are able to enjoy because of easements and gifts of land to conservation organizations.

 

Donors, however, incur expenses associated with land protection, such as survey costs and legal fees. The MHPCF has the explicit goal of allowing WOPWA to partner with donors to morally and materially support them in protecting land.  To that end, people involved in land conservation projects may apply for assistance from the fund, with the fund helping to defray the expenses with a gift of up to 20% of the fund balance at the close of the previous calendar year.

Background


The White Oak Pond Watershed Association (WOPWA) was conceived by long-time resident Mary Perry as an organization that would work to monitor the water quality and to protect the lands around White Oak Pond. The organization was founded in 1973 by Mary and other residents of the watershed. Over the years, WOPWA has worked to protect the wetlands and wildlife, to reduce land development around the pond, to educate members and the public regarding pond and watershed ecology, and to nurture the community fabric among persons living near or visiting the watershed area.

At the time of Mary Perry’s passing in 2006, WOPWA appointed a committee to explore possibilities for a fitting memorial to Mary’s advocacy for protecting the pond and its watershed. In July 2008, the Board and membership approved creation of a conservation land fund, formally named the Mary H. Perry Memorial Conservation Fund (MHPCF).

Current Status

 

The percentage of land with conservation easements around the pond continues to grow.  This map shows the status as of Fall, 2012 and the latest letter of appeal gives more detai on the status of the fund and has answers to some frequently asked questions about donating a conservation easement.


How You Can Help

 


The MHPCF is an opportunity for friends of the Pond to earmark a gift of any size to support conservation easements in the White Oak Pond Watershed. WOPWA's goal is to raise a total of $25,000 over five years.  Gifts of any amount are encouraged—so everyone can take part. A minimum gift of $100 per year for each watershed member family is suggested. Leadership gifts of $500, $1,000 and $2,500 for individuals and families that are able would certainly help to vigorously launch this vital project. Donors may find that gifts of appreciated stock may be a better form of a gift than cash.


Contributions can be made by using this donor card.  Donations to the fund are tax deductible since they are received by SLCS which is a charitable 501 C3.

We hope that if you are a visitor to White Oak Pond, a resident of the watershed, or a conservation minded citizen of the Lakes Region, you will consider this opportunity to foster long term land quality in our community.