By Charlie Hancock, CHC Board Chair
First and foremost, thank you to everyone who gave in support of Cold Hollow to Canada this past year. Through your generosity we raised $18,795 in support of our work, bringing a host of programs to our communities, while continuing to advance the pace of conservation in our region. We had set an original goal of $5,000 for 2016, and you blew that goal right out of the water. With all the appreciation in our hearts (and a healthy dose of amazement) THANK YOU!
2017 was quite a year. We secured $650,000 through the USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program to kick-off two new Woodlots groups in Montgomery & Richford and, to provide financial support for the implementation of forest management practices for all three of our Woodlots groups. These new groups are up and running, currently discussing climate change resiliency and how work in our shared landscape can prepare us (and our forests) for the future, and all groups have begun planning for project implementation. Last year CHC was also able to establish the Cold Hollow Land Conservation Fund for the region with a $100,000 award from the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust Fund at The Boston Foundation, and $5,000 from the Linthilac Foundation. We’ve received our first applications for the fund, and we hope to close on our initial project in the first part of the new year. With both of these awards we’re looking forward to supporting our communities & landowners in both stewardship and long term conservation. While both these awards were a big win for Cold Hollow to Canada, they came with an equally large challenge. Neither award provides for the administration and coordination of these programs. That’s why our biggest challenge remains internal capacity to support our work, and why your generosity continues to be so crucial to our work. Again, THANK YOU!
We’ve come farther than I ever imagined as an organization, and we’re looking forward to celebrating our 10th year in 2018, serving the seven towns along our corner of the Green Mountains. As a small non-profit with a volunteer board and one part-time staff member, we’re quite proud of the model we’ve established for increasing the pace of conservation in our region. Over the past three years we’ve focused on strengthening the backbone of our organization by building a stronger board, focusing our programmatic work on wildlife connectivity and forest resiliency, and continuing to develop critical partnerships with local, state and regional organizations that share our mission in order to strength our reach and leverage greater resources towards our mission. Working together, we’ve risen to become one of the most effective small regional conservation partnerships in New England.
Happy New Year (Bonne Année to our friends north of the border!) and wishing you all the best in the days to come. And in case I forgot, THANK YOU!