Latest News

Planning Lunches at Noon (PLAN) Monthly Webinar Series

The NH Office of Planning and Development (OPD) conducts monthly webinar series every third Thursday from 12 pm to 1 pm concerning various planning and zoning topics. To view upcoming webinars, click here.
Registration is required. All sessions are recorded and later published on their website and YouTube channel.
The webinar is a joint collaboration of NHOPD, NHMA, and the Regional Planning Commissions represented by Southern NH Planning Commission.

For assistance or if you have any questions, please e-mail


2024 Local Source Water Protection Grant Applications Are Now Available!
Grants are available from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to develop and implement programs to protect local sources of drinking water. Public water suppliers, municipalities, regional planning agencies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, conservation districts, and watershed associations are eligible to receive funding. Grant projects must protect surface or groundwater actively used or that will be used in the future by public water systems as sources of drinking water.
Applicants can receive up to $25,000 for non-climate related source protection projects (see list below) including certain activities required under US EPA’s Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit that work to limit stormwater impacts and protect source water. Routine operations/maintenance activities required under MS4 permits are not eligible.
Applicants can receive up to $30,000 for a source protection project that addresses climate/weather-related challenges – flooding, drought, cyanobacteria blooms, stormwater pollution, erosion, and sedimentation. This funding is offered to help public water systems and communities become more resilient, sustainable and save money in the long-term. Further guidance can be found at the end of the application.
The application packet is now available online to allow time for applicants to identify key partners/stakeholders and craft a high-quality grant proposal. NHDES is happy to confer and exchange ideas with potential applicants in advance of the development of an application. Applications are due November 1, 2023.  
Examples of source water protection projects:
  • Development and adoption of municipal groundwater and surface water protection regulations similar to NHDES’ or other state models
  • Source security enhancements such as fencing, gates, or cameras
  • Developing, updating and implementation of local source water protection plans and ordinances with the integration of climate-related goals
  • Certain transactional costs associated with land conservation to protect drinking water sources
  • Implementation of stormwater best management practices
  • Completing state Groundwater Reclassification for community well(s)
  • High-risk residential heating oil tank replacement
  • Education and outreach campaigns
  • Projects which prepare first responders to protect public water supplies
For more information, visit, or contact Melissa Macheras if you have questions or wish to discuss your project.
Contact:     Melissa Macheras, Source Protection Coordinator
                  Drinking Water & Groundwater Bureau, NHDES
                  (603) 271-2950

State Ten Year Plan on Transportation

Proposed Lakes Region Projects in 2023 - 2032 Ten Year Plan

The purpose of the State's Ten Year Plan is to develop and implement a plan allowing New Hampshire to fully participate in federally supported transportation improvement projects as well as to outline projects and programs funded with State transportation dollars. View list of projects.


The US Department of Agriculture has recently published its Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Impact Report for Vermont and New Hampshire. This document contains information on projects by counties as well as program reports on housing, water & environment, community, business & cooperative, and electric & telecom.
Through its wide variety of programs, USDA Rural Development works with municipalities, businesses, regional development corporations, institutions of higher education, non-profit entities, and agricultural producers as well as rural residents in an effort to strengthen communities, increase quality of life, and expand local economies.
Click here to view the full report.


Broadband Technical Assistance Program: USDA Offers New Funding to Promote the Expansion of High-Speed Internet in Rural Areas.

$20 million in Technical Assistance Funding is Available to Plan High-Speed Internet Projects in Rural Communities.
Click here to read the April 17, 2023 press release.


Land & Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP)
Since 2001, LCHIP has proudly awarded $54 million dollars to 364 organizations in 195 communities across New Hampshire to conserve and preserve New Hampshire's most important natural, cultural, and historic resources. These types of grants are as follows:
Preservation Planning Grants
To support the study of eligible historic resources.
Historic Rehabilitation Grants
To support the restoration or rehabilitation of eligible historic resources.
Natural Resource Acquisition Grants
To support the permanent protection of ecologically significant lands.
An organization applying for LCHIP funding must be either a municipality or other political subdivision of the State of New Hampshire, or be a publicly supported nonprofit corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code. Other interested parties may partner or work with an eligible organization or government entity but may not apply directly through LCHIP.
Grant Round 22 will open in 2023!
Prospective applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) through LCHIP’s online grant management portal (Grant Lifecycle Manager) in May 2023. 
LCHIP staff will review the information provided for compliance with LCHIP’s eligibility criteria and respond within five business days. All eligible projects will be invited to submit a complete proposal in June 2023. 
The proposal and required documentation are also submitted through LCHIP’s online grant management portal. Detailed instructions on how to complete the application and additional guidance materials are provided within the portal.

From July to October 2023, a Review Panel comprised of experts in various elements of natural and historic resource conservation will review all proposals and conduct site visits to project sites in order to gain a better understanding of each project. The Review Panels provide recommendations to the Board of Directors, which is responsible for making the final funding decisions.

Applicants will be notified of the Board's decision in mid-November 2023.

Each organization receiving an LCHIP award is required to enter into a Project Agreement with LCHIP. The Project Agreement summarizes the obligations of the Grant Recipient and LCHIP, and outlines the project’s scope, structure and purpose as understood by LCHIP. To accept an LCHIP Award, an authorized representative of the recipient organization must sign and return the Project Agreement by the established deadline.

If a proposal is not funded, a representative of the applicant organization will be invited to meet with LCHIP staff to discuss the project and proposal. The goal of these meetings is to assist applicants to identify ways in which the project or proposal could be strengthened in the future. There is no prohibition against resubmitting an improved proposal for the project in future LCHIP grant rounds.
Click here for a list of FAQ’s about funding and grants.
Copyright © 2022
LCHIP | 3 N Spring St., Suite 100, Concord, NH 03301 | Phone: 603-224-4113 | Email:


Congratulations to our 2022 Preservation Achievement Award Winners!

Nine rescue, rehabilitation, and revitalization projects and two outstanding leaders of the preservation movement were unveiled on May 3. The 2022 Preservation Alliance's Preservation Achievement Award winners include the preservation of rare and iconic properties, stewardship of community assets and gathering places, and community development successes.

"It is wonderful for us to have the opportunity to honor people who are making a difference in communities across the state," said Nicholas Mitchell, Chairman of the Preservation Alliance Board of Directors. "These are the kinds of places we can't imagine New Hampshire without," said Jennifer Goodman, Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance, "and we hope these awards help inspire more preservation activity."

Click here to learn more.

The Planning Board in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials (updated 2021)
The Board of Adjustment in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials (updated 2021)

2021 editions of the Office of Strategic Initiatives's (OSI) handbooks for Planning and Zoning Boards are now available. Designed to serve as introductions to the organization, powers, duties, and procedures of Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustment in New Hampshire, these guides will acquaint board members and others with the basic board responsibilities of each and suggest procedures by which the work of the boards can be carried out in a fair and effective manner.

Visit the OSI website where you can view additional planning and zoning publications.


USDA Launches Resource Guide on Building a Recreation Economy

July 2020 — USDA has launched a Recreation Economy Resource Guide to provide rural community leaders and economic development practitioners a complete list of programs at Rural Development, Forest Service, and National Institute for Food and Agriculture that can be used to support recreational economies in rural America. 

The guide addresses key factors necessary to build a sustainable recreational economy including natural resource management, conservation activities, infrastructure investment, business development and more.

New Hampshire Broadband Impact Survey

State of New Hampshire
Social Distancing Broadband Impact

Take the Survey to help the State identify gaps in residential Internet connectivity.

State Ten Year Plan on Transportation

Proposed Lakes Region Projects in 2021-2030 Ten Year Plan

The purpose of the State's Ten Year Plan is to develop and implement a plan allowing New Hampshire to fully participate in federally supported transportation improvement projects as well as to outline projects and programs funded with State transportation dollars. View list of projects.

A resource for farmers and municipal decision makers


Headwaters Economics Toolset

Economic Profile System

In 2017 we were introduced to the Headwaters Economics Toolset. Using these report generators you can download socioeconomic reports of communities, counties, and states, including aggregations and comparisons. The Economic Profile System (EPS) uses federal data sources, including the Bureaus of Economic Analysis, Census, & others. EPS is also known as the Human Dimensions Toolkit by the Forest Service. Try it yourself here.

We'd like to thank
UNH Cooperative Extension for providing us reports for all of the towns in the Lakes Region. Click the links below to view the reports. They will also be available on the towns' pages.

Please note: This information changes frequently. These reports were generated on July 14, 2017. For more up-to-date information, please use the tool to generate your own reports.

Alexandria Hebron
Alton Hill
Andover Holderness
Ashland Laconia
Barnstead Meredith
Belmont Moultonborough
Bridgewater New Hampton
Bristol Northfield
Center Harbor Ossipee
Danbury Sanbornton
Effingham Sandwich
Franklin Tamworth
Freedom Tilton
Gilford Tuftonboro
Gilmanton Wolfeboro