Barbara Lemieux, 2016

The Merrimack Helps Fund Forest Society North at The Rocks in Bethlehem

Carriage Barn at The Rocks
Photo Courtesy: Shanna Hale

Merrimack County Savings Bank (The Merrimack) is supporting the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests’ restoration project at The Rocks in Bethlehem as they continue to rebuild following a devastating fire in 2019. The $25,000 in tax credits purchased through the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) will be used to renovate the historic Carriage Barn into a net-zero energy efficient structure, featuring geothermal and solar photovoltaic systems.

“We’re thankful for The Merrimack’s contribution to help reconstruct this iconic North Country destination,” said Jack Savage, President, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “In wake of the fire that destroyed two historic buildings, this is just the beginning of the next chapter at The Rocks.”

“The Rocks not only captures the pastoral beauty of the turn of the 20th Century in New Hampshire, but it’s also an economic driver for the region,” said Linda Lorden, President of The Merrimack. “We’re honored to give back to an organization dedicated to providing educational and recreational opportunities to the community.”

The renovation at The Rocks is part of an $8.5 million “Forest Society North at The Rocks” campaign to build on a tradition of conservation, education and innovation. Since 1978, the Forest Society has operated a vibrant Christmas tree farm and education center at The Rocks, while also managing the 1,400-acre property as a working forest.

In addition to creating a welcoming natural and cultural history destination, the Forest Society’s investment at The Rocks will allow professional conservation staff serving the North Country to be based at The Rocks. The Forest Society owns 17 forest reservations in the North Country and is in the process of purchasing 3,750 acres in Shelburne, known as the Mahoosuc Highlands.

CDFA tax credits allow businesses to fund qualifying economic or community development projects in exchange for a tax credit that can be applied against state business tax payments. The tax credits are administered by the New Hampshire CDFA. Any business with operations in New Hampshire that contributes to a CDFA tax credit project receives a New Hampshire state tax credit worth 75 percent of their contribution. The credit can be used over a period of five years to reduce the business’ state tax liability (business profits, business enterprise, or insurance premium taxes). The tax credit program allows New Hampshire businesses to use their state tax dollars to support local projects that they care about. CDFA reviews many project applications each year, and awards tax credits to those they determine are feasible and will make the biggest impact on economic development in the state. Visit for more information.

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