MMLA logo                  
                                                         picture credit: John McLaughlin

Lake water temperature finally dropping

The water temperature remained consistently high for most of the summer season this year. Temps are finally dropping with the cool/cold nights this week, dropping below 70 for the first time since mid-June. More info and data on Lake Level tab.


Announcing the Birch Ridge Matching Challenge


Dear Lake Neighbor,


Many of you have asked MMLA board members how you can help conserve the Birch Ridge Community Forest.  This email answers just that question and outlines the progress to date. If you are not familiar with the Birch Ridge property and the project, please visit our partner SELT’s informative webpage about the project: Birch Ridge Community Forest.


Fundraising Update


Since MMLA’s annual meeting, I am happy to report the partnership between the MMLA Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire (SELT), and Moose Mountains Regional Greenways has made great strides in the effort to conserve the 2,000 acre Birch Ridge Community Forest. 


To acquire, conserve, and steward this scenic backdrop to Merrymeeting Lake, a total of $2.95 million is needed.  This figure includes the purchase price, due diligence and transaction costs, closing costs, and sufficient funds for the long-term management and stewardship of the land and its trails.  These funds will come from a mix of public and private sources.


Public funds: The Partnership projects that public funds could provide between 40 and 60% of the total cost, and SELT has applied to four state and federal grant programs.  While SELT believes the Birch Ridge project is competitive, each of these programs is in high demand with limited resources.  For instance, one program received $12 million in requests with just $4 million available to disburse.  Decisions from these grant programs are anticipated by the end of this year.  Prior to making their decisions, these programs will inquire as to the status of private fundraising efforts and use that information as a signal of the project’s community support.  Good progress on private contributions will impress the decision-makers on for these critical public funds. This is where you can help make an impact!


Private funds:  The Partnership has set a private fundraising goal of at least $1.5 million – roughly 50% of the total cost.   Early supporters contributed an initial $200,000 to MMLA toward the deposit on the sales agreement, leaving $1.3 million remaining to be raised. 


Birch Ridge Matching Challenge


To inspire community giving, a group of leadership donors have established the Birch Ridge Matching Challenge, pledging an additional $655,000, with the condition that it be matched by other donors.  Because of this extraordinary challenge, your gift or pledge of any amount will be matched dollar for dollar, doubling the impact of your gift.  Here’s a quick illustration:


Gifts of all sizes are welcome and will be matched.  I am pleased to share that to date, nearly $100,000 in private gifts has been made toward this matching challenge. 

Please join me and the entire MMLA Board in making your gift or pledge today. SELT is the non-profit fiscal agent for this project and has been designated to receive Birch Ridge gifts and pledges.  Here’s how you can double the impact of your commitment:


Ready to make a gift?  All gifts will be restricted to the Birch Ridge Community Forest. If the project is not completed, gifts will be returned to the donor and pledges canceled. 

o   By check: Make checks payable to “SELT” with “Birch Ridge” in the memo field and mail directly to: SELT, PO Box 675, Exeter, NH 03833.

o   By credit card or debit card:  Contribute online using Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express or your debit card through SELT’s website.

o   Gifts of securities: Please call SELT at 603/ 778-6088 for instructions about how to make a gift of securities.

o   IRA Distribution: If you are over 70 ½, you can make a tax-free, direct distribution from your IRA to a charitable organization, meeting your required minimum distribution (RMD).  Please call SELT at 603/ 778-6088 to discuss this option

·         Considering a pledge? SELT is accepting pledges payable by December 31, 2021 – allowing you to use the next 40 months (over four tax years) to make the biggest impact with your gift.  Use this online form to make a pledge with recurring monthly or annual payments.  To customize your pledge to meet your family’s charitable giving needs, goals, and financial circumstances, please contact SELT’s Deputy Director Beverly Shadley (, or Brian Hart, Executive Director (, at 603-778-6088.  All discussions are confidential.   


Twice in the past decade the opportunity to protect Birch Ridge has passed by without success.  Thanks to a strong working partnership with SELT and Moose Mountains Regional Greenways, we have the best chance yet.  This summer the chance to conserve Birch Ridge is before us, and together, we can succeed.  Please make a gift or pledge today.

Thank you for your consideration and support, and to those who have already contributed, thank you for your generosity.

Kind Regards,

Bill Bassett

President of the Board

Merrymeeting Lake Association


New Hampshire’s One Millionth Boat Inspection Contest winner is Merrymeeting Lake

The NH LAKES Lake Host program has been conducting courtesy boat inspections to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species since 2002. This program reached one million inspections this summer. To celebrate, NH LAKES randomly selected a participating boater and Lake Host program to receive a prize as the official one millionth inspection!

    Merrymeeting Lake was the winner!

Sara Kowalski, long time lake host and program manager, thought she was participating in a promotional video.  While doing a routine boat inspection for the video, Sara found and read the announcement that Merrymeeting Lake had won!   

Watch the video on YouTube at

Merrymeeting Lake Association won $500 towards the cost of the Lake Host program and the lucky boater also won $500.  Thanks to Sara for being a good sport and for her long-standing commitment to the Lake Host program.


 MMLA LakeCam - username: mmlaguest, password: mmla

Birch Ridge Community Forest

Would you like to help save Birch Ridge?  Learn more and donate here,


MMLA Membership

We are shooting for record membership this year, and we are very close. Your membership will never be more important than this year. If you have not joined, please do so today!

Use the buttons below to upate your MMLA membership and optional donations for 2018 

Or use membership form here

The funds are described in our  newsletter under the "Assocation" link on this website.

Select dues and donation amounts


Click for New Durham, New Hampshire Forecast