Methuen non-profit donates more than $50,000 to help fund 6 local preservation projects

The Festival of Trees, Inc. is proud to announce the recipients of its 2012 Preservation Grant Program.  This Methuen-based non-profit organization raises money through its annual Festival of Trees event to fund historic preservation and restoration in the city of Methuen and throughout the Merrimack Valley.  Local businesses housed in historic properties, individual homeowners of historic homes, as well as public historic entities are encouraged each year to apply for the Festival of Trees grant program to help fund area preservation efforts.  This year’s recipients are as follows:

  • Forest Street Union Church (Methuen, MA): $19,950.00 donated to repair and upgrade the leather nuts and manual pipes of the Searles Organ, built by Ernest Skinner and Sons in 1898.
  • St. Paul’s Church (Newburyport, MA): $10,000 donated to fund the restoration of the 1862 Williams Stevens organ in the St. Anna’s Chapel.
  • Old Meetinghouse (Sandown, NH): $10,000 donated to repair the exterior of building as well as replace cracked or broken glass windowpanes.
  • City of Haverhill/Hand Tub House (Haverhill, MA): $10,000 donated to restore the masonry foundation of the 1840 Hand Tub House which serves as a meeting house to hold social and community activities.
  • Union Congregational Church (Amesbury, MA): $6,000 donated to restore the historic windows in the 1835 church sanctuary.
  • Hampstead Meetinghouse (Hampstead, NH): $1,335.00 donated to repair and restore the balustrade of the belfry deck level of the meetinghouse tower.

“We started this event with the purpose to restore and preserve our heritage here in Methuen and now we are helping to do the same in many of our surrounding communities,” said Ann Guastaferro, President of the Festival of Trees.  “We have had a sizeable increase in grant applications over the past few years and our goal is to help fund as many of these wonderful projects as we can.”

To date, the Festival has spent $1.150 million dollars to fund over 102 preservation project grants throughout the Merrimack Valley.  The Festival of Trees will kick off its 19th year on November 17, 2012 and will run through December 1, 2012.