Environmental License Plates That Make a Difference, Part 1: New England

This month New Hampshire released a new special license plate that specifically benefits New Hampshire State Parks—and provides you with a year's free entry to NH State Parks to boot. It marks the latest additions to New England's roster of plates that directly support environmental efforts. Here's a quick round-up.

The New Hampshire State Park Plate features a profile on one side of the Old Man of the Mountain (who even in his defunct rubbled condition seems destined to live in perpetuity as the state's abiding symbol) and the New Hampshire State Parks logo on the other. It costs $85, plus a few fees. Proceeds support operation and maintenance of New Hampshire State Parks. If you already have the existing Moose Plate—which benefits a variety of conservation and cultural preservation groups—you can combine the two into one super moose-park plate (pictured).

Maine has offered the Maine Loon License Plate since 1993. It benefits the state's Bureau of Public Lands and Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. In 2008, the loon plate generated $145,000 in support for the maintenance and improvement of state parklands.

Vermont has unveiled a new version of the Vermont Conservation License Plate, which provides financial support to the state's Non-game Wildlife Fund and Watershed Grant Fund, which works to protect local water resources. The new version features a catamount, or mountain lion. The original version featured a peregrine falcon, and is still available.

Massachusetts has three "Preserve the Trust" Plates that all provide funds to the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, which provides grants to conservation projects and efforts with a focus on water and water quality issues. You can currently choose from a Right Whale Environmental Plate, a Leaping Brook Trout Plate, or a Blackstone Valley Mill Plate. A fourth, new plate—the Land & Water Plate—will be available soon.

Rhode Island offers the Osprey License Plate, which supports the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and Save the Bay.

Connecticut provides several Environmental Plates, including designs for wildlife conservation, greenways, and Long Island Sound. They may tout your particular conservation interests, but don't provide any special proceeds toward those efforts.

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.