Land trusts are an important part of local agriculture, helping to make sure we have open space and land to grow food for generations to come. Great Works Land Trust is celebrating their 25th anniversary:
Great Works Regional Land Trust — Annual Meeting & Dinner
Thursday, February 17, 5:30-8:30 pm, public welcome
Great Works Regional Land Trust (GWRLT) is celebrating 25 years of land conservation as the local land trust in the Berwicks, Eliot, Ogunquit, and Wells. The public is invited to the Annual Meeting on February 17th, 2011, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the North Berwick Community Center. Tickets are $7.50 per person and $20.00 per family for dinner and dessert. RSVP to 207-646-3604.
The guest speaker will be Jay Espy, who 25 years ago came to meet with a small group of citizens in the basement of the North Berwick branch of Kennebunk Savings Bank and inspired them to form a land trust in order to conserve much of what makes this part of Maine a place in which people want to live. Espy will discuss GWRLT’s significance on the national level and the conservation challenges ahead. In 2008 Espy became the first Executive Director of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, following a long tenure as Executive Director of Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Espy has many achievements to be proud of, including helping establish the Maine Land Trust Network. He also served as chair of the Land Trust Alliance, a national organization serving land trusts throughout the United States and last fall was recognized with its Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership award.
A member supported, nonprofit organization, Great Works Regional Land Trust’s mission is to conserve the value of our area’s natural, historic, agricultural, forestry, scenic and recreational resources. GWRLT pursues this mission by providing landowners with a means of protecting their lands from future development, by holding property and conservation easements. With 94 projects completed and around 4,500 acres conserved, GWRLT has made a significant impact in Southern Maine. Thousands of volunteer hours; members who support the work with their wallets; a hardworking board; conservation minded landowners; communities that recognize the importance of our natural resources – all have contributed to the successes of the past 25 years.
In order to accomplish its goals, GWRLT has formed partnerships with other conservation organizations, including other land trusts in the area, local conservation commissions, state and federal agencies, and larger organizations such as The Nature Conservancy. The Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative is one such project, a coalition of ten conservation organizations working together to protect a full range of community and ecological values in the six-town area around Mt. Agamenticus.
Great Works Regional Land Trust owns over 1800 acres of land, and maintains trail networks at five locations: Bauneg Beg Mountain Conservation Area, Fox Farm Hill Road in North Berwick; Orris Falls Conservation Area, Thurrell Road in South Berwick; Douglas Memorial Woods, State Road in Eliot; The Raymond & Simone Savage Wildlife Preserve, Dover-Eliot Road in South Berwick; and Beach Plum Farm, Route One in Ogunquit.
For more information, and to RSVP for the Annual Meeting, please visit the Great Works Regional Land Trust website at www.gwrlt.org or call (207) 646-3604.