As of April 1st, Coastal Mountains Land Trust met the goals needed to successfully complete the first year of its new Waldo County Conservation Initiative – a community effort to increase the amount of permanently conserved land in Waldo County for the benefit of wildlife, sustainable recreation, outdoor learning and climate protection.

In total, the Initiative raised $280,805 in support of the acquisition and stewardship of over 495 acres within the 12 Waldo County towns served by the Land Trust including Belfast, Belmont, Brooks, Knox, Lincolnville, Morrill, Northport, Prospect, Searsport, Stockton Springs, Swanville, and Waldo. In 2022 and early 2023, the Land Trust was thrilled to match a number of generous land donations from private landowners and earlier contributions with $100,805 in donations from individual community members and $180,000 from grants and foundations in Maine and beyond. In addition to an anonymous foundation, support was provided by the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Program, Leaves of Grass Fund, Mudge Foundation, Fields Pond Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, John Sage Foundation, and Margaret G. Jacobs Charitable Trust.

Specifically, the resources raised through the Initiative funded the addition of land to the Meadow Brook Preserve in Swanville and the Mount Tuck and Main Stream Preserves in Stockton Springs. The Land Trust also acquired its first two conservation parcels in the Town of Knox and completed the acquisition of its first Learning Landscape Preserve in Searsport within walking distance of the three local public schools. Together, these new preserves protect large areas of intact forest and high value wildlife habitats including extensive wetlands while also providing expanded opportunities for outdoor recreation and learning.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone, including our 12 volunteer committee members, who helped make the first year of this initiative a success. Coastal Mountains Land Trust is excited to build upon this momentum and continue to make an impact in our local community,” shared Elisabeth Wolfe of Belfast, Coastal Mountains Land Trust Board Member and Chair of the Waldo County Conservation Initiative Committee.

The Waldo County Conservation Initiative is ongoing and the team at Coastal Mountains Land Trust is actively working on and identifying new projects to pursue this year. To get involved, support the initiative, or stay up to date on the latest projects, click here.