News Archive

Loon Echo Gears up For Their 6th Season of Acoustic Sunset Concerts at Hacker’s Hill Preserve 

BRIDGTON, ME (June 14, 2017) – Loon Echo Land Trust’s famous Acoustic Sunset Concerts Series on top of Hacker’s Hill Preserve on Quaker Ridge Road in Casco, ME returns Friday,  June 23rd for a 6th season.  This summer’s opening concert will feature the vocals and guitar work of nationally renowned musician Bruce Marshall.  A tireless performer with great originals, an expressive, soulful voice and accompanying guitar style on acoustic and steel dobro, he’s earned a reputation as one of New England’s best. 

 

The open, grassy fields of this beautiful land allow for comfortable lawn chair seating with extraordinary sunset views of the Lakes Region and White Mountains acting as a backdrop to for the performers.  Since 2012 Loon Echo has been hosting “Acoustic Sunset” concerts to raise money to benefit the stewardship and maintenance of the preserve.  Numerous local musicians have performed at the Acoustic Sunset Series including Bold Riley, Helena Nash with Jud Caswell, Davy Sturtevant and Dennis and Davey. 

Bruce Marshal

Deemed a conservation priority, this 27 acre hilltop was protected by Loon Echo Land Trust in June of 2012 with the support and generous donations from the town of Casco, local businesses, the general public and funds from the State of Maine’s Lands for Maine’s Future program. Prior to Loon Echo taking over ownership of Hacker’s Hill it was generously maintained for public enjoyment by the Hall family.  For generations, folks who have grown up in the lakes region of Maine hold fond memories of “the hill”.  From star gazing, prom pictures, graduation celebrations and wedding ceremonies, the breathtaking views of the surrounding region make Hacker’s Hill Preserve the kind of place one never forgets and longs to go back and visit. 

 

Bring your family and friends, a picnic dinner, a lawn chair or blanket and soak up the splendor of the sunset while listening to the concert.  The concert will run from 6:00-8:00 pm with a suggested donation of $10/Adults and $5/Child to benefit the ongoing stewardship efforts of Hacker’s Hill.  

Parking is available by driving to the top of the road into Hacker’s Hill Preserve on Quaker Ridge Road in Casco, approximately one mile from the Route 11 intersection and four miles from the Route 302 intersection.  Carpooling is advised.  For more information visit our website www.lelt.org or call 207-647-4352 or info@lelt.org.

Announcing Loon Echo Land Trust’s Environmental Education Grants

 (Bridgton, ME)  November 28, 2016   Many parents and educators are grappling with the same questions: “How do I get my children to spend more time outside?  How can I teach them to appreciate the natural world?  Loon Echo Land Trust has an answer.  To help children learn about their environment and the importance of protecting our region’s land and natural resources, bring the environment to them.   Every year, schools and libraries in Loon Echo’s 7-town service area (Denmark, Bridgton, Harrison, Naples, Casco, Raymond and Sebago) are invited to apply for one of Loon Echo’s Environmental Education Grants.

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Chewonki Tidal Pool Program at the Harrison Village Library

Loon Echo’s 2016 recipients used their grants for a host of outdoor activities and to bring in expert speakers.  The Harrison Village Library used their grant to host Chewonki’s Traveling Natural History program, Tide Pools, allowing children to learn more about Maine’s rocky intertidal ecosystem.  And the Bridgton Public Library has developed naturalist backpacks which can be “checked-out” like a book and include items for children and their caregivers to use as fun educational tools on their outdoor adventures. 

Loon Echo is pleased to announce they are accepting applications for these grants now through January 15, 2017.  Applications may be downloaded from Loon Echo’s website at www.LELT.org (under the Programs tab) and returned by email or mail by the January deadline.  Grant recipients will be notified by mid-February of 2017. 

Loon Echo Land Trust protects nearly 6,700 acres of land and manages 30 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region. Its mission is to work with the local residents to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations.  Loon Echo serves seven towns including Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago with an area of 320 square miles located directly north of Sebago Lake.  Loon Echo works within its service area to safeguard water quality, preserve scenic gems such as Bald Pate Mountain, and provide outreach and fun educational programs to the public.  Loon Echo assists landowners to take steps to ensure future generations will benefit from the preservation of their lands.  

 For information about membership, upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, go to their website www.lelt.org or call 207-647-4352.

The New Ledges Trailhead Parking Lot Open

Loon Echo Land Trust Completes Construction on the Ledges Trail Parking Lot at Pleasant Mountain Preserve

Until recently hikers wishing to ascend Loon Echo Land Trust’s Ledges Trail to the summit of Pleasant Mountain had to park along Mountain Road in Denmark.  Upon hearing the need for a parking lot, North Rock Partners, represented by Bridgton resident Phil Libby, responded by donating 2.39 acres of land specifically to ease the problem.  Upon receiving the deed to the property on November 2nd, Loon Echo immediately designed a parking lot and hired local contractor, Khiel Excavation, to do the construction.

The need for the new parking area arose due to the year-round popularity of the Ledges Trail on Pleasant Mountain.  “Loon Echo recognized the safety concern that the lack of adequate off-road parking created with only a small pull off available,” said Thom Perkins, Executive Director of Loon Echo Land Trust, “ Now instead of a line of cars parked along Mountain Road 18-20 cars can be accommodated right at the trailhead.”

“We are happy to proledges-lotvide this recreational parking lot for the public at one of our most popular hiking trails at Pleasant Mountain Preserve,” said Jon Evans, Loon Echo’s Stewardship Manager.  “This new parking area will be open year round and will be plowed throughout the upcoming winter season.”  Khiel Excavation is donating plowing services for the parking lot this winter.

 

Loon Echo’s Ledges Trail is a popular hike year round for outdoor enthusiasts looking to summit the state’s iconic Pleasant Mountain.  The Ledges Trail is 1.8 miles from trailhead to the summit of Pleasant Mountain with a 1.600 foot elevation gain.  The new parking area is located at the at the site of the previous 4-car roadside parking pull off, approximately 3 miles from the intersection of Mountain Road and Route 302 in Bridgton.

“We would like to thank Phil Libby of North Rock Partners, Khiel Excavation and the Town of Denmark.  With their help and support the project was completed ahead of schedule,“ said David Diller, Loon Echo Land Trust’s president.
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Loon Echo Land Trust protects nearly 6,700 acres of land and manages 30 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region. Its mission is to work with the local residents to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations.  Loon Echo serves seven towns including Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago with an area of 320 square miles located directly north of Sebago Lake.  Loon Echo works within its service area to safeguard water quality, preserve scenic gems such as Bald Pate Mountain, and provide outreach and fun educational programs to the public.  Loon Echo assists landowners to take steps to ensure future generations will benefit from the preservation of their lands.

For information about membership, upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, go to their website www.lelt.org or call 207-647-4352.

 

 

Loon Echo Seeks Your Input

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The Board of Directors is embarking on our next 3 year Strategic Plan.  In order to understand where the organization is heading, it is important to know who you are and what you think Loon Echo should be doing.  We value your input and ask you to please take 3 minutes to fill out a short survey.

Start Survey Now

 

Loon Echo Land Trust Receives Land Donation to Improve Parking at the Ledges Trail Head

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Phil Libby of North Rock Partners presents deed to Thom Perkins, Executive Director of Loon Echo Land Trust

 

Hikers looking to take Loon Echo Land Trust’s Ledges Trail on Pleasant Mountain and residents surrounding its location on Mountain Road in Denmark will soon have a solution to the popular trailhead’s limited parking.  Through the generous donation of 2.39 acres on Mountain Road from North Rock Partners, represented by Phil Libby, to Loon Echo Land Trust, the Bridgton based nonprofit will construct an improved parking area allowing up to 25 cars to park.

“Our Stewardship Manager, Jon Evans, is in the process of final design and we expect to have this parking lot available by December 1st, Loon Echo’s Executive Director, Thom Perkins notes. “We fully expect that this new parking lot will help eliminate parking issues along Mountain Road and be a great resource for the year-round hiking public.”

Loon Echo’s Ledges Trail is a popular hike year round for outdoor enthusiasts looking to summit the state’s iconic Pleasant Mountain.  The Ledges Trail is 1.8 miles from trail-head to the summit of Pleasant Mountain with a 1.600 foot elevation gain.  The new parking area will be location at the same location as the existing 4-car roadside parking pull off, approximately 3 miles from the intersection of Mountain Road and Route 302 in Bridgton.

Loon Echo Land Trust protects nearly 6,700 acres of land and manages 30 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region. Its mission is to work with the local residents to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations.  Loon Echo serves seven towns including Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago with an area of 320 square miles located directly north of Sebago Lake.  Loon Echo works within its service area to safeguard water quality, preserve scenic gems such as Bald Pate Mountain, and provide outreach and fun educational programs to the public.  Loon Echo assists landowners to take steps to ensure future generations will benefit from the preservation of their lands.

For information about membership, upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, go to their website www.lelt.org or call 207-647-4352.

Gate to Hacker’s Hill Preserve Closed For the Winter Season

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Hackers Hill in the winter.  Photo Connie Cross

After another fantastic summer and fall, the gate to drive up to Hacker’s Hill Preserve in Casco is officially closed for the winter season.  We will re-open to vehicular traffic in the spring of 2017 and as always, foot traffic is welcome year round.

The $800,000 capital campaign to protect Hacker’s Hill was completed in 2013 as a result of generous donations from the town and many businesses and members.  Hacker’s Hill holds a special place in the hearts of so many people who have visited to celebrate proms, weddings, family gatherings and of course to see the sun set over the White Mountains.

The “hill” attracts visitors from all over New England as the road to the top allows everyone and all abilities to enjoy its quiet solace.   Loon Echo offers programs to the public at the preserve every year including geology programs, hawk migration watches and kite making programs with the town of Casco and our annual summertime Acoustic Sunset Concert series.  In the winter visitors can park in the small pull off to the left of the entrance and hike to the top for stunning views of the winter landscape.   Snow snowmobiling is welcome on the designated trail seen on the preserve map HERE.

If you are interested in holding a wedding or other event at Hacker’s Hill Preserve, click HERE for the reservation form.  If you have any questions please email us at info@lelt.org or call (207)-647-4352.

 

 

 

Loon Echo Land Trust Seeks Accreditation – Public Comment Period Open

September 6, 2016 BRIDGTON, ME – The non-profit conservation organization Loon Echo Land Trust based in Bridgton, ME is seeking accreditation through the Land Trust Alliance Commission.  The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever.  A public comment period is now open.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs. “

“The Board of Directors voted to seek accreditation and the staff and board have been working towards this goal for a couple of years,” said Thom Perkins, Loon Echo’s Executive Director.  “We feel it is adds to the long term credibility of our community’s organization.”

The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how Loon Echo Land Trust complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full list of standards see http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/help-and-resources/indicator-practices.

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org, or email your comment to info@landtrustaccreditation.org. Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 112 Spring Street, Suite 204, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

Comments on Loon Echo’s application will be most useful by November 10, 2016.

Time To Get Your Trek On: Loon Echo Land Trust Hosts 16th Annual Loon Echo Trek Fundraiser

 

For the last 15 years, on the third Saturday in September, hundreds of hikers and cyclists across New England have come out to support Loon Echo Land Trust and its land conservation efforts by participating in the Loon Echo Trek.  This year the tradition continues as Loon Echo Land Trust, headquartered in Bridgton, gears up for the 16th annual Trek.  The event starts and ends at host site Shawnee Peak Ski Area on Saturday, September 17th.  Online registration at www.bikereg.com/2016-loon-echo-trek closes on September 11th.

This fun, family friendly annual hiking and cycling event boasts the Toughest Century in Maine, with options for 25, 50 and 80 mile routes for road cyclists. Hikers can choose either a 4.5 or 6 mile route across the ridge line of Pleasant Mountain. Trekkers can also choose to do a little of both with the Hike & Bike option.  Fair-weather fans can register the morning of the event at Shawnee Peak Ski Area.  There is no cap on the number of riders allowed to participate, but hikers are limited to 50 participants.

“This year I registered to do the Hike and Bike combo so I can enjoy the gorgeous views atop Pleasant Mountain and the beautiful views riding throughout western Maine towns! Great exercise, great views, delicious food and drink…all for a great cause!” said Loon Echo Land Trust member and Trek enthusiast, John Keller of Gray, Maine,  “I’m excited to be doing my 6th Loon Echo Trek!!! Such a great event to help support all the awesome work they do at preserving beautiful land in western Maine for all to enjoy!”

With the help of their dedicated volunteers and sponsors the Trek provides a fully supported adventure with rest stations located throughout the bike routes offering trekkers water and delicious snacks to refuel with.  Many of these rest stations are staffed by the same friendly faces year after year, a truly welcoming site to folks who ride and hike each year.  Ernie’s Cycling Shop of Westbrook, Maine has been a sponsor of the event for the past  8 years and once again will provide a team to help with minor bike repairs needed at the event.  Ham radio operators from Yankee Amateur Radio will be providing communication services the day of the event.

All participants and volunteers are welcomed back to Shawnee Peak for a post-Trek party, featuring an all new taco bar, Allagash beer, massages from Richard Bader Physical Therapy and live music from the great local band, Junco.  Throughout the party Loon Echo will be raffling off outdoor gear and prizes to all who ride, hike and volunteer donated by Swix, WCLZ, AMC, Pearl Izumi, Maine DOT, EMS and Darn Tough.

The partnership between Loon Echo Land Trust and Shawnee Peak goes back to 2002 when the Trek event was moved to the Ski Area.  In 2004 Loon Echo made its first public announcement for their campaign to purchase and protect land on Pleasant Mountain.  Just last summer the land trust purchased an additional 180 acres from Shawnee Peak, including the North Peak and additional forested parcels to the west.  This brings to over 2,080 acres of iconic Pleasant Mountain owned and protected by the land trust.

Loon Echo Land Trust oversees the management of the hiking trail network on Pleasant Mountain. The majority of the Ledges, Bald Peak and Southwest Ridge trails are owned by the nonprofit conservancy organization.  They have signed trail agreements with four additional generous landowners to allow Loon Echo to conduct trail maintenance and improvements and to allow the public to access the high peak.

“The Loon Echo Trek is both a great family event and a challenging endurance event at the same time,” says Tracy Burk, event coordinator for the Trek. “You will find dedicated cyclists tackling the toughest century in Maine, but you might also encounter a rider on a unicycle. You will see entire families enjoying the hike and the fall foliage together … At the end of the Trek, participants enjoy great food and live music at the post-Trek party.” Tracy Burk, Loon Echo Trek Coordinator

Loon Echo Land Trust conducts events throughout the year.  The next event is A Hawk Migration Watch at Hacker’s Hill Preserve in Casco, ME on September 24th.  More information on this and other events can be found on Loon Echo’s website at HTTP://www.loonecholandtrust.org/events/

Loon Echo Land Trust protects over 6,600 acres of land and manages 28 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region. Its mission is to work with the local residents to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations.  Loon Echo serves seven towns including Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago with an area of 320 square miles located directly north of Sebago Lake.  Loon Echo works within its service area to safeguard water quality, preserve scenic gems such as Bald Pate Mountain, and provide outreach and fun educational programs to the public.  Loon Echo assists landowners to take steps to ensure future generations will benefit from the preservation of their lands.

For more information about upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, go to their website www.lelt.org or call 207-647-4352.

 

Loon Echo’s Summer/Fall Newsletter

Summer/Fall Newsletter

Twice a year we publish Loon Echo NEWS to keep you up to date on our exciting projects and events.  If you have not had a chance to read our most recent Winter/Spring 2016 issue you can read it along with many back issues here.  Our newsletter is a terrific resource for updates on current land projects, stewardship work and programs as well as important articles regarding land trusts.  This summer and fall you will find a busy calendar of events which we hope to see you at.  From our Hacker’s Hill astronomy and geology programs to our annual Loon Echo Trek in September there is something of interest for all ages and abilities.

Our newsletter is just one of the benefits of being a member of Loon Echo Land Trust.  A donation of any dollar amount to our annual fund makes you a member of Loon Echo for one year.  Member support is what enables Loon Echo to carry out our mission of protecting the natural charm of the Lake Region.  We welcome all those who share our passion for protecting land and quality of life.  Become a member today!