Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) is a donor supported, non-profit organization that works to protect the natural resources and character of the northern Sebago lake region for current and future generations. An accredited Land Trust, Loon Echo protects 8,000 acres of land and manages 31 miles of hiking and biking trails in the towns of Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago. These important open spaces protect the region’s water resources and wildlife habitat, support the local economy, maintain the rural character of our region and provide public access to outdoor recreation.
What We Do
Land Protection. We protect land in two ways, through conservation easements and permanent land acquisition.
- Conservation Easements leave the land in the hands of a land owner, but place certain restrictions on how the land is used. The easements contain restrictions that prevent development of the land, while allowing a variety of activity such as agriculture, forestry and private recreation. Conservation easements follow the land forever, meaning that even when the property is sold, the conservation easement stays with the property to protect its ecological value.
- Permanent land acquisitions are owned by Loon Echo and are managed for recreation, timber, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, and scenic views. All of the lands we own are open for public use, free of charge. It is our mission to keep these lands open & forested forever.
- As local landowners, we take special care in the stewardship of our lands. With a network of volunteers, we monitor and maintain our lands and trails.
- We elect to pay taxes on the lands we own in-fee (i.e. our preserves) to support our local municipalities and communities.
Access & Recreation
- All of the lands we own are open for public use. Specific use guidelines and permitted activities vary from property to property. Check out the preserves open to you to learn more about each unique property.
Community Programs & Events
- We host at least one hike or walk on preserves each month. We believe it’s important for everyone’s well-being to spend time outdoors. Join us on an adventure on our land!
- We work in partnership with many different community organizations to host interesting, informative programs in the communities we serve. View our current calendar of events for up-to-date programming.
- Interested in working with us on something? Get in touch– we’re always open to collaboration.
- Each year we offer grants to schools and libraries in our service area to teach children about the natural world. Learn more about our Environmental Education Grant Program.
- We’re working to bring more education programming to our preserves. Recently we’ve teamed up with RSU 14 to bring education to Raymond Community Forest.
Where We Work
Loon Echo serves the seven towns of Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Naples, Harrison, Sebago, and Raymond, an area of 320 square miles located directly north of Sebago Lake. According to the 2010 census the collective towns had a year-round population of 22,857. Together, these towns have experienced substantial population growth in the last 20 years that has far outpaced Maine’s growth rate – by three to four times. Permanent land conservation in the region is currently at 4.2%. It is Loon Echo’s goal to accelerate the pace and quality of land conservation in order to edge closer to the state average of 17%, which has increased in recent years due to major conservation efforts in the North Woods. Loon Echo’s land conservation efforts in the watershed benefit our seven service area towns, as well as 200,000 residents of the greater Portland area who rely on Sebago Lake as their sole public drinking water source.
What You Can Do
Give – As a non-profit, we rely on donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses to serve our community. Your support of Loon Echo Land Trust helps protect land, ensures public access to land and outdoor recreation, helps provide community programming free-of-charge, and so much more. Support Loon Echo Land Trust., donate today!
Consider Conservation – Conservation is a partnership between land owners and organizations like LELT. Leave a legacy of forests, clean water, and public access for the next generation by conserving your land.
Explore LELT Lands
All LELT-owned lands are open, free-of-charge, to the public. Please respect all use-guidelines.