News Archive

Loon Echo Land Trust Holds 31st Annual Meeting

BRIDGTON, ME (August 22, 2018) – Loon Echo Land Trust held its 31st Annual Meeting at the Bridgton Historical Society’s historic Peabody-Fitch “Narramissic” Farm in South Bridgton on Sunday August 19th.  Over 70 members and supporters gathered to celebrate the successes of the area’s land trust and to conduct the business of electing Board of Directors and to enjoy a bountiful buffet dinner spread out in the farm’s Temperance Barn.

The afternoon festivities started with a guided walk to the farm’s late 1700’s granite quarry, continued with the cooperation of the Bridgton Historical Society’s tours of the Farmhouse

LELT’s 31st Annual Meeting takes a walk through history. photo by Brien Richards

and out buildings complete with costumed guides and demonstrations of the farm’s original blacksmith shop with the resident blacksmith working the forge and explaining the process. The annual meeting included a keynote address by Whit Whitney, Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s Land Trust Program Director entitled “The current state of land trust across Maine” in which he told of the successes of Maine’s land trusts and how Loon Echo, an accredited organization, plays an important part in Maine’s conservation efforts.

After introductions by LELT’s President David Diller, the gathered members approved the Secretary’s minutes and heard from Treasurer Bob Gowdy of Denmark, and elected the Board of Directors.  New members joining the organization’s board include Carrye Castleman-Ross, Melissa Rock and Sven Cole, all residents of Bridgton.  Re-elected to the board were Sheila Bourque (of Raymond); Connie Cross (Casco), Karen Eller (Bridgton), Bob Gowdy (Denmark & Weston, MA), Carol Sudduth Denmark), and Dick Lemieux (Raymond). Eric Dibner (Casco) and David Diller (Bridgton) will continue on the board.  Retiring members Ed Friedman, Allen Erler and Norm Nichols

Dinner in the Temperance Barn. photo by Brien Richards

on were warmly thanked for their years of service to the conservation efforts on behalf of the seven communities served by Loon Echo Land Trust.

In his statement to the gathering, Loon Echo’s Executive Director, Thom Perkins expressed the importance of continuing involvement conservation efforts for future generations.

“The hard work, however, is imbedded in our organizational name: “Loon Echo Land Trust”.  The operative word is “Trust”.  The public “Trusts” us to preserve, care for and defend the lands under our charge.  It was, is and will be the first responsibility of our extraordinary past, current and future Board of Directors, our staff and you, our members.  We work every day to maintain the public’s “trust” and to defend the lands that we own and the conservation easements that we hold,” said Perkins, “Your conservation efforts are an enduring gift.  I invite you all to stay engaged, spread the word and enjoy all that you have achieved.”

Loon Echo is currently engaged in the acquisition of the 252 acres surrounding the Bridgton Historical Society’s farmstead.  Donations to support the purchase can be mailed to: LELT, 8 Depot Street suite #4, Bridgton, ME  04009.

Loon Echo protects nearly 6,700 acres of land and manages 31 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, Hacker’s Hill and Pleasant 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.  Member support is what enables Loon Echo to carry out their mission and provides funding for their land conservation and stewardship endeavors. 

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 Land Trust Annual Meeting August 19, 2018

Loon Echo Land Trust Annual Meeting
August 19, 2018

           

      

   Join Loon Echo Land Trust on Sunday, August 19, at Bridgton Historical Society’s  historic Narramissic Farm, , for Loon Echo’s 31st Annual Meeting and celebration of 31 years of land conservation.  Weather permitting we will have a guided walk on the farm’s surrounding property to an old granite quarry at 3:00 PM.  In addition there will be tours of the old homestead and blacksmith demonstrations.  A cash bar and appetizers will begin at 5:00.   The annual meeting will precede dinner and dessert at the farm.  $35.00/ per person.

Schedule of Events

3:00 PM Guided walk to the granite quarry
4:00-5:30 PM Tours of the homestead and blacksmith demonstrations
5:00 PM Cocktails & Conversation
5:30 PM Annual Meeting
6:00 PM Dinner and dessert in the Temperance Barn

Directions:
Narramissic Farm, 46 Narramissic Rd., Bridgton,Maine 04009|
Narramissic is located  off Ingalls Road which is 2.4 miles south of the intersection of Rtes 117 and 106.  Take Ingalls Road for 1 mile.  Turn Left onto Narramissic Road to the farmstead. 

RSVP by August 16th to Kelli Shedd at membership@lelt.org or by calling 207-647-4352.

Register online:
30TH Pay Button

OR Mailing your check and the REGISTRATION FORM to:  Loon Echo Land Trust, 8 Depot Street, Suite #4, Bridgton ,ME 04009 

Annual Meeting Agenda:

– President’s Message
– Secretary’s Report
– Review of Financial Report
– Election of the Board of Directors
– Executive Director’s Report
– Special Presentation – State of Conservation in Maine – Whit Whitney, Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Nominees for Loon Echo’s Board of Directors will be available prior to the meeting.

Land Trusts: Fact vs. Perceptions

View from Pismire Bluff, Raymond Community Forest, Raymond, Maine.

In response to Governor Lepage’s recent State of the State comments regarding Maine land trusts, the Maine Land Trust Network has prepared a fact sheet dispelling any false information.  To view click the following link: Land Trusts Tax Handout response to SOS 2018 2

And while your still reading, learn more about what Maine land trusts have to offer you and your community by clicking HERE.

 

Loon Echo’s Year End Appeal

 

At this time of the year we ask you once again to help support Loon Echo’s conservation efforts in the northern Sebago Lake region of Maine.  Your yearly gifts to our Annual Fund are what helps us to serve your and our mission.  Whether this is your first gift, or an additional gift this year, we thank you.

To donate to Loon Echo’s Year-End Campaign, click HERE.  

2018 Calendar of Events

January –June Calendar of Events

All outdoor events are subject to weather conditions and/or date changes.  Events will be postponed or cancelled when dangerous conditions or heavy weather are forecasted. For more information, please contact (207) 647-4352,stewardship@lelt.org or check our website at www.lelt.org for updates and additional activities. For hikes and work days, always wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather conditions and varied terrain. Bring a map, water and snacks with you.  Obedient dogs are welcome at LELT events unless specified. “Like” us on Facebook for information on upcoming programs!

Snowshoe Hike at Intervale January 20, Harrison

The Crooked River is famous for Landlocked salmon, brook trout, towering pines and exceptional water quality.  Join us at the Intervale Preserve for what will prove to be a fascinating hike and talk along the banks of this magnificent AA rated river. Meet at the parking area on Scribner’s Mill Road at 9:00 AM. Approximately 3 hours. Moderate to strenuous

Great Maine Outdoor Weekend February 10, Bridgton

The GMOW weekend features a variety of fun outdoor family activities across the Northeast. Join Loon Echo staff for a snowshoe hike and scavenger hunt at Five Fields Farm and Bald Pate Mountain Preserve in Bridgton on Saturday February 10. Five Fields Farm has generously waived their snowshoe rental fee for the day. Warming hut, hot drinks and yummy snacks will be available. Meet at Five Fields Farm and XC Center 720 South Bridgton Road at at 9:00 AM. Approximately 3 hours  Moderate to strenuous

Winter Film Night: Racing Extinction February 16, Bridgton

Join Loon Echo Staff from 6-8PM as we show the documentary “Racing Extinction” at our Depot Street office. Scientists predict that humanity’s footprint on the planet may cause the loss of 50% of all species by the end of the century. Director Louie Psihoyos has crafted an ambitious mission to clearly and artfully pull into focus our impact on the planet, while inspiring us all to embrace the solutions that will ensure a thriving, biodiverse world for future generations. Seating is limited. Approximately  2 hours. Easy

Sunset-Moonrise Hike  March 31, Bridgton

Join Loon Echo staff for what proves to be a very popular hike when conditions allow! Guests will meet at the main parking area at Bald Pate Mountain Preserve at 6:00 PM for the 30 minute scramble to the summit. The sun will set at 7:05 and the full Pink Moon will rise at 7:25. This also happens to be a Blue Moon (the second full moon of a month). Along the way, guests will learn the great story of how Bald Pate Mountain was permanently protected, the critters that call it “home” and its future management. Snowshoes or traction devices may be required. Don’t forget your headlamp for the return trip! Water and snacks always encouraged. Approximately 2 hours. Moderate

Trail Work at Pleasant Mountain  April 14, Denmark

Interested in trail maintenance? Come along with Loon Echo and Maine AMC volunteers as we make our return to the Ledges Trail after the long winter, Saturday April 14. Clearing drainage, building rock steps and removing brush will be on the agenda if conditions allow. Tools and training provided.  Appropriate work clothes, pants and boots required, plenty of water and snacks always encouraged.  Meet at the Ledges trail head parking area at 7:45 AM. Approximately 6 hours. Strenuous

Earth Day Cleanup  April 21, Bridgton

Meet staff from Loon Echo and Lakes Environmental Association at the Bridgton Community center at 9 AM, Saturday April 21 for a morning of cleaning up Bridgton streets.  Work boots, gloves, bug spray and water recommended. Afterwards, stay for a picnic put on by the Bridgton Community Center. Approximately 3 hours. Easy to Moderate.

Earth Day Hike  April 22, Bridgton

Join Loon Echo staff and friends as we make the trek to the rocky summit of Bald Pate on Saturday April 22, at 3:00 PM. Feel free to share music, poems or stories that embody the spirit of the day. Sturdy hiking boots or shoes, water and snacks recommended.  Approximately 2 hours. Easy to moderate

Vernal Pool Experience  May 5, Denmark

Vernal pools are temporary bodies of water found in our forested lands in the spring.  By late spring these pools dry up for the remainder of the year but not before they provide an important breeding habitat to a variety of animals such as wood frogs, spotted salamanders and the rare fairy shrimp.  Join Loon Echo Biologist Paul Miller to learn more about these unique bodies of water and why they are important indicators of forest health.  Access to the pool is a short ~5-minute walk in from the Ledges Trail parking area, however, sturdy, waterproof hiking boots or shoes are recommended.  Bring your binoculars as migrating birds may join us! Meet at the Ledges parking area at 10:00 AM. Approximately 2 hours. Easy to Moderate

Spring Bird Migration Talk  May 9, Harrison 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Join Loon Echo Biologist Paul Miller at the Harrison Village Library as he presents an informative talk about the spring migration of birds. Every year during spring migration, millions of birds head north to breed after spending the winter in warmer places as far away as South America. Many of these long distance travelers stop in Maine to breed, as others continue into Canada as far north as the Arctic. Learn what conditions are ideal for viewing migrants, species of interest to look for, as well as helpful resources online for tracking bird migration.  This program is being held in advance of Loon Echo’s Bird Watching and Identification at Dunning Bridge the following Friday, May 11th. Easy

Bird Watching and Identification at Dunning Bridge  May 11, Bridgton

Join Loon Echo and Lakes Environmental Association staff as they welcome bird watcher and columnist Jean Preis to the Dunning Memorial Bridge at Pondicherry Park to observe migratory birds as they make their way back from the south.  If conditions allow, warblers will be the main attraction! Birders of all levels are welcome. Binoculars and a field guide to birds of the region are recommended. The Dunning memorial Bridge is accessible to folks of all ages and abilities. Please no dogs for this event. Meet at the main kiosk on Depot St at 7:00 AM. Approximately 3 hours. Easy

Children’s Wildflower Walk and Exploration  May 12, Casco

Interested in getting your budding naturalist outside and on the trail?  Loon Echo staff invite children and their families to Mayberry Hill Preserve for a nature walk filled with trail activities and games to help your child learn more about the natural world around them.  Parents and caregivers will learn tips and tricks for making outdoor adventures with their kids fun and educational.  Meet at the trailhead at 10 am.  Easy

National Trails Day  June 2

Come along with Loon Echo staff on a trail project, location TBD

Summer Solstice Hike  June 21st, Bridgton

Join us for the annual Summer Solstice Hike up Bald Pate Mountain.  Meet at the main parking area at 3:00 PM. This annual trek has been a Loon Echo tradition for nearly 20 years, a fun way to welcome summer’s arrival!  Feel free to share music, poems or stories that embody the spirit of the day. Sturdy hiking boots or shoes, water and snacks are always encouraged. Approximately 2 hours. Easy to moderate

Loon Echo Land Trust offers a monthly event on one of our preserves. All outdoor hikes and walks are subject to weather conditions and/or date changes. Please check this website for updates. Always wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather conditions and varied terrain. Bring water and snacks with you on the trail. Call (207) 647-4352 for more information.

Loon Echo Land Trust Receives Generous Land Donation Creating the Stone Preserve On Highland Lake

Loon Echo Land Trust Receives Generous Land Donation Creating the Stone Preserve On Highland Lake

 A donation of land by Dr. Jenny Lee Stone of Waxhaw, NC has established Loon Echo Land Trust’s 10th preserve.   The 92-acre parcel of donated land is located at the northwest end of Bridgton’s Highland Lake.  Dr. Stone who practices dermatological surgery in North Carolina, inherited the property from her late father, Charles T. Stone, who passed away in 2006.   Growing up in Bridgton, she shared her father’s love of wildlife and has always wanted this property to remain undeveloped.

“We are extremely pleased to receive this donation from Dr. Stone.  It is with the support and generosity such as hers that allows Loon Echo to conserve important lands for the public and future generations,” said Loon Echo Executive Director, Thom Perkins.

Dr. Jenny Stone of Waxhaw, NC

 

The Stone Preserve is a northern hardwood forest dominated by red oak with 1,275 feet of waterfront on Highland Lake.  Several seasonal streams flow into Little Tr
ull Brook which crosses the property as it flows into Highland Lake.  The property is a fine example of a continuous ecosystem as it descends from upland forest to the undisturbed wetland habitat at the lake.  This land, as part of the Sebago Lake watershed, helps Loon Echo in its efforts to protect water quality for the region.  It provides valuable habitat for wildlife including fish stocks, migrant birds and deer, moose and black bear. 

 

Currently there are no plans for establishing trails at the Stone Preserve.  However, Loon Echo will continue with its policy to provide traditional recreation uses of the property including: hiking, snowshoeing, hunting, trapping (with permission) and nature observations. 

The ongoing stewardship and expenses including paying annual property taxes for this project are funded by both a generous donation by Dr. Stone, Sebago Clean Waters partnership and Loon Echo’s many supporters.  Additional donations to support the stewardship of this project and Loon Echo’s other nine preserves can be sent to: Loon Echo Land Trust, 8 Depot Street, Suite #4, Bridgton, ME 04009. 

 

Concert to Benefit the Denmark’s Perley Mills Community Forest

 
Thom Perkins and Kathy Bennett of Bennett & Perkins
to play at Denmark’s Centennial Hall to benefit
Denmark’s Perley Mills Community Forest.

Loon Echo Land Trust Presents Bennett & Perkins In Concert to Benefit Denmark’s Perley Mills Community Forest, Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 7 pm

BRIDGTON, ME (October 11, 2017) –What do you get when you combine harmonies, guitars and a fall evening in western Maine?  It’s a night of music to remember, as Loon Echo Land Trust presents the dynamic folk act of Bennett & Perkins at the Centennial Hall in the center of Denmark, Maine on Saturday, October 21 at 7:00 pm.   Doors open at 6:30 pm and tickets are $15 (children under 12 free) with the proceeds to benefit the Denmark Perley Mills Community Forest.  Tickets are available at the door.  
 
In the intimate environment of the restored Centennial Hall comes the unique blend of harmonies and guitars of singer/songwriters Kathy Bennett and Thom Perkins.  Bennett & Perkins perform songs with stories and music inspired by everyday lives, lost loves, lost lives and real life adventure, coupled with haunting harmonies and memorable arrangement of vocals and guitar.  Their music is a regular feature on New Hampshire Public Radio <http://nhpr.org/post/bennett-and-perkins> Folk Show and Maine’s folk radio standard <https://weru.org/featured-artist/featured-artist-week-bennett-perkins> WERU. They have performed on the stages of Cambridge’s famed Club Passim, Stone Mountain Arts Center, Medallion Opera House, Nantucket Atheneum, The Cold River Radio Show, Ossipee Valley Music Festival, and numerous others.  They have shared the stage with Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary, Loudon Wainwright, Jez Lowe and many others.
 
Thom Perkins’ guitar work has been compared to Richard Thompson and Bruce Cockburn – you’ll swear he has more than 10 fingers once you hear him play. Kathy Bennett has “a voice that can crack sheet rock” with vocals likened to Lucinda Williams, Bonnie Raitt and Emmy Lou Harris all rolled into one. They’re a powerhouse of folk sure to resonate on both a physical and emotional level.

The Denmark Perley Mills Community Forest was created in 2015 after a joint fundraising campaign of Loon Echo Land Trust and the town of Denmark.  The property contains three miles of the Narrow Gauge Trail, a state ITS 89 snowmobile and regional ATV network, as well as Pickerel Pond and Willett Pond. With many important ecological, recreational and economic features, protecting this parcel as public open space and managed forestland is an asset to the surrounding communities. Proceeds of the concert will go toward the Forest’s stewardship expenses.
 
The Centennial Hall in Denmark, Maine presents this program in a historic and acoustically perfect setting.   Built in 1876, it has served the community in a number of roles over the years.
 
Bennett & Perkins can be found on the web at <http://www.bennettandperkins.com> www.bennettandperkins.com and on Facebook and YouTube. Their music can be streamed on Pandora – Bennett and Perkins channel.

September E-News

Hot off the digital press for you!  Take a look at our September E-News to find out about what projects we’re currently working on, upcoming events and volunteering with Loon Echo.  Click HERE

Loon Echo Land Trust Announces Norway Savings Bank as Title Sponsor For the Loon Echo Trek

Bridgton, ME (August 15, 2017) — Loon Echo Land Trust’s Executive Director, Thom Perkins, announced today that Norway Saving Bank has signed on as the title sponsor for the Bridgton based nonprofit’s 17th annual fundraiser, the Loon Echo Trek. The Trek takes place on Saturday, September 16th at Shawnee Peak Ski Area, attracting hundreds of participants as they hike Maine’s iconic Pleasant Mountain or bike through the scenic hills of Western Maine.

Kurt Garascia, CTFA – Vice President & Investment Office for Norway Savings Bank, is delighted to be able to support such a great organization that protects and preserves nearly 6,700 acres of land for the public in the northern Sebago Lake region. This is the first time in Loon Echo Trek history that the event has received such a generous donation to be title sponsor.

The Trek is a fun, family friendly, fully supported hiking and cycling event boasting 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.

Rest stations along all the hiking and cycling routes are staffed by Loon Echo’s dedicated volunteers providing a refuel on water, homemade goodies and terrific energy to keep participants moving. All registered will enjoy a post-trek after party back at Shawnee Peak with live music, tacos and massages. Preregistration online is open until September 10th at https://www.bikereg.com/loon-echo-trek. Fair-weather fans can register the morning of the event at Shawnee Peak Ski Area.

Registration on line is open until September 10. You can register at: https://www.bikereg.com/loon-echo-trek. Day of registration will be available from 7:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Businesses looking to become a sponsor of this year’s annual Trek or folks interested in volunteering for the day of the event should contact Trek Coordinator, Mary Power, at trek@lelt.org.