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.