Maine Coast Heritage Trust
Maine's Best-Kept Secret
Words by Brianna Shipley
Aside from its reputation for fresh, local seafood, opportunities for uncrowded relaxation, and its hip downtown Portland area, Maine’s attraction is largely a result of one thing: its landscape. Ask how this land is conserved, and you’ll likely hear about the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT).
Since its founding in 1970, MCHT has conserved more than 300 coastal islands and more than 150,000 acres of land, and manages more than 100 public preserves that are free and open to the public.
“The effort we’ve put in to conserving this land has been our best-kept secret, but we want to get the word out because there’s more work to be done,” says Richard Knox, Director of Communications at MCHT.
Knox notes that land conservation “doesn’t stop after land is conserved; that’s just the first of many steps.”
Conserving a parcel of land can take decades, and begins by developing a trusting relationship with the landowner(s), and ending with a life-long commitment to care for that land forever. It is this behind-the-scenes work that MCHT must do to provide the Maine community with things such as new coastal trails, mowed fields, access to clamming, or a stairway to the shore for a kayak launch.
In addition to its own conservation accomplishments, MCHT also assists other smaller local land trusts through its Maine Land Trust Program. MCHT staff members work with these local land trusts to get them the resources and education they need to be successful, which includes hosting an annual conference that provides a networking and learning environment.
You can learn more about MCHT’s many projects and accomplishments and how to get involved by visiting www.mcht.org.