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HHLT’s First 40 Years

Amelia Graham
January 10, 2023

2023 marks a substantial milestone for Harpswell Heritage Land Trust: we are now 40 years old!

From our formation by the Harpswell Historical Society, to our evolution from Harpswell Heritage Trust to Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, to our shift from an all-volunteer to a staffed organization, and our increase in the depth and breadth of our work, a lot has happened in the last 40 years!

A map of all the land conserved by HHLT. Click to zoom in.

I won’t list everything the land trust has accomplished, but I will mark a few major achievements as an organization.

  • Conservation of more than 1630 acres of land across Harpswell, with 20 preserves and trails for public use.
  • Construction of an office for our staff with a meeting space designed for community use.
  • Growth from one staff member in 2001 to five in 2023.
  • 25 years of Nature Day Camp, which has grown to ten sessions for more than 160 children each summer.

The list of accomplishments alone is not what made HHLT what it is today. The people, from the most active volunteer to the longtime member are what have made us a success.

Throughout 2023, we want to focus on the stories that made Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. That’s where you come in. We want to hear and share your stories. Do you remember your first time at an HHLT preserve, or your first interaction with the Land Trust? Do you remember what Harpswell was like 40 years ago and recognize how it’s different today? Do you have a favorite memory of volunteering? We want to hear about it!

Any story, no matter how big or small, can be sent to me at development@hhltmaine.org. If you have a photo to go with your story, please send it! Stories will be shared throughout the year on our social media, on our website, and in our newsletters.

We hope you’ll celebrate 40 years with us this year, because you are part of the reason we made it this far.