Celebrating 35 years of conservation

For 35 years Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) and its dedicated volunteers have been working with the community to preserve special places in Harpswell, ensure public shore access, build and maintain trails, provide engaging educational programs and protect scenic views, clean water and wildlife habitat.

Please join us to celebrate our 35th anniversary in 2018.

Pott’s Point Preserve (Zachary Harder photo)

Click here to read an article about our anniversary published in the Midcoast Forecaster.

As of the beginning of 2018, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust has conserved 1,621 acres of land in Harpswell. Of this conservation land, 517 acres are preserves, which are owned by the Land Trust and always open to the public. The rest are protected by conservation easements, which restrict future development on privately-owned land. Some of these easement properties allow public access.

The Land Trust maintains around seven miles of walking trails and provides access to beaches, tide pools and important clam digging flats. From beaches to woodsy trails, from fields to scenic picnic spots, Harpswell is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. For more information about where to go, feel free to browse our map of public access land in Harpswell or peruse a list of the properties and their features.

We also offer a variety of fun and educational programs for the community, including public events, Short Courses for adults, a sunset cruise, Nature Day Camp and programs with local schools.

A quick history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust

1983:  Harpswell Heritage Trust is created by the Harpswell Historical Society. Its initial purpose was to hold a historic preservation easement on the historic Tarr-Eaton House in Harpswell Center.

1992:  Harpswell Heritage Trust separates from the Harpswell Historical Society and holds its first town-wide membership drive. As an all-volunteer organization, its dedicated board members pursue conservation projects and build financial support for the organization.

Curt Chipman photo

1998:  The Trust offers its first year of Nature Day Camp. Still held annually, the camp introduces children to a variety of habitats in Harpswell through hands-on exploration and fun.

1999:  The word “Land” is inserted in the organization’s name to reflect its primary activity of preserving lands.

2001:  HHLT hires its first Executive Director.

2002:  HHLT rents its first office space. Meetings were previously held in private homes and businesses.

2002-2003:  The Special Places for Harpswell Campaign raises $1.7 million to buy Skolfield Shores Preserve and Johnson Field Preserve at Mackerel Cove, both signature open spaces that were threatened with imminent development.

2006-2007:  A new office building is built on donated land, including a community meeting room.

2012:  HHLT hires its first Outreach Coordinator to enhance its educational programs and outreach to the community.

2014:  The Forever Fund is created as an endowment to ensure that HHLT will have the resources to care for conserved properties forever.

2018:  HHLT celebrates its 35th anniversary of conservation, stewardship and education in Harpswell!