KELT's Land Protection, Stewardship, and Restoration Programs

Protecting and Caring for the Land

A land trust makes two promises that must not be broken.  The first to protect and restore lands for the future. The second is to take care of these conserved lands for flora and fauna to thrive in and for people to work and play in.

 
 
 

Conserving What's Important

Land Conservation takes experience, passion, imagination, commitment & you!

There is more than one way to protect land. We are always willing to explore the opportunity and potential to protect special places. All communities benefit from the natural world; the resources and services it provides. Our communities enjoy conserved land thanks to the foresight and generosity of landowners who cared about their land and ensured it can be cherished by many, forever. 

 

 
 Eleanor Burke on her beloved property in Woolwich

Eleanor Burke on her beloved property in Woolwich

Land Trust owned properties

KELT currently owns 1,759 acres of conservation land. For some landowners preserving the land they love with KELT means that they want our land trust to own the land protecting fragile habitat, developing recreation potential, and offering significant public benefit. There are options for landowners to consider with many implications and benefits to protect their land.  

KELT would like to celebrate one local woman whose love of the Kennebec Estuary and Merrymeeting Bay endures…

 The conserved fields of Fairwinds Farm in Bowdoinham

The conserved fields of Fairwinds Farm in Bowdoinham

Agricultural  Easements

KELT has completed two agriculture easements with another one expected to close in 2018. An agricultural easement is a form of conservation easement. It is designed and developed with farm use as the top priority and remains in effect on the land regardless of ownership. Like a conservation easement, this is a voluntary, legal agreement with the landowner. This keeps the farm in private ownership and as a farm forever. These types of easements support local food in our communities.

 Steve DeWick on his family farm in Woolwich

Steve DeWick on his family farm in Woolwich

Conservation Easements

KELT has conserved 1,880 acres through conservation easements. Conservation easements give people the assurance that the lands they love will be protected forever.  Land is donated or placed under a conservation easement, a legal agreement that remains with the land, forever. They are among the most meaningful legacies a person or family can leave to future generation. When completed, it is the job of the land trust to make sure that promise is kept. It is no small job ensuring the permanence of land conservation.

KELT would like to celebrate a local family that donated an easement on their family propery...

 
 

Caring for the Land

Land conservation is also about caring for the land, forever. KELT works to care for our lands to maintain or improve the overall health of the ecosystem, to provide access to natural places and protect sensitive habitats, and to build and maintain sustainable trails.

 
 2017 Regional Field Team members, Beanie and Michaela, install interpretive signage at Merrymeeting Fields Preserve.

2017 Regional Field Team members, Beanie and Michaela, install interpretive signage at Merrymeeting Fields Preserve.

Regional Field Team

Since 2009, KELT partners with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, Phippsburg Land Trust, and The Nature Conservancy to share a summertime stewardship crew, known as the Regional Field Team (RFT). The RFT cares for protected properties of each organization throughout the summer. Led by the Stewardship Coordinator, the RFT is made up of seasonal team members and provides a chance for folks interested in the conservation field to work for and learn about four conservation organizations.

 Volunteers work to remove Bittersweet vines from Sewall Woods Preserve.

Volunteers work to remove Bittersweet vines from Sewall Woods Preserve.

Invasive Species

Identifying and removing unwanted visitors on KELT lands is a special focus. Whether it be bittersweet vines or Hemlock woolly adelgid, these invaders impact the health of lands throughout the estuary. 

KELT is working on getting a handle on what kinds of invasive species are present on our protected lands and what to do about them.

Stay tuned! More resources about these non-native species are on the way.

 Volunteers build a slew of trail bridges at the Segerstrom Preserve.

Volunteers build a slew of trail bridges at the Segerstrom Preserve.

Volunteer on the Trails

KELT's Volunteer Preserve Stewards and trail volunteers work year round to build and maintain trails at eleven public preserves. The giving of their time, talents, and energy is the reason for the extensive trail network throughout the estuary.

Want to join our Stewardship Volunteer crew?

 
 

Restoring the lands and waters of the estuary

As people developed the coast of Maine over the past few hundred years, many roads, dams and causeways were built across the surface of Maine’s marshes and waterways. The splintering of these ecologically-rich habitats impacted not only plants and animals but also people. KELT participates in restoration projects because it is in our mission: restoring lands and waters that benefit people and wildlife in the estuary region. Removing unnecessary causeways or installing culverts and bridges to allow for free movement of inland and tidal waters (along with animals) aides in restoring a fractured habitat. It allows this habitat to serve our built and natural communities today and in the future.

 
 
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Fish Passage

“[The Nequasset] restoration project has not only effectively improved this historic fishery and retained an important local economic asset, but has galvanized the local community. Hundreds of concerned citizens and a wide array of conservation organizations have been involved, and we’ve increased the awareness of and pride in this critical natural and cultural resource.”

– Carrie Kinne, KELT's Executive Director

 
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Little River Marsh

Impaired wetlands have been improved at KELT’s Lundstrom Marsh Preserve after years of careful planning and collaboration.