Category Archives: press release

Press Release: Regional Destination Expanded: Mill Brook Preserve North Open to the Public

PRESS RELEASE
October 21, 2017
Contact person: Rachelle Curran Apse, rachelle@prlt.org, 839-4633

Over 40 people joined City of Westbrook Mayor Mike Sanphy and the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust to celebrate the grand opening of Mill Brook Preserve North Saturday, October 21. This event marked the official expansion of the forever conserved land and trail system in Mill Brook Preserve in Westbrook.

Thanks to new land donations by Sue and Steve Cullinan and the City of Westbrook, Mill Brook Preserve is now 130 acres and has a 5-mile trail system free and open to the public for walking, hiking, trail running, and snowshoeing. Mill Brook Preserve is owned by the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust and there are four trailheads, the primary trailhead is now at the junction of Methodist Road and Route 302 in Westbrook. Click here for the trail map.

Steve and Sue Cullinan said “We always envisioned that someday many people could enjoy what we have been fortunate enough to own, a little piece of paradise. We are very happy that our land donation to the land trust, to expand Mill Brook Preserve, has come to fruition.”

City of Westbrook Mayor Mike Sanphy spoke at the ribbon cutting. “The City of Westbrook is proud to be partners with the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust in the expansion of Mill Brook Preserve because it forever provides residents public access to miles of forested trails and unique wildlife sightings in our community.”

“Mill Brook Preserve has now become a regional destination because the trail offers spectacular views of the largest migratory fish run from Casco Bay each spring. The expansion of Mill Brook Preserve means more people will be able to experience the diversity of wildlife attracted to the fish migration, like great blue herons, osprey, bald eagles and mink, all within Westbrook.” said Rachelle Curran Apse, Presumpscot Regional Land Trust Executive Director.

The official count for the alewife migration this year is in, with nearly 40,000 fish swimming through Mill Brook Preserve from Casco Bay to Highland Lake to spawn. The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust collaborates with the University of Southern Maine’s Environmental Science and Policy Professors Karen Wilson and Theo Willis each year to track the size of the fish run. Good news for wildlife in the region, this year the alewife run is about the same size as last year.

Toby Jacobs, the Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator for the land trust, stated, “We have added 1.5 more miles of trail and opened the new primary trailhead at the junction of Methodist Road and Route 302. Volunteers were critical in helping to build the trail expansion this

year. The great news is that this Mill Brook Preserve North opening is only phase two and we expect to expand the preserve and trail system again next year to the south.”

The Mill Brook Preserve North expansion was only possible with the support of Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, City of Westbrook, Westbrook Environmental Improvement Corporation, Westbrook Recreation & Conservation Commission, Steve and Sue Cullinan, volunteers, and land trust members.

BACKGROUND:

Mill Brook is about five miles long, beginning in Highland Lake and ending in the Presumpscot River. Most of those five miles the brook winds through pristine forests all within the City of Westbrook.

Presumpscot Regional Land Trust  is a non-profit organization that supports healthy lands, waters, wildlife, and people across the Presumpscot River watershed through conservation, water quality monitoring, education, and public access – holding conservation lands in the towns of Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Westbrook and Windham. The land trust has conserved over 1,600 acres of land and has 14 public access preserves with trails and water access that are free and open to the public, including the 28-mile long Sebago to the Sea Trail. Learn more at www.prlt.org.

 

 

 

 

Press Release: Presumpscot Regional Land Trust Incorporates Gorham Trails Conserved Lands, Takes on Their Stewardship

PRESS RELEASE
September 18, 2017
Contact Person: Rachelle Curran Apse, Executive Director of PRLT, 400-7154

After over a year of discussion, members of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust voted on September 17 to incorporate the conserved lands of Gorham Trails Inc—a small land trust within the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust’s coverage area. The vote took place during an event at Randall Orchards in Standish.

The leadership of Gorham Trails reached out over a year ago asking Presumpscot Regional Land Trust if they would assume responsibility for the Gorham Trails conserved lands. As an all-volunteer town land trust, the coverage area of Gorham Trails overlaps with that of Presumpscot Regional Land Trust—making the two organizations a natural fit to combine.

“After a thorough due-diligence process, we are confident that adding the Gorham Trails conserved lands and trails within our land trust will help build our regional organization. This process was made possible by grant funding from Maine Coast Heritage Trust and extensive pro bono legal services from Pierce Atwood. As one organization, we will be able to continue the current work of both organizations more effectively and efficiently,” said Rachelle Curran Apse, Executive Director of Presumpscot Regional Land Trust.

Jeff Merrill, a long time Board Member of Gorham Trails, said, “Too often people consider outdoor recreation as something to be enjoyed sporadically, requiring a vacation, a weekend getaway, or a full day’s outing. The vision of Gorham Trails was to ensure these activities remain available in our own back yard, to be incorporated into our daily routines. All of us at Gorham Trails are so glad that Presumpscot Regional Land Trust shares this vision. They are the ideal steward for Gorham Trails’ conserved lands and trails going forward.”

Presumpscot Regional Land Trust is committed to continuing the mission-based work of Gorham Trails. After the consolidation, the land trust will have 33 conserved properties totaling about 1,600 acres—including 14 public access preserves with miles of trails and water access in the towns of Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Westbrook, and Windham. The land trust will also continue to coordinate the 28-mile Sebago to the Sea Trail project and monitor water quality at 30 sites along the Presumpscot River and its tributaries. Go to https://www.prlt.org/preserves/ for an interactive map of public access lands and a brochure of trails in Gorham.

The most well used Gorham Trails lands is the western half of the Cross Town Trail, the section of the trail called the Frazier Preserve. The conserved land starts adjacent to the Access Road to Gorham High School and connects to the town owned land adjacent to Gorham Middle School. In addition to the trail, the land trust will own 6 acres of conserved land adjacent to the high school, with opportunities to collaborate with the school to create an outdoor learning space that will enhance place-based learning.

Mike Parker, current board member of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust and past board member of Gorham Trails in the 1990s said, “Presumpscot Regional Land Trust is well placed to steward the Gorham Trails conservation lands. I am proud of our land trust’s commitment to conservation throughout the region.”

Warren Whitney, Program Director for the Maine Land Trust Network, a program of Maine Coast Heritage Trust said, “Gorham Trails provided some important trail resources for the community, but despite the energy of a few dedicated volunteers, it didn’t have the organizational capacity to continue managing these lands over the long term. To its great credit, Presumpscot Regional Land Trust has stepped up to take responsibility for these community assets. That’s not only a great thing for Gorham, but for Maine, as Presumpscot Regional Land Trust is doing its part to strengthen the statewide fabric of conservation lands which are so important to Maine’s future.”

Background:

Land trusts have been conserving land for a generation and have been very successful in protecting wildlife habitat and providing access for public recreation. In Maine, land trusts now hold more than twice as much land in conservation as all the state parks and public lands combined, which is vital since Maine has one of the smallest percentages of public lands in the nation. But as conserved land continues to grow, so do the resources needed to steward these lands in perpetuity.

The board structure will remain the same. The staff will remain the same: Executive Director, Rachelle Curran Apse; and Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator, Toby Jacobs.

The merger vote happened at the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust annual meeting on Sunday, September 17, at Randall Orchards in Standish. Randall Orchards is owned by the Randall family. As of 2014, the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust now holds a 500-acre conservation and agricultural easement on the orchard and surrounding forest.

More information about Presumpscot Regional Land Trust can be found at www.prlt.org.

 

Three-Mile Trail System at Mill Brook Preserve Now Open to the Public

PRESS RELEASE
December 12, 2016
Contact person: Rachelle Curran Apse, rachelle@prlt.org, 400-7154

Over 45 people braved frigid temperatures2016-mill-brook-ribbon-cutting
2016-mill-brook-trail-grand-opening-smallon Saturday, December 10, to attend a Presumpscot Regional Land Trust ribbon cutting to officially open a trail system in Mill Brook Preserve in Westbrook. The three-mile trail system is now open to the public for walking, hiking, trail running, and snowshoeing. There are three trailheads, the primary trailhead is next to 789 Methodist Road at the top of the new private road, Allen Knight Road. Click here for the trailmap.

The story of Mill Brook Preserve, which is owned by the Presumpscot Regional
Land Trust, started more than two years ago when the City of Westbrook donated the first parcel of land along Mill Brook to the land trust. With the donation of other parcels since the preserve has now grown to 120 acres.

2016-mill-brook-grand-opening-mike-and-group-smallMill Brook is about five miles long, beginning in Highland Lake and ending in the Presumpscot River. Most of those five miles the brook winds through pristine forests all within the City of Westbrook.

“The new trail system will for the first time open the Mill Brook valley for the public to enjoy,” said Rachelle Curran Apse, PRLT Executive Director. “While the trail system will be open year round, the late spring will be the high season, with the opportunity for the public to watch thousands of migratory fish swimming upstream from the ocean to Highland Lake to spawn. It truly is a spectacular sight.”

City of Westbrook Mayor Mike Sanphy spoke at the ribbon cutting. “The Mill Brook Preserve and trail system is a highly successful collaborative initiative of the City of Westbrook, private landowners and the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust to protect and establish public access to this beautiful and incredibly valuable natural feature in our community,” he said.

“The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust has become an invaluable partner with the City of Westbrook in preserving and enhancing public access to natural open spaces throughout our city,” added Former Mayor Colleen Hilton at the event.

Toby Jacobs, the Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator for the land trust, stated, “The great news is that this Mill Brook trail opening is only phase one. Thanks to the most recent City of Westbrook donation and another private donation expected this spring, we plan to expand the trail another mile to the north next summer to reach what will be the junction of Methodist Road and Route 302. Volunteers have been incredible in pitching in to build this trail over the last few months, and they will again be vital in helping to extend the trail next summer.”

Creating this preserve and three-mile trail system was only possible with the support of Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s LL Bean Land Trust Grant Program, Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, Westbrook Environmental Improvement Corporation, Maine Community Foundation’s Deering Fund, City of Westbrook Recreation & Conservation Commission, and land trust members.

BACKGROUND: Presumpscot Regional Land Trust  is a non-profit organization that supports healthy lands, waters, wildlife, and people across the Presumpscot River watershed through conservation, water quality monitoring, education, and public access – holding conservation lands in the towns of Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Westbrook and Windham.The land trust has conserved over 1,400 acres of land and has 10 public access Preserves with trails that are free and open to the public, including the 28-mile long Sebago to the Sea Trail. Learn more at www.prlt.org.

Three Local Conservation Groups Unify Into One Organization

The merger of Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, Windham Land Trust, and Presumpscot River Watch will strengthen conservation efforts in the region

PRESS RELEASE
October 3, 2016
Contact Person: Rachelle Curran Apse, Executive Director of PRLT, 400-7154

Afterannual-meeting-2016-2 nearly a year of discussion, on October 2, 2016, members of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, Windham Land Trust, and Presumpscot River Watch voted to merge as one organization with the name Presumpscot Regional Land Trust. The vote took place during an event at Randall Orchards in Standish.

The new mission is to suppoannual-meeting-2016-1rt healthy lands, waters, wildlife, and people across the Presumpscot River watershed through conservation, water quality monitoring, education, and public access.

Presumpscot Regional Land Trust was founded in 1986 and has conserved land in Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Windham and Westbrook. Windham Land Trust was founded in 2000 and has conserved lands in Gorham, Gray, and Windham. The two organizations share much of the same coverage area, along with many members and values–making the two organizations a natural fit.

Priscilla Payne, Board Co-President of the Windham Land Trust, said, “I am excited about the merger with Presumpscot Regional Land Trust and Presumpscot River Watch. Working together, we will be able to have a greater impact on land conservation in the area, have more volunteers to be better able to steward all of our properties, and to continue to monitor the water quality of our streams and rivers. I see this as a merger of equals and members of all three organizations are serving in leadership roles. I think this is an excellent step going forward for all.”

Founded in 1989, Presumpscot River Watch uses volunteers to sample and test water quality at points on the Presumpscot River and its tributaries. With a shared commitment between the two land trusts of ensuring water quality, the inclusion of Presumpscot River Watch in the merger will help strengthen these important initiatives.

Fred Dillon, President of Presumpscot River Watch, said, “The Presumpscot River Watch has been using citizen scientists to monitor water quality in the main stem of the river and its many tributaries since 1989. Our monitoring results are used by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to determine compliance with state water quality standards. This merger represents an exciting and important evolution in enhancing our mission to protect and preserve the watershed for future generations.”

This past winter, board leadership discussed the possibility of merging organizations. After learning from the merger experiences of other Maine land trusts, the boards formed a merger committee with board members from all three organizations. Thanks to primary grant funding by Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Maine Community Foundation, and extensive pro bono legal services from Pierce Atwood and Douglas, McDaniel, Campo and Schools, the three organizations were able to fully review each other’s lands and financial reports, as well as create a merger agreement and new bylaws.

Presumpscot Regional Land Trust is committed to continuing the mission-based work of all three organizations. The unified organization has 25 conserved lands equaling about 1,400 acres–including 10 public access preserves with miles of trails and fishing access in the towns of Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Westbrook and Windham. The new organization will continue to coordinate the 28-mile Sebago to the Sea Trail project, and monitor water quality at 20 sites along the Presumpscot River and its tributaries.

Mike Parker, Board President of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, said, “This is a wonderful confluence of events and organizations. On the 30th anniversary of its existence, the newly merged Presumpscot Regional Land Trust has much to celebrate and will be a strong force in support of its broadened mission.”

The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust’s Board of Directors will be composed of current board members from all three organizations. The staff will remain the same: Executive Director, Rachelle Curran Apse; and Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator, Toby Jacobs.

This merger and unification will help make the three organizations stronger and more sustainable ensuring not only the stewardship of conserved lands in perpetuity but also increased priority towards new conservation land and water quality in the Presumpscot River region.

Background:
Land trusts have been conserving land for a generation and have been very successful in protecting wildlife habitat and providing access for public recreation. In Maine, land trusts now hold more than twice as much land in conservation as all the state parks and public lands combined. But as conserved land continues to grow, so do the resources needed to steward these lands in perpetuity.

Recent mergers among land trusts in Maine have created stronger regional land trusts that have the capacity to address increasing stewardship needs. Some examples include: Midcoast Conservancy, Royal River Conservation Trust, Downeast Coastal Conservancy, and Blue Hill Heritage Trust.

The merger vote happened at the shared annual meeting on Sunday, October 2, at Randall Orchards in Standish. Randall Orchards is owned by the Randall family. As of 2014, the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust now holds a 500 acre conservation and agricultural easement on the orchard and surrounding forest.

Additional contact information: rachelle@prlt.org,
www.prlt.org, www.thewindhamlandtrust.org, www.prwmaine.weebly.com

 

 

 

Mill Brook Preserve in Westbrook Expands to Over 100 Acres

PRESS RELEASE
Date April 14, 2016Hatt Parcel on Mill Brook
Contact person: Rachelle Curran Apse, Executive Director, 400-7154

The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust just closed on a new 32 acre parcel along Mill Brook in Westbrook which means the land trust now owns three parcels totaling 102 acres stretching out several miles along the forested and secluded river valley.

The new parcel of land features 2000 feet of river frontage along Mill Brook off Bridgton Road in Westbrook. Ralph Hatt generously donated the land to the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust so it would forever remain open space with public Ralph Hatt - on his landaccess trails. “After walking my land for 45 years, I am so happy to share with the public the effort I have put into the land to make trails so everyone can enjoy the beauty of the land that is part of the greater Portland metropolitan area,” said Ralph Hatt.

Mike Parker, Board President of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, said, “When I first met Ralph Hatt two years ago he handed me a card that read, ‘I have 30 acres with 2000 feet of frontage along Mill Brook that I want to conserve.’ What it didn’t say was that he had been manicuring the land and building a trail network on it for 30 years. The parcel that he donated today is park-like in character, a gem in the daisy chain of parcels that now constitutes our Mill Brook Preserve.”

The Mill Brook Preserve stretches through the urban city of Westbrook yet remains a largely undeveloped valley. This area is a priority for the land trust to conserve as open space because the brook supports the largest and most productive alewife run in Casco Bay. Alewife migrate from the ocean up the Presumpscot River through Mill Brook to Highland Lake where they reproduce and then head back out to the ocean each fall. This concentration of migrating fish attracts a wide variety of wildlife to the valley, including bald eagles, gulls, herons, and osprey.

While the land was donated, the transaction was made possible by a grant from the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership.

This May the alewife will migrate up Mill Brook by the thousands, and the land trust will be hosting a World Fish Migration Day Hike on this new parcel of our Mill Brook Preserve to observe them. This event is open to the public and will be held on May 21st. Please go to www.prlt.org for more details about the event.

The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust’s new Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator, Toby Jacobs, will be coordinating the effort to build a three mile trail this summer on Mill Brook Preserve for the public to access and enjoy the serene beauty of Mill Brook. Building the trail will involve dozens of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering please contact toby@prlt.org.

BACKGROUND: The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust is a non-profit that conserves and protects outstanding lands in Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Westbrook, and Windham to preserve the character of the Presumpscot River watershed for the benefit of people and wildlife. The land trust has conserved over 1,100 acres of land and has 7 public access Preserves with trails that are free and open to the public, including the 28-mile long Sebago to the Sea Trail. Learn more at www.prlt.org.

Presumpscot Regional Land Trust hires Toby Jacobs as Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator

Newly created position will allow land trust to build more trails on its lands and better serve the public with programming

PRESS RELEASEToby Jacobs photo
Date: April 13, 2016
Contact: Rachelle Curran Apse, 400-7154

The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust has hired Toby Jacobs as Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator. This newly created position will allow the land trust to build more trails on its lands and better serve the public with programming.

“We’re very excited to have this new position because we can create more recreational trails and opportunities for people to learn more about the natural world where we live, said Rachelle Curran Apse, Presumpscot Regional Land Trust Executive Director. We’re lucky to have someone with Toby’s level of experience and expertise. He will be a great asset to the region.”

Jacobs has a master’s in conservation biology and has spent over a decade working for environmental organizations. Internationally, he has managed conservation projects in Costa Rica and Honduras. In Maine, he has surveyed the City of Portland’s trees, managed volunteers in Portland’s urban gardens, monitored shellfish areas for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and maintained miles of land trust trails. He also serves on the Board of the Freeport Conservation Trust.

“Growing up in Brunswick, I became fascinated with the natural world while exploring the town’s network of trails and I am excited to provide that same opportunity for others,” said Jacobs.

As a community based non-profit, this new position is possible due to member support and grants from L.L.Bean-Maine Land Trust Grant Program, Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, and the Maine Community Foundation’s Fund for Maine Land Conservation.

Toby will be coordinating the effort to build a three-mile trail this summer on the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust’s Mill Brook Preserve in Westbrook for the public to access and enjoy the serene beauty of Mill Brook and see the alewife fish migration. Building the trail will involve dozens of volunteers, if you are interested in volunteering please contact toby@prlt.org.

BACKGROUND: The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust is a non-profit that conserves and protects outstanding lands in Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Westbrook, and Windham to preserve the character of the Presumpscot River watershed for the benefit of people and wildlife. The land trust has conserved over 1,100 acres of land and has 7 public access Preserves with trails that are free and open to the public, including the 28-mile long Sebago to the Sea Trail. Learn more at www.prlt.org.

We Are Hiring a Part-Time Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator

STEWARDSHIP & OUTREACH COORDINATOR JOB ANNOUNCEMENT

The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust (PRLT) protects land so that families and future generations have the room to play outside, to hike and bike through the forests and along the river, and to enjoy the fruits of local working farms. PRLT includes the towns of Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Westbrook and Windham.

The Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator will be responsible for three areas:

1. The ongoing stewardship needs for PRLT’s conserved lands. This includes working closely with the Stewardship Committee to identify, assess and prioritize stewardship needs, and develop and implement plans to address those needs. The priority will be ensuring the public access Preserves and trails are in good condition for the public. Responsibilities in this area include: organizing volunteer trail work days, acting as the main contact for Preserve Stewards, and coordinating the collection of annual monitoring reports for each Preserve.

2. Designing and building a trail and trailhead on PRLT’s new Mill Brook Preserve in Westbrook. This position will either design or oversee a consultant who will design the trail. The trail will be built through coordinating volunteer trail work days.

3. Help to coordinate engaging experiential programs for the public on PRLT’s Preserves, working closely with the Executive Director and the Community Engagement Committee. PRLT is committed to leading one program per month in order provide regular opportunities for communities in the region to connect with nature. This position will assist in regional outreach to raise awareness about PRLT’s nature based programming, help set-up creative programming, and help recruit volunteer leaders.

The position requires excellent volunteer management skills, strong verbal and written communication skills, basic carpentry skills, experience with trail maintenance, and a working knowledge of wildlife and natural systems. A strong candidate will have experience both working independently and leading groups in the field.

The position reports to the Executive Director. This is a 9-month part-time position (15-20 hours/week) beginning April 1 through the end of 2016, with potential for extension contingent on funding. The position hours are generally flexible but does require frequent weekend hours and occasional night hours. The job is based out of the PRLT office in Gorham. Duties are performed in the office and in the field. Regular travel is required throughout the region.

Application review will begin February 24, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references by email to info@prlt.org

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for the Nature Loop Trail at Hawkes Preserve and Great Falls School in Gorham

Ribbon cutting Hawkes 2015

From left to right: Becky Fortier Great Falls School Principal, Haley Caron student, Connor Donnolly student, Don Westcott Presumpscot Regional Land Trust Board Member, Linda Sanborn Gorham State Representative

PRESS RELEASE

October 22, 2015

Contact: Rachelle Curran Apse, Executive Director of PRLT, (207) 400-7154

The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust joined today with members of Gorham’s Great Falls School community to officially open a 1-mile nature loop trail on conserved property adjacent to the school. Though also accessible to the public, the school plans to use the trail throughout the year for outdoor learning opportunities.

The ribbon cutting is the culmination of a four-year collaboration that mobilized over 70 volunteers in donating hundreds of hours of time to build the trail.  The trail is on the Hawkes Preserve, which is 40 acres of conserved land owned by the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust that includes over 2000 feet of frontage on the Presumpscot River.  The loop trail has two trailheads that are both open to the public, the first is behind the school and can be accessed by parking in the school parking lot and the second is at the end of Tow Path Road off Route 202 in Gorham.Hawkes preserve map

After the ribbon cutting nearly 100 students went on the inaugural hike with guides from the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust. Students were the first to get to experience the six educational stops along the trail where they learned more about the unique natural lands in their community.  Informational pamphlets for the new nature trail are available at both trailheads for the public to use and explore.

At the ribbon cutting, Presumpscot Regional Land Trust board member Don Wescott spoke about the volunteers who made the trail possible. “As a volunteer board member, I led the creation of this new nature trail, which would not have been possible without the the hundreds of hours of time volunteers committed including students from this school. Volunteers were involved in every aspect of building the trail from trimming to mulching but by far the most effort was spent building and updating more than ten bridges, the largest bridge alone took three full days of volunteer work crews.  My grandchildren are my motivation for devoting countless volunteer hours in order to see this trail completed, knowing this preserve and trail is permanent and future generations will be able to get out into the forest and explore is why I have been a leader with the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust for nearly a decade.  I look forward to being a part of creating more new trails in this region for the public to enjoy in the coming years.”

Principal Becky Fortier spoke about the importance of the new trail for the school. “Teachers are constantly searching for ways to bring the science and social studies curriculum alive for their students. What better way than to get outdoors and see it in action? We are so fortunate that Great Falls School is located on this amazing property that has allowed teachers to take advantage of many outdoor learning opportunities. Our school garden, outdoor classroom, and pond area have been utilized tremendously by all students in kindergarten through grade 5. To think that we now have a 1-mile nature loop trail adjacent to our school property is extremely exciting. The learning opportunities are endless. Thank you Presumpscot Regional Land Trust for creating this experience for our students and community.”​

State Representative for Gorham, Linda Sanborn, spoke of the importance of the trail for public health.  “As a retired family doctor and State Representative that has spent years focused on health care issues, I am especially conscious of the health benefits the nature loop trail provides for students and the public by increasing opportunities for exercise, preventing obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors. Disease prevention saves the state taxpayers money and saves lives.”
BACKGROUND: The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust is a non-profit that conserves lands and provides public access to families, and future generations, to have the room to play outside, to hike and bike through the forest and along the rivers, and to enjoy the fruits of local working farms in six towns connected by the Presumpscot River Watershed: Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Westbrook and Windham. The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust has conserved over 1000 acres of land and has 6 public access preserves with trails that are free and open to the public. Learn more at www.prlt.org.

Principal speakingDon Wescott PRLT speaker

Above on the left: Becky Fortier, Principal of Great Falls Elementary School

Above on the right: Don Wescott, Board Member of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust

Rep Linda Sanborn SpeakingStudent Haley Caron Speaking

Above on the left: Gorham State Representative Linda Sanborn

Above on the right: Eight Grade Student and Trail Volunteer Haley Caron

Student Connor Donnolly SpeakingStudents Hiking on new Hawkes Nature Loop Trail 2015

Above on the left: Eight Grade Student and Trail Volunteer Connor Donnolly

Above on the right: Fourth Graders on the Inaugural Nature Loop Trail Hike on Hawkes Preserve

 

Students hiking 2Hiking with Chelsea

Fourth Graders on the Inaugural Nature Loop Trail Hike on Hawkes Preserve

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

PRESS ADVISORY: Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for the Nature Loop Trail at Hawkes Preserve and Great Falls School in Gorham at Thursday Press Conference

Contact: Rachelle Curran (207) 400-7154

WHEN: Thursday October 22, at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Great Falls School, 73 Justice Way Gorham (off Route 237)

WHAT: The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust will announce the grand opening of the new nature loop trail, with ribbon cutting, on the Hawkes Preserve adjacent to the Great Falls Elementary School in Gorham. The ribbon cutting is the culmination of a four-year collaboration that mobilized over 70 volunteers in donating hundreds of hours of time to build the trail. Following the press conference, nearly 100 students will go on the inaugural hike of the loop trail.

WHO WILL SPEAK: Gorham State Representative Linda Sanborn, Presumpscot Regional Land Trust Board Member Don Wescott, Great Falls Elementary School Principal Becky Fortier, Great Falls Elementary School Student.

BACKGROUND: The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust is a non-profit that conserves lands and provides public access to families, and future generations, to have the room to play outside, to hike and bike through the forest and along the rivers, and to enjoy the fruits of local working farms in six towns connected by the Presumpscot River Watershed: Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Westbrook and Windham. The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust has conserved over 1,000 acres of land and has 6 public access preserves with trails that are free and open to the public. Learn more at www.prlt.org.