Mission: The Kennebec Land Trust (KLT) works cooperatively with landowners and communities to conserve the forests, shorelands, fields, and wildlife that define central Maine. KLT protects land permanently, offers opportunities for people to learn about and enjoy the natural world, and works with partners to support sustainable forestry and farming.
Direct beneficiaries per year: over 6,200 acres of land
Geographic areas served: 21 communities in Kennebec County, Maine
Programs: Land Conservation. Since 1988, KLT has worked cooperatively with landowners and communities to conserve our region's natural assets. KLT conserves land in 21 towns primarily in Kennebec County, but also Androscoggin and Franklin Counties. KLT holds conservation easements on, accepts gifts of, and purchases significant lands, to further the mission of the organization. Our land conservation is guided by 10 strategic conservation principles: significant undeveloped shore land, including especially the shores of undeveloped ponds;large unfragmented areas of valuable plant and wildlife habitat; properties that serve to connect or expand existing conservation properties; lands with unique or fragile ecosystems including land with rare or uncommon plants and wildlife; lake islands; lands with strong visual qualities including unique geological features; lands that protect aquifers and drinking water; working forest land and education (forest land managed for timber products as well as for ecological values); agricultural land; and lands that are historically significant or have prehistoric sites.
Education. Programming includes: hikes; paddles; bird walks; and outdoor art workshops. Since 2009, Central Maine students, parents, and teachers have learned about sustainable forestry at our annual educational program at the 360-acre Curtis Homestead Conservation Area in Leeds. Since 2003, we have hosted a March lecture series – the Lyceum - celebrating history, arts and ecology programs. Our publications include: KLT news, a biannual newsletter; Take a Hike: the KLT hiking guide, published in 2014, a guide to our most popular trails; and Between Person and Place: conservation histories from the Kennebec Land Trust, published in 2010.
Stewardship: KLT staff and board members oversee the management of our fee lands, monitor conservation easements, and work with many volunteer stewards. Our stewards collectively volunteer over 1,000 hours each year for trail maintenance, monitoring, and public access projects.
Landscape Woodland Conservation and the Regional Wood Economy: KLT is a lead partner and the fiscal agent for both the Kennebec Woodland Partnership (kwp) and the local wood WORKS initiative: two successful regional conservation initiatives focused on the long-term sustainability of kennebec county's woodlands and a landscape-level approach to conservation.
Kennebec Land Trust became an accredited land trust in August 2018, a status that can be renewed every five years. Accreditation means Kennebec Land Trust meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Kennebec Land Trust demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate the commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. To learn more about land trust accreditation and the current accreditation status of Kennebec Land Trust, visit http//www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.