On September 22, at the "Our Mountain Voices" event at the Camden Opera House, Coastal Mountains Land Trust launched the public phase of the Round the Mountain Collaboration, a partnership between Coastal Mountains Land Trust, Maine Water Company, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the towns of Camden and Rockport and several local outdoor recreation groups.
To date, $2.3 million, of the total $4.2 million required for the project, has been raised through foundation grants and individual donations.
The Land Trust is now asking the community to support the effort to purchase conservation easements on 1,400 acres of land on Ragged Mountain, help secure the water supply for six coastal communities, and build the 9-mile Round the Mountain Trail around Ragged Mountain.
To encourage community support, a few anonymous donors have pledged to match up to $100,000 in gifts from the public.
Additionally, the Maine Water Company has promised to make a $200,000 donation towards the construction of the Round the Mountain Trail immediately upon the closing of the Mirror Lake Conservation Easement, scheduled for December 31.
As such, every dollar given in support of this project between now and the end of the year will result in the release of three additional dollars in support.
There is an impending deadline for part of the total project need:
- The Land Trust is seeking to raise $500,000 still needed to secure the 790-acre Mirror Lake Conservation Easement by December 31, when the first phase needs to be purchased.
- The next phase of the project will be to begin construction of the next four miles of the Round the Mountain Trail in the second half of 2018.
Gifts of support can be made directly to Coastal Mountains Land Trust's office or by visiting the website at www.coastalmountains.org.
The Round the Mountain Collaboration has been formally endorsed by more than 20 local organizations, businesses and municipalities, and has the active support of local trails organizations such as the Midcoast Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (McNEMBA) and the Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine (TROMM).
“In the eyes of those supporters, this project represents one of the largest local investments in ensuring a healthy future for the community through outdoor recreation and to maintaining the quality of place which is so fundamental to the economic well-being of this community,” according to a news release from the land trust.
Fourteen years ago, Coastal Mountains Land Trust embraced the vision to conserve Bald and Ragged mountains, a 3,500-acre area in Camden, Hope, and Rockport.
To date, the land trust haa protected more that 51 percent of the mountains, which have also become popular outdoor recreation assets.
“Our progress has been made possible by the generous cooperation of landowners and ongoing support of community members, foundations and government agencies,” the land trust said. “The success of the current Round the Mountain Collaboration would bring that goal to 85 percent complete.”
Coastal Mountains Land Trust has worked since 1986 to permanently conserve land to benefit the natural and human communities of western Penobscot Bay.
The Land Trust has protected more than 10,000 acres to date, offering 45 miles of trails for public access.
For more information, contact Ian Stewart, Executive Director, at 207-236-7091, or visit www.coastalmountains.org.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust is a statewide land conservation organization dedicated to protecting land that is essential to the character of Maine, its coastline and islands in particular.
Since 1970, more than 144,000 acres and 300 entire coastal islands have been permanently protected.
For more information, contact Ciona Ulbrich, Senior Project Manager, at 207-244-5100, or visit www.mcht.org.