New building on Russell Ave. will be open to the public Saturday

Aldermere Farm, Erickson Fields Preserve reach three major milestones

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has received a new gift of $250K from the Richard King Mellon Foundation; Aaron Englander has been named Associate Director of Stewardship of two Rockport preserves; and a newly completed cattle barn will be open to visitors

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ROCKPORT — Maine Coast Heritage Trust said Nov. 29 that it has received $250,000 from the Richard King Mellon Foundation for Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields Preserve. The gift will support key aspects of a $4.4 million campaign, including new interpretive signage, improved accessibility, an accessible restroom, and newly hardened accessible paths for walking.

The gift arrived as the campaign nears its December 31, 2023, deadline.

MCHT also announced that Aaron Englander has been named Associate Director of Stewardship at Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields. Englander has been with MCHT since 2014 and has been serving in an interim director role since June 2023.

Aaron Englander has been named Associate Director of Stewardship at Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields. (Photo courtesy Aldermere Farm)

“All of us at MCHT are thrilled by these latest milestones and by the extraordinary support we are seeing for Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields,” said David Warren, MCHT Planned Giving and Major Gifts Officer, in a news release. “We're working hard to connect with as many people as possible to reach our campaign goals by the end of the year, and we’re excited to announce that all new gifts to the campaign will be matched dollar for dollar.”

Saturday Annual Beltie Holiday

On Saturday, December 2, 9 a.m. to noon, Aldermere Farm, 70 Russell Ave., in Rockport, will open its doors and barnyard to celebrate Beltie Holiday, an annual family event that is free and open to the public. 

Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the newly completed cattle barn, take photos with a Belted Galloway calf, and take kits for making Belted Galloway ornaments at home. Attendees will also have an opportunity to enter a raffle to win a handmade Beltie tote bag by Rhubarb Custom Bags. Continuing MCHT’s commitment to service and community wellbeing, Aldermere staff will collect donations to fund the supply of Aldermere beef to hunger-relief agencies. 

The new cattle barn at Aldermere Farm, in Rockport. (Photo courtesy Aldermere Farm)

About the Campaign

Aldermere Farm, a historic saltwater farm situated on the shores of Penobscot Bay in Rockport, has already undergone most of the renovation work to accommodate the oldest continuously operated herd of Belted Galloways in the United States while improving accessibility to the public. 

Nearby Erickson Fields, which grows an average of 20,000 pounds of fresh food per year for local hunger relief efforts, has added a new open-air barn to house equipment to increase efficiency for programing, gardening, and food distribution to members of the Midcoast community.

MCHT will continue to fundraise through December 31, 2023, with the hope of exceeding its original goal to make up for increased building costs. All new gifts to the campaign will be matched dollar for dollar up to $250,000. 

About Maine Coast Heritage Trust 

MCHT is a nonprofit land conservation organization with initiatives ranging from preserving coastal access for communities to high impact ecological work focused on reconnecting waterways and improving coastal resiliency to climate change. MCHT began on Mount Desert Island in 1970 and continues to serve as the local land trust for the MDI community with over two dozen preserves in the area. Since it began, MCHT has become a leader in Maine’s nationally renowned land conservation efforts and maintains a growing network of almost 150 coastal and island preserves coastwide—free and open to everyone. MCHT also leads the 80-member Maine Land Trust Network to ensure that land conservation provides benefits to all Maine communities. Get involved at


Event Date: 

Sat, 12/02/2023 - 9:00am to 12:00pm