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E-News 11/30/17

posted Dec 1, 2017, 9:48 AM by South Portland Land Trust

Click here to read the South Portland Land Trust newsletter released November 30, 2017.

E-News 10/25/17

posted Oct 25, 2017, 11:24 AM by South Portland Land Trust

Click here to read the South Portland Land Trust e-newsletter published on October 25, 2017.

Save the Date: Land Trust Gathering & Annual Meeting Nov 15

posted Oct 17, 2017, 3:17 PM by South Portland Land Trust   [ updated Oct 17, 2017, 3:21 PM ]

Wed, Nov 15, 6-8PM


Fore River Brewing Company, 45 Huntress Ave, South Portland


South Portland Land Trust members and other members of the public are invited to attend our social gathering and annual meeting. It's a great opportunity for SPLT members and non-members alike to get to know each other, hear a great presentation, and learn more about what we do and how we function as an organization.

This year, University of Southern Maine Professor of Environmental Literature, Dr. Owen Grumbling, will give a talk about the intersection of human and wildlife needs for land conservation.  Dr. Grumbling received lifetime achievement awards from the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2009 and from the Maine Coast Heritage Trust is 2015.
The SPLT will also be holding elections for both incoming board members and new board officers. The meeting will open with a brief business meeting, followed by the elections, and Dr. Grumbling's presentation.
The SPLT is partnering with the small business community and holding the event at Fore River Brewing Company on 45 Huntress Avenue in South Portland.
In order to help us get an idea of how many guests we can expect, please RSVP to You don't need to register or commit, but we need help deciding how much food to bring!
We are looking forward to a very informative and fun night together!


Get more info: Contact Dugan Murphy at or 207-956-0207.

E-Newsletter 9/12/17

posted Sep 12, 2017, 8:10 AM by South Portland Land Trust   [ updated Sep 12, 2017, 8:13 AM ]

Click here to read the South Portland Land Trust e-newsletter released September 12, 2017.

E-Newsletter 8/22/17

posted Sep 1, 2017, 8:38 AM by South Portland Land Trust
Click here to read the South Portland Land Trust e-newsletter released August 22, 2017.

In Memory of Bette Roberts

posted Jul 6, 2017, 12:13 PM by South Portland Land Trust

On July 5, 2017, Maine Memorial Co. installed a new bench at the Trout Brook Nature Preserve with the inscription, "Nature never did betray the heart that loved her."  The bench serves as a memorial to Bette Roberts, who was instrumental in creating the preserve.  

The South Portland Land Trust Board of Directors would like to thank Jeffrey Roberts for his generosity in making this bench possible.

Land Trust Donates Playground Funding to City

posted Jul 6, 2017, 11:09 AM by South Portland Land Trust   [ updated Jul 6, 2017, 11:13 AM ]

On July 5, South Portland Land Trust President, Kate Lewis, presented South Portland Mayor, Patti Smith, with a donation of $55,886 for the purchase and installation of a new playground in Sawyer Park at the corner of Main and Westbrook Streets in the Thornton Heights neighborhood.  They were joined by South Portland Land Trust Program Manager, Dugan Murphy, South Portland Parks and Recreation Director, Kevin Adams, and South Portland City Manager, Scott Morelli.

The contribution comes from a fund created by the South Portland Land Trust in 2015 for the improvement and ongoing maintenance of Sawyer Park.  Most contributions to this fund have come from members of the neighboring Congregation Bet Ha’am.

“We’re exited for the possibilities here for meeting residents’ recreational and open space needs in a part of the city that enjoys a disproportionately low acreage of park or green space,” said South Portland Land Trust President, Kate Lewis.  “This is along one of the corridors that serves as a gateway to South Portland.”

Representatives from Congregation Bet Ha’am synagogue, the South Portland Land Trust, and South Portland Parks and Recreation have been meeting since early 2016 to discuss possibilities for the new 2.3-acre Sawyer Park at the corner of Main and Westbrook Streets in the Thornton Heights neighborhood.  All three entities were instrumental in permanently preserving the City-owned open space in 2015 after the City received a development proposal for the property.

“We are thrilled to support the improvement of the park in this way.  The congregation’s vision was always to have this be a community space, including a playground, for all to enjoy,” said Sharon Newman, Past President of Congregation Bet Ha’am.

“This collaboration brought together the necessary resources to make improvements happen here,” said South Portland Land Trust Program Manager, Dugan Murphy.  “Everyone has brought something to the table.”

Formerly a playing field for Sawyer Elementary School, the property was used in 2016 as a laydown yard for the sewer and stormwater improvement work recently completed nearby.  Upon completion of that infrastructure work, the City built two pedestrian entrances to the park, placed benches, and planted trees and grass.  

Former South Portland City Manager Jim Gailey signed a conservation easement with the South Portland Land Trust in November, 2015, protecting Sawyer Park as an open space for public enjoyment.

Congregation Bet Ha’am is a center for Reform Judaism primarily serving about 350 families engaged in Jewish life and learning, and is located adjacent to the new Sawyer Park. The congregation offers regular opportunities for music and prayer and an open and progressive approach to ritual. Their building has won national awards for its cutting-edge environmental and architectural design.  To learn more about Bet Ha’am, visit

Pictured in the photo above L-R: Dugan Murphy, South Portland Land Trust Program Manager; Kevin Adams, South Portland Parks and Recreation Director; Patti Smith, South Portland Mayor; Chris Morelli, South Portland City Manager; Kate Lewis, South Portland Land Trust President; Sharon Newman, Congregation Bet Ha’am Past President.  Photo courtesy of The Sentry.

Trail Care Day July 16

posted Jun 27, 2017, 3:59 PM by South Portland Land Trust   [ updated Jun 27, 2017, 4:12 PM ]

The South Portland Land Trust Board of Directors has been busy this spring, monitoring our lands and trails and identifying issues that need to be addressed so our SPLT members and the South Portland community can better experience our land.

Please join us on Sunday, July 16th for Trail Care Day. We will meet at 9am at the South Portland Land Trust office building (473 Broadway) in Mill Creek Park, where we will be assigned work tasks, given tools, and disperse to the trails that need work. We ask you commit as much time as you are able to complete our projects, but we hope it will take no longer than a few hours.

RSVP to if you have a particular set of skills you think will be relevant to the work needed:
  • Bog bridge building 
  • Cutting back vegetation
  • Replacing wooden steps
  • Moving a foot bridge into place
The trails we will be working on are:
  • Long Creek Trail
  • Mt Vernon St Trail
  • Clarks Pond Trail
  • South Branch Trail
Thank you in advance for your help!

Sofia McNally Awarded South Portland Land Trust Scholarship

posted Jun 26, 2017, 4:32 PM by South Portland Land Trust   [ updated Jun 26, 2017, 6:02 PM ]

Sofia McNally
On June 9 in the South Portland High School auditorium, student Sofia McNally received a $500 scholarship from the South Portland Land Trust.  McNally was chosen for this award based on her dedication to outdoor leadership, education, and conservation.  

This is the second scholarship awarded by this organization.

“The South Portland Land Trust Board of Directors created this scholarship program to support local students with a dedication to environmental stewardship,” said Land Trust Board Member Bethany Woodworth.  “Sofia is a great match.”

McNally’s interest in environmental stewardship is based in a love for environmental science, marine biology, and physics.  She is also an alumnus of the Acadia Institute of Oceanography summer program in 2015 and 2016.

McNally will be attending Eckert College in St. Petersburg, Florida in the fall where she will be majoring in marine biology.

2017 Earth Day Cleanup a Success!

posted Apr 25, 2017, 12:21 PM by South Portland Land Trust   [ updated Apr 25, 2017, 12:26 PM ]
Thank you, South Portlanders!

Last Saturday, April 22nd, was the 47th celebration of Earth Day.  For years the South Portland Land Trust and the City of South Portland have partnered on a clean up of our beautiful City.  After skipping 2016 and after a long winter, our City was in dire need of a good clean up.  Despite cold and wet weather, almost 150 people signed in Saturday to get the job done. 

The SPLT and City want to thank the residents and businesses who participated.  It was a delight to see so many families check in while wearing their boots, rain gear and great smiles.  One family of four excitedly told me they filled seven large bags of trash.   Also joining residents were the US Coast Guard, SMCC, Protect South Portland, Pet Life Stores and other numerous businesses.

The unified effort cleaned up Willard Beach, Bug Light Park, the Greenbelt, Thomas Knight Park, Clark’s Pond Trail, the Long Creek Trail, Trout Brook Nature Preserve and dozens of other sites throughout the City.  We hope you notice a difference.
We also want to thank Soma Message and Wellness, Taproot magazine, Willows Pizza Restaurant, Jeff Ryan, Portland Intown Contra Dance, and the City of South Portland for donating prizes that were raffled off to ten participants.  I also want to thank Jeff Ryan and Richard Rottkov who volunteered their time to assure a successful event. We also want to thank Denise Michaud who was the volunteer photographer for the morning.  If you or your group want to join us for the planning of Earth Day 2018 please contact me and we will see that you are invited to plan and/or participate.  

The South Portland Land Trust would like to encourage all of you to consider every day Earth Day in South Portland.  For our future generations, it is imperative that we keep out city clean.  This ongoing effort will only improve our air quality, keep our watersheds and Casco Bay cleaner and will maintain healthy soils to allow for greater growth.  

Again, thank you for all that contributed on Earth Day and for those that make this effort a daily habit.  Our community needs and appreciates a clean and healthy South Portland!

Tom Blake

SPLT Board of Directors,

& on behalf of the Earth Day Clean Up Committee

View more photos here on Facebook!

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