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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!

South Portland Land Trust e-Newsletter

posted Apr 15, 2017, 7:19 AM by South Portland Land Trust   [ updated Apr 15, 2017, 7:20 AM ]

Foulmouthed Pub Quiz

Click here to read our newsletter, published April 14, 2017!

Trout Brook Nature Preserve Walk Rescheduled

posted Apr 5, 2017, 12:06 PM by South Portland Land Trust

Friday, May 12, 2017, 9AM
Get to Know Your Trails
Trout Brook Nature Preserve, 47 Parrott St, South Portland
Join the South Portland Land Trust in our Get to Know Your Trails walk series. This walk will take us to the Trout Brook Nature Preserve where we will learn the history of the area and walk the trails.  This event is rescheduled from late March, when icy conditions forced us to cancel.

Everyone is welcome!  This walk is geared toward the whole family, from infants to grandparents -- well-behaved dogs included!  Our walk will be fairly easy (lasting no longer than one hour) and will take place on dirt trails.  We will meet at 47 Parrott Street, South Portland, where you can park on the street. 

This event is part of the Get to Know Your Trails series.

South Portland Land Trust e-Newsletter

posted Mar 17, 2017, 9:02 AM by South Portland Land Trust

Click here to read our newsletter, published March 17, 2017!

Accomplishments in 2016 and Plans for 2017

posted Jan 26, 2017, 4:58 PM by South Portland Land Trust

Ten Best Accomplishments in 2016



The South Portland Land Trust Board of Directors is proud to announce the ten best accomplishments last year in achieving our mission to expand trail networks and conserve open space in our community!


  • Dow's Woods protected: Former Land Trust President Steve Jocher signed the conservation easement securing into perpetuity the 9.2-acre Dow's Woods Nature Preserve.  This followed South Portland Planning Board approval on August 23rd.
  • Sawyer Park funding: The Land Trust received almost $100,000 in donations from members of Congregation Bet Ha'am for initial improvements and ongoing maintenance of the new Sawyer Park at the corner of Main and Westbrook Streets in Thornton Heights.
  • Successful plant sale fundraiser: The annual plant sale fundraiser that the Land Trust hosts with the Community Garden Collective each year raised almost $1,000 more than last year!
  • More reached at annual meeting: The South Portland Land Trust Annual Meeting in November hosted more members than any other annual meeting in the board's collective memory and served as a successful forum for gathering input and updating membership.
  • New education program: Land Trust board members Sarah Stickney and Heather Drake started a new "Get to Know Your Trails" event series, at which attendees experience and learn the history of highlighted trails in South Portland.
  • Successful 5k fundraiser despite weather: The Bug Light 5K Run & Walk experieced a great show of participation despite the unseasonably low temperature and driving rain.
  • New Program Manager hired: The Land Trust Board of Directors successfully hired and trained new Program Manager, Dugan Murphy of Nuf Sed, who hit the ground running last March.
  • New scholarship program: Land Trust board member Bethany Woodworth created a new scholarship program for South Portland High School seniors involved in environmental stewardship.
  • Engaged city council candidated: Land Trust board members Richard Rottkov and Steve Jocher organized a forum focused on environmental issues for South Portland City Council candidates.  The Land Trust organized similar events in 2008 and 2009.
  • Organizational assessment completed: The board of directors sought consultation from professionals connected to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust in assessing the strength of the Land Trust's internal organization.  This process provided the board with a checklist of improvements to increase the organization's sustainability in achieving its mission.

Looking Forward to 2017



In planning our events, projects, and programs for 2017, the South Portland Land Trust Board of Directors would like to share these highlights.  Save the dates on your calendar and look for details to be announced later in the year!


  • Improvements to Sawyer Park: South Portland Land Trust Board President Kate Lewis is helping to lead the effort in collaboration with Congregation Bet Ha'am and the South Portland Parks Department to plan for and complete improvements to Sawyer Park this year, including a playscape for young children that could open this spring.
  • Growing stewardship of South Portland's trails: The board of directors recently decided to focus in 2017 on enhancing stewardship of South Portland's trail system.  This may include more frequent monitoring, cleanup activities, and/or maintenance events.  We will need community volunteers to adopt trails that they will monitor and help maintain.  If you are interested in helping to monitor, clean, and maintain trails in South Portland, please reply to this email with your interest so we can help you get involved.
  • Improved access to Dow's Woods: Now that public access to Dow's Woods Nature Preserve has been secured, we will be working to build out trail access into the area as the nearby housing development takes shape.
  • "Get to Know Your Trails" continues: Land Trust board members Heather Drake and Sarah Stickney will continue the "Get to Know Your Trails" series with events tentatively planned in March, July, and December.
  • Earth Day: We plan to host a trail cleanup event on April 22 in recognition of Earth Day.
  • Plant Sale: We are planning with the Community Garden Collective to host the ever-popular plant sale this May as a fundraiser for both organizations.
  • National Trails Day: We plan to host an event on June 3 to highlight one or more of South Portland's public trails.  The event will coincide with National Trails Day.
  • Greendrinks: We will be hosting a social event and fundraiser in collaboration with Portland Greendrinks on August 8 at Southern Maine Community College.
  • National Public Lands Day: We will be hosting a trail maintenance event on September 30 to coincide with National Public Lands Day.

“Hidden Jewels” Recognized at Annual Meeting

posted Nov 30, 2016, 7:07 PM by South Portland Land Trust   [ updated Nov 30, 2016, 7:11 PM ]

Hidden Jewels of South Portland Sample Presentation Slide

Forty members of the South Portland Land Trust and other residents of South Portland met at Fore River Brewing Company on Wednesday, November 16 to celebrate that organization’s recent successes and to learn more about outdoor opportunities in our community.  

The event was organized by Heather Drake and Sarah Stickney, both members of the South Portland Land Trust Board of Directors.  “Fore River turned out to be an excellent venue for our gathering,” said Drake.  “We were so pleased when they offered their space to us.”

Outgoing President, Steve Jocher, updated the group on the Land Trust’s recent success in establishing the new Dow’s Woods Nature Preserve off Highland Avenue near the South Portland High School, welcomed newly-elected board members, and thanked those leaving the board.  Sarah Stickney was elected as as Secretary, Heather Drake as Vice President, and Kate Lewis as President.  Steve Jocher and Mary Linneman are staying on the board, but stepping down from their officer positions as President and Secretary, respectively.  David Rooker will be leaving the board.

“I’m so grateful for the time and energy Steve Jocher has dedicated to the Land Trust over several years,” Lewis said.  “Under his leadership, we protected two new key parcels in South Portland, and have a very well-organized plan that I hope to work with new leaders to execute over the next several months.”

Continuing board members include Peggy Stewart (Treasurer), Mary Linneman, Charlie Baldwin, Tom Blake, Richard Rottkov, Jeff Ryan, Bethany Woodworth, and Bill Laidley.

Land Trust board member and South Portland Mayor, Tom Blake, shared a presentation of the “Hidden Jewels of South Portland” - twenty-nine lesser-known sites around the community, their location, and their histories.

Land Trust Program Manager, Dugan Murphy, sees the annual meeting as an opportunity to wrap up a successful year and to look forward to the next.  “I’m excited to run with the energy from this gathering and turn it into another successful year for trails and open spaces in South Portland,” Murphy said.

Save the Date: Land Trust Gathering & Annual Meeting Nov 16

posted Oct 24, 2016, 12:51 PM by South Portland Land Trust   [ updated Oct 24, 2016, 12:54 PM ]

Fore River Brewing Company Building
Wed, Nov 16, 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 we will feature Mayor and SPLT Board member Tom Blake as he shares his "Hidden Jewels of South Portland" presentation. We will learn where these hidden jewels are and the history associated with them, hopefully piquing interest for community members to explore on their own!
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 Mayor Blake'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.

Land Trust Members Control Erosion Along Long Creek

posted Sep 27, 2016, 12:22 PM by South Portland Land Trust

Chip and Sue Woodson
As part of a celebration of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 24, South Portland Land Trust board member and South Portland Mayor Tom Blake joined Land Trust members, Chip and Sue Woodson, at Long Creek Trail to control erosion along the trail and the banks of the waterway.  

Because the trail runs along the steep banks of Long Creek, erosion is a constant issue, despite the large oak, pine, and maple trees along the trail with their own stabilizing root systems.  The trail now stands in better condition for all to enjoy!

The 23rd annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD), is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Through NPLD, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) works to connect people to public lands in their community, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage use of public lands for education, recreation, and general health

October 4 Forum for City Council Candidates

posted Sep 26, 2016, 3:23 PM by South Portland Land Trust

South Portland City Hall

The South Portland Land Trust will give candidates for the South Portland City Council an opportunity to present their views on a wide range of environmental issues, including those related to the use of open space in the city, when it hosts a forum on October 4 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at South Portland City Hall. The Land Trust also hosted forums for city council candidates in 2008 & 2009.

The Land Trust has invited each of the seven candidates to participate: Maxine Beecher, Richard Carter, James H. Gilboy, Susan Henderson, Katherine White Lewis, Louis B. Maietta, Jr. and Michael Pock. Each is vying for the two at-large seats. Beecher is the incumbent, while Tom Blake currently holds the other at-large seat. Mayor Blake is termed out, completing his third term on the council.

“Our previous forums revealed a great deal about the candidates’ positions on a wide range of environmental issues,” said Steve Jocher, President of the SPLT. “The use of open space and other environmental issues continue to be hot topics in South Portland and in municipalities throughout the nation. Taxpayers want to know their candidates’ views, and that is our intent with this forum.”

Potential question topics include funding the South Portland Land Bank, the South Portland Open Space Plan, local vs. home rule, land acquisition bond questions, trails and maintenance responsibilities, pets and open space, and more.

Steve Jocher, President of the SPLT, will serve as moderator. The public is invited to attend the forum and ask questions following the prepared questions portion.

You're Invited: Long Creek Trail Cleanup on National Public Lands Day

posted Sep 17, 2016, 11:32 AM by South Portland Land Trust   [ updated Sep 17, 2016, 11:54 AM ]

National Public Lands Day Logo

As part of a celebration of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 24, the South Portland Land Trust (SPLT) Board of Directors invites the public to join them at Long Creek Trail for a cleanup event.  SPLT board member and South Portland Mayor, Tom Blake, will meet other volunteers at the Long Creek Trailhead at 9AM that morning and guide them various trail maintenance projects.

Volunteers interested in sharing this tangible impact on quality of life in South Portland are invited to meet at 9AM at the trailhead behind Youth Alternatives at the end of Lydia Lane in South Portland.  Tom Blake will bring tools to share.  Volunteers may bring their own work gloves.

The Long Creek Trailhead is located near the Portland International Jetport at the end of Lydia Ave, off Brickhill Avenue, which itself is off Westbrook Street.  Turn onto Brick Hill Road off Westbrook Street and bear left onto Lydia Lane, proceed to its end, and park in the Youth Alternatives’ Ingraham back lot.  Look for the trail sign and take the steps down the slope to the trail.  

The 23rd annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD), is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Through NPLD, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) works to connect people to public lands in their community, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage use of public lands for education, recreation, and general health

To encourage people to join in and visit their public lands, NPLD is a fee-free day for all federal public lands and many state parks. Whether you volunteer on NPLD, enjoy some boating, hiking, fishing, or camping, or simply learn more about your public lands and the plants and wildlife that live there, we invite you to take this day to enjoy the great outdoors and celebrate the lands that give us so much.

Invite your friends on Facebook!

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