The Bangor Land Trust received a $5,000 grant from Emera Maine on Thursday to improve the land trust’s public outreach and create digital and print trail maps for all Bangor Land Trust preserves. This increased public outreach includes the land trust’s first ever “ Take to the Woods” trail challenge, running July 1-Aug. 28.

“We keep running across people who don’t know where our preserves are,” said Lucy Quimby, President of the Bangor Land Trust on check presentation event on Thursday. “How can you love our preserves if you don’t know where they are, and you don’t know what’s on them, and you think you’ll get lost if you walk the trails?”

This isn’t the first time Emera Maine has supported the Bangor-based nonprofit, which currently owns and conserves more than 800 acres of land in Bangor with public access and maintains more than 10 miles of trails.

“This is a great partnership we’ve been working on with Bangor Land Trust for a number of years,” said Susan Faloon, spokesperson for Emera Maine. “We think it’s important to support our community and be good stewards of the environment. We have great resources right in our back yard, and they don’t take care of themselves.”

The new “Take to the Woods” trail challenge will be a way for people to learn more about Bangor Land Trust properties. Challenge participants will each have a booklet, which will guide them to five Bangor Land Trust preserves. Participants will be asked to explore the trails and stamp their challenge booklet with stamps found at the trailhead kiosk of each preserve.

“We’d like people to hike the trails,” said Donne Sinderson, office manager of the Bangor Land Trust. “But we’re going by the honor system. The big thing is that people know where the preserves are, and that they are there for them.”

Once a participant collects all five stamps, they can take their booklet to the Bangor Land Trust office on the fourth floor of 8 Harlow St. in downtown Bangor to receive a Bangor Land Trust water bottle. But first, call 942-1010 to make sure someone is in the office.

Another part of the land trust’s plan for public outreach is a new section of their website based on the Aldous Huxley quote: “The more you know, the more you see.” The section is a growing resource of photos and information about the plants and animals seen at Bangor Land Trust preserves.

“All the ways we can help people connect to nature with both their heads and hearts will help us save the planet,” Quimby said.

The Bangor Land Trust, which was founded in 2001, received land trust accreditation from the national Land Trust Alliance in February. According to the alliance website, land trust accreditation is “a mark of distinction, showing that a land trust meets high standards for land conservation.” It also means that a land trust has successfully implemented the alliance’s Land Trust Standards and Practices.

“We have committed to preserving this land forever, in perpetuity,” said Quimby. “And we need to lay a firm foundation for that.”

A nonprofit organization, the Bangor Land Trust is supported by members, fundraising events and grants. It’s biggest fundraising event is the Pedal the Penobscot bike ride, scheduled for Sept. 13 this year. The land trust is also always looking for volunteers to participate in field work and office work.

For information, visit bangorlandtrust.org or call 942-1010.


Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn Sarnacki is a Maine outdoors writer and the author of three Maine hiking guidebooks including “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine.” Find her on Twitter and Facebook @1minhikegirl. You can also...