New program enables businesses to actively support the organization’s conservation efforts 

SOUTH PORTLAND — South Portland Land Trust announced the launch of its Community Business Partner Program this week. The new initiative aims to increase business support of the land trust’s conservation efforts, including building and maintaining trails, conserving open spaces, and engaging people in projects to mitigate the impacts of climate change in our community.

Benefits for local businesses include recognition on the land trust’s website, in the monthly newsletter, and on social media; free coordination of employee work days; and a number of other benefits. Inaugural businesses who have already joined the program include Evergreen Credit Union, Lighthouse Bikes, The Maine Mall, and Rusty Lantern Markets. Local businesses, regional, and national chain businesses are encouraged to participate. Businesses can sign up at a level of support that works for their budget.

“South Portland is fortunate to have businesses that are very dedicated to our community,” noted Richard Rottkov, SPLT Board president. “The Community Business Partner program offers them a simple and meaningful way to support our critical conservation work right here in the community that they serve.”

Leah Day, owner of Lighthouse Bikes in Knightville, noted that supporting her local land trust is a given: “I can’t think of anything more important than preserving the land around us. A large part of our mission at Lighthouse Bikes is to share the beauty of South Portland’s coast with tourists and locals alike and to inspire them to value and protect it. South Portland Land Trust is doing vitally important work.”

Craig Gorris, senior general manager of The Maine Mall, concurs. “The Maine Mall is proud to be an inaugural member of the South Portland Land Trust’s Community Business Partner program. The key goals of the Land Trust align with our own sustainability priorities and we’re eager to work with them to help better our community this year and beyond.”

The new program also helps SPLT build its internal capacity. With just one part-time staff member, the organization has its eye on future growth. “For 35 years, we have worked to  conserve open space and build and maintain trails in an effort to connect our neighborhoods,” noted Rottkov. “The Community Business Partner program is one way we are asking the community to join us so we can continue this vital work.” As the program continues to grow, SPLT plans to offer additional benefits for participating businesses, including an annual spring gala in the park.

If you are a local business and would like to join the Community Business Partner Program, visit southportlandlandtrust.org or contact Michelle Smith, program coordinator, at michelle@sopolandtrust.org.