December 31, 2008
In December of 2008 the Windham Land Trust launched its first annual stewardship appeal. Funds raised will enable WLT to maintain and improve properties and trails, preserve the integrity of property lines, and create recreational and educational opportunities on our properties.
Winter is an ideal time for WLT to plan stewardship projects for the spring. Stewardship projects slated for 2009 include improving the entrance to Black Brook Preserve, cleaning up fallen trees caused by this past July’s microburst at Frog Hollow Farm, and building an observation deck and parking area at the Pringle Wildlife Preserve.
WLT's stewardship appeal is a great opportunity for our supporters to take part in the up-keep and improvements in Windham Land Trust properties that they use and enjoy.
This year, WLT's supporters can easily and securely make donations online by visiting our Web site at www.theWindhamLandTrust.org and clicking on the "Donate to WLT Online" button in the left column. A gift can also be made by filling out the PDF form on our website and mailing it to the Windham Land Trust.
The Board of Directors would like to thank all contributors for their continued support.
Return to Top
Clement Hiebert (1926-2008) Dedication
December 11, 2008
On December 11 The WLT remembered Dr. Clement Hiebert, who passed away on July 3, 2008. May Hiebert, WLT board members and friends held a brief ceremony at one of the first benches along the trail that now bears his name. Dr. Hiebert and his wife May were long-time supporters of the WLT. On several occasions they opened their beautiful home and grounds on Lake
Suzanne to help raise funds for the WLT. Dr. Hiebert also presented a slide show at the Windham Library for WLT members; his philanthropic spirit was reflected in the beautiful slides he exhibited from his early medical days in Newfoundland to his trips aboard the S.S. Hope to West Africa.
Clem’s friends often called him a Renaissance man. And though the former chief of surgery of Maine Medical Center was good at almost everything, his wife said, what he loved most was helping people. His many friends remember him fondly not just as an accomplished surgeon but also as an ardent skier, traveler, gardener, musician, photographer and lover of his working mill and former home on Lake Suzanne in Windham. He believed that life was best lived through full emersion into a larger purpose because it is then that we can achieve the fulfillment of mind, heart, and spirit.
Return to Top
Freeman Farm Update
June 16, 2008
The Windham Land Trust holds a conservation easement on 88 acres of the old Freeman Farm in Gray Maine, located just over the Windham/Gray town line on Route 202. Renamed Stonehedge by the current owners, the property is used to host country music festivals on the non-easement acreage.
The easement area, best described as the wooded portion sitting back from the road, is currently not open for public use and may only be used by the owners. When the Windham Land Trust agreed to hold the easement on this property our intention was to ensure that the area would remain undisturbed and wild except for occasional harvesting of trees according to a forester's plan.
Over the past few years, while the owners developed their Stonehedge festival venue, the Windham Land Trust Board felt that activities prohibited by the easement were taking place on the easement portion of property. During several site walks, activities described by the owners led us to believe that, in fact, there were a number of violations of the easement as it is written.
Discussions occurred between the WLT and the property owners, but no resolution of differences could be accomplished. As a result, the decision was made to file court documents with the Maine Superior Court to require the owners to cease activities pending a decision by the court on the merits of our allegations. Subsequently, the Court supported our allegations nearly in their entirety, and then stated that prior to returning to Court for a final finding we should attempt a settlement through mediation.
Mediation sessions were held under the supervision of a professional mediator, but the parties were unable to reach a negotiated settlement agreeable to both sides. During this process, the State Attorney General's office was asked to become a participant based on
recent legislation allowing them to become involved in land use activity that potentially affects the public good. They have joined us in our actions and have proven quite helpful to date.
Since mediation ended, there have been several outside settlement offers and counter-offers, but agreement has yet to be reached. As part of the negotiations each side has been required to “give and take” in order to reach a middle ground.
Given the circumstances, the WLT feels that the concessions we hope to obtain in exchange for those we had to make are reasonable and appropriate, and in line with the spirit of the conservation easement. On-going legal negotiations have made it difficult to share details of the situation. Of course, we recognize that this may be frustrating to members who are deeply troubled by this whole course of events, but all may rest assured that once the details are set in place, a full disclosure of the settlement will be shared with one and all.
An organization such as ours has an obligation to be more than a "toothless tiger"; it has a duty to protect the land entrusted to our care.
Return to Top
Windham Land Trust Raffle
June 14, 2008
The Windham Land Trust is having another exciting raffle. Thanks to all of you last year's raffle was a successful fundraising even. We are hoping you will participate again this year. Prizes will include a handmade quilt by Sue Nichols, original paintings by Pat Riley and other local artists, and Windham Historical Society's lap robe. Raffle chances are $5.00 for one chance or $25.00 for six chances. The drawing will be held in September and the winners will be notified. If you live out of state your prize will be sent to you.
Pat Riley is hospitalized at Maine Medical Center and we know she would enjoy a card.
Return to Top
June 11, 2008
The Chicken Cookout on June 7, 2008 was our second. Our first cookout was August 2007. We had a great turn out for our delicious chicken, homemade potato salad, coleslaw and pies. The chicken halves were cooked outside on a charcoal pit that could cook 48 halves at a time. David Stover was the chief cook, turning and basting the chickens every 10 minutes for a great juicy flavor. His helpers were Dennis Hawkes, David Clark,e and Rich St. Pierre. Unfortunately, we had more customers than chickens. We are very sorry that there were not enough to go around but we will order much more next time. Thank you for all the food donations and the staff that helped with the cookout. A big thanks to Hoggy's Meat Market for the large chicken roosters.
Return to Top
2008 Annual Fund
May 21, 2008
WLT launched its first annual fund appeal in March of 2008. New board member Patrick Corey designed the materials, and another new board member Rich St. Pierre wrote an excellent letter, which was sent to all current and past members. The appeal was extremely successful; WLT has raised $3,242.55 to date and contributions are still coming in. The Board would like to express its appreciation to all those who responded with membership renewals, extra donations and words of encouragement:
Return to Top