PHILLIPS — The Sandy River Land Trust has received a $3,000 grant from the Maine Community Foundation, made from the Hugh and Elizabeth Montgomery Charitable Fund, to support building regional capacity to protect public interest in key buildings, farmland and habitats along the Sandy River watershed.
Hugh and Elizabeth "Betty" Montgomery created the charitable fund, with money from their will, with the stipulation that funding should first go to grantees applying from Phillips and surrounding areas. The grant will go a long way towards helping the Sandy River Land Trust build organizational capacity to live up to its mission.
Some current projects are: development of the proposed Fly Rod Crosby Trail, an AmeriCorps position, through the Maine Conservation Corps and local conservation education events and programs.
The Montgomerys were deeply involved in the community of Phillips. Hugh was a curator of the Railroad Room in the historical society and Betty was the librarian in the Phillips Public Library. Together they helped incorporate the Sandy River Land Trust in 1989. New members have helped re-energize the land trust after a short period of inactivity following the death of the Montgomerys.
The Sandy River Land Trust now meets in the farmhouse on Reeds Mills Road previously occupied by Hugh and Betty Montgomery. The High Peaks Alliance, a partner in the development of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail, meets in the public library, also aided in funding by the Montgomerys.