BRIDGTON — Loon Echo Land Trust has received a $50,000 grant from an anonymous foundation to match donations received for the acquisition of the Peabody-Fitch Woods in Bridgton.

The conservation effort protects the Bridgton Historical Society’s historic Narramissic Farm from development encroachment. The acquisition of 252 acres of land surrounding the 18th century farm will reunite the original property and keep its character intact. The land will create a new community space for recreation and educational programming, and protect valuable natural resources.

The trust’s staff will hold an informational session about its proposed Peabody-Fitch Woods project at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at the Loon Echo Office, 8 Depot St., Suite 4.

Residents and visitors are invited to attend to learn about the project and to hear about the plans for the property.

“The Peabody-Fitch project is one of great significance to the community,” said Stewardship Manager and Bridgton resident Jon Evans.

“It connects two large tracts of conserved land, ensures continued public access, and protects some of the region’s important cultural features. The Peabody and Fitch families left an amazing legacy, and we are proud to not only protect their land, but honor their pioneering spirit in the process,” said Evans.

Staff from Loon Echo will also lead an informational snowshoe walk on the property from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. In case of inclement weather, it will be on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Those snowshoeing should meet at Narramissic Farm, 46 Narramissic Road, and bring snowshoes. Snowshoes will be available, free of charge, by request for those needing them by contacting [email protected] or 207-647-4352 before the event.

Gifts of any amount for the acquisition will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the grant until Dec. 31.

To date, donations totaling $13,185 have been matched. LELT has received approximately 67 percent of the funds for the project, and it needs another $107,000 to complete the purchase. Loon Echo is seeking to raise the remaining funds from private individuals, public resources, and additional grants.

Donations to support Peabody-Fitch Woods can be sent to Loon Echo Land Trust, 8 Depot St., Suite No. 4, Bridgton, ME 04009, or made online at lelt.org/pfw.

For more information on the snowshoe walk or informational session, visit lelt.org, call 207-647-4352 or visit the office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Hikers enter Peabody-Fitch Woods.

A hiker visits a quarry in the Peabody-Fitch Woods.

Community members snowshoe near Peabody-Fitch Woods in Bridgton at Loon Echo Land Trust hike last year.

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