LOVELL — Greater Lovell Land Trust (GLLT) finalized two important projects that conserve nearly 300 acres in western Maine at the end of 2020. The December 28th closing for both projects made for a busy and upbeat end to the year.

A successful year of fundraising made possible the purchase of 107 acres of land with immense ecological value and scenic beauty on Charles Pond, a nearly undeveloped 124-acre pond at the mouth of Cold River. The property, located on both sides of the Stow-Fryeburg town line, has over 3,300 feet of water frontage on the pond and river, hosts a silver maple floodplain forest and other state-recognized plant communities, and is part of a large wetland complex identified as important inland wading bird and waterfowl habitat by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.

Landowners, Susan and Mark Keenan, recognized the special setting and were eager to see a conservation outcome for this remarkable property, and a multitude of generous individual donors contributed significantly to the success of the project.

The project began in the summer of 2019 with a kayak paddle on Charles Pond and up the Cold River. Erika Rowland, GLLT Executive Director, was “immediately struck” both by the sense of solitude and by the valuable ecological resources offered by the property. She notes that, “The stately cow moose ripping leaves off the alders at the river’s edge that first day was a huge selling point, too.”

Several grants from foundations and state and federal sources were instrumental in securing the conservation of this outstanding property at the mouth of the Cold River. Two major grants, in particular, recognized the wildlife and public access values of Charles Pond. The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, which funds wildlife and conservation groups through lottery ticket sales, offered its support for the project early on. The Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program, which uses state and federal mitigation funds for land protection and restoration of wetlands, awarded GLLT $120,000 toward the property’s purchase and long-term management.

Excited to visit? GLLT will be offering numerous opportunities to get to know its new Charles Pond Reserve, beginning in 2021. Watch for announcements in upcoming months.

Protecting a single pristine setting was not enough for one day. Less than an hour later, three-peat conservation easement donor, Peter Rohr, added 180 acres of undeveloped forest land along West Lovell Road to 113 acres already protected with two conservation easements. The property, located in the Kezar Lake watershed in Lovell, has a small pond and tributary stream that flows into Sucker Brook and Kezar Lake’s Lower Bay. Properties protected with conservation easements remain in private ownership and typically do not allow for open public access. The 180 acres will, however, remain undeveloped and add to a large block of conserved wildlife habitat that includes other GLLT properties and lands owned by Maine Woodland Owners ( and the White Mountain National Forest. Intact upland forests are also critical to watershed health. Combined with the Maine Woodland Owners’ lands, Peter Rohr’s string of conservation easements will ensure that we all will forever enjoy a forested view for over two miles along the west side of the West Lovell Road and will be a significant element for maintaining water quality in the area.

Jill Rundle, GLLT Board President, is “gratified at the generosity of friends, neighbors, and foundations and funding agencies amidst the disruption of the pandemic,” and suggests that it reveals a renewed appreciation for the outdoors and support for public access to the natural world where social distance is easily maintained.

The Greater Lovell Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit land conservation organization established in 1985 to protect the ecosystems of the Kezar Lake, Kezar River, and Cold River watersheds for the benefit of the natural and human communities today and as a legacy for the future. The land trust now conserves more than 5,000 acres and offers recreational access and trail systems on many properties for all to enjoy. Learn more at our website: or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @greaterlovelllandtrust.

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