Two generations of the James family walk a trail along the shore of Dan Charles Pond, the entire shoreline of which is now conserved by Greater Lovell Land Trust. Photo by Jill Rundle

LOVELL — Greater Lovell Land Trust finalized the first of four land purchases scheduled for the next few months. The 931-acre parcel is the largest piece of a project that will conserve over 1,300 acres of forested landscape in Lovell.

The complete project will include nearly two miles of frontage on the Kezar River, a 20-acre pond, several brooks, and a hilltop with expansive views of the White Mountains and the surrounding landscape. The many natural features and conservation assets are all accessible by existing woods roads and miles of trails that will be maintained for traditional uses of the community, according to a news release from Erika Rowland, executive director, Greater Lovell Land Trust.

A major award of $430,000 from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program, which uses state and federal mitigation funds for land protection and restoration of wetlands — as well as contributions from The Nature Conservancy, the Davis Conservation Foundation, the Betterment Fund, the Maine Community Foundation, an anonymous foundation, and numerous private donations — made this initial purchase possible.

The property is the centerpiece of the landscape-scale conservation project. The landowners, Colin and Helen James of Bermuda and Jackson, New Hampshire, who purchased the property in 2015, were determined to conserve the lands for future generations. They reached out to the land trust several years ago, and together the GLLT and the family started the process of making that goal a reality.

The James family have been committed conservation partners throughout. They determined to sell the property to GLLT for a significantly reduced price and waited as the land trust completed the two years of fundraising work needed to make the purchase. On a walk around Dan Charles Pond with GLLT staff and three generations of the James family in 2020, the conversation came back frequently to how important it was to the family to conserve the land and maintain it in perpetuity for the human and wildlife communities.

The 931 acres has important ecological value as well as incredible scenic beauty. Located in the southeast corner of Lovell, along the Waterford and Sweden town line, the property straddles almost two miles of the Kezar River, nearly a mile of Patterson Brook, and encompasses the entire shoreline of Dan Charles Pond, all of which is recognized as native brook trout habitat and includes areas of important inland wading bird and waterfowl habitat as identified by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.


The lands are in the headwaters of the Saco River watershed, and will protect water quality in the state-recognized groundwater aquifer that extends along the river valley as well as to the Saco River system, which provides drinking water to many Maine communities.

As GLLT finalizes the purchase of several adjoining properties over the next few months, a community advisory group will be invited to contribute to a wildlife, water and recreational management vision for the land trust’s newest and largest preserve.

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A wintry view of the Kezar River on the 931 acres conserved by Greater Lovell Land Trust. Photo by Erika Rowland


Check out other upcoming area events!


Check out other upcoming area events!

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