For Boothbay Region Land Trust (BRLT), 2014 was a very busy year, full of accomplishments. Thanks to your tremendous support, we enter our 35th anniversary year having achieved national accreditation and having successfully completed our Stewardship Campaign! To celebrate these remarkable milestones, we are planning a gala in June for the whole membership to take pride in their success. We hope you will join us for this event since you have had a major role in making Boothbay Region Land Trust a healthy, mature organization.
After three years, the Stewardship Campaign came to a close on December 31st. The goal of the campaign was to bring our invested funds to $5 million to ensure long-term financial stability. In 2011, a pre-campaign donor contributed a very generous gift of $500,000 to be spent on operating costs over the next five year so the Land Trust could focus solely on raising endowment funds. Due to the generosity of our donors, the dedication of campaign chair Nan Davison, and the campaign committee including Louise Bowditch, Pauline Dion, Ralph Drayer, Chip Griffin, Chuck Koch and Mary Miller, when the campaign closed, BRLT investment account balance was $5.25 million. The most exciting thing for Nan is that, “The success of the campaign demonstrates that our donors understand the mission of BRLT and the forever nature of our work.”
Boothbay Region Land Trust also received the high honor of being awarded accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission this past December. We owe a special thanks to Jean Hawley and Ham Meserve, Accreditation Committee Co-Chairs, Executive Director Nick Ullo, and to all the committee members who contributed more than 1,250 volunteer hours. After five years, BRLT becomes one of sixteen land trusts accredited in Maine. To put that in perspective—there are nearly ninety land trust in the state of Maine alone! It is an important distinction that is not easily achieved. But as Jean reminds us, “Accreditation is a dynamic, ongoing process which asks a land trust to vigilantly monitor all of its activities for best practices compliance and to constantly seek ways to improve its policies and procedures.” In other words, there is no time to rest on our laurels.
The foundation for Boothbay Region Land Trust’s success began in 1980 with a group of concerned citizens and Little River Dam. Luckily, BRLT founders had a much greater vision beyond protecting a small dam in East Boothbay. Thirty-five years later, we conserve over 1700 acres, maintain twenty-five public access preserves with over thirty miles of trails, and offer 100 free environmental education programs annually.
We are so grateful for the insight and forethought of our founders, but also our donors. Because of your vision and ongoing support, we have grown into a mature, stable organization that can operate in a proactive way to best serve the Boothbay Region community. We demonstrated this with the land transfer of Cross River from the Town of Boothbay to BRLT this past year. We are also in the process of creating a strategic plan for the organization, as well as a planned giving program. This initiative by the board and staff will allow BRLT to continue as a strong organization that can fulfill its commitment of perpetuity.
Thank you for your part in BRLT’s thirty-five years of success. Your support of Boothbay Region Land Trust transforms our mission into a reality. An invitation to our anniversary celebration at Newagen Seaside Inn on June 18 will be arriving in the mail in the coming months. We hope to see you there to thank you in person.