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A New Perspective

Photo: Jerry Monkman

Stories from the Coast

A New Perspective

Friday, August 17, 2018

Abe LebelBy Abraham Lebel, 2018 Maine Coast Heritage Trust Intern

Through my summer internship at Maine Coast Heritage Trust, I’ve developed an appreciation for land conservation that resulted from many different experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to help maintain preserves, interact with people who use the preserves, and get an inside look into how much work and time really goes into acquiring land and creating these preserves.

Above all, I’ve been given the feeling that the work I’ve done is important and meaningful. Nearly every person I’ve interacted with while working has been grateful and happy when I tell them I’ve been interning for MCHT.

“They were able to live well from the land, picking wild asparagus and mushrooms, digging quahogs, and hunting birds.”

Although all the places I’ve visited this summer are unique and impactful in its own way, the experience that impacted me the most was going to Cape Cod for my family’s annual trip.

In 1955, my great grandparents built a cottage in the town of Orleans and became the first year-round residents on Snow Point. When my great-grandparents first bought the land, the Point was an open pasture with a hunting shack and a cottage as the only structures on the point. They were able to live well from the land, picking wild asparagus and mushrooms, digging quahogs, and hunting birds.

A view from Snow Point on Cape Cod, a place where Abe's family roots run deep, and where this summer he asked himself, for the first time, "What if some of this had been conserved?"

“I couldn’t help but wonder how our experiences over the years would have differed if even a small amount of land around Snow Point had been preserved.”

When my great-grandparents passed away, my great-aunt was able to take over the house and my family has been visiting every summer (and most Thanksgivings) since I can remember. Over the years, the population and infrastructure on Snow Point and the surrounding area have grown significantly. Even as a child, I remember the Point growing louder and bigger seemingly every year. 

Even though Cape Cod is still a special place for my family and we’re able to enjoy some of the same amenities my great grandparents enjoyed, this year I couldn’t help but wonder how our experiences over the years would have differed if even a small amount of land around Snow Point had been preserved.  

“My summer at MCHT has encouraged me to pursue this kind of work in the future.”

Although Cape Cod is home to the National Seashore park as well as several wildlife sanctuaries, it’s discouraging that the construction of massive houses has taken precedence over the preservation of land for wildlife and future generations.

My summer at MCHT gave me a new perspective in the direction we as people should be looking in the time to come and has encouraged me to pursue this kind of work in the future.  


Abraham Lebel currently studies marine biology at Southern Maine Community College. This summer, he interned with Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

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