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Back to Center

Stories from the Coast

Back to Center

Thursday, May 23, 2019

By Tim Glidden, Maine Coast Heritage Trust President

“Attention is the first act of devotion.” – poet Mary Oliver

Since Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s historic Campaign began, quietly, in 2014, so much has been accomplished for the coast. Thanks to thousands of devoted, hardworking, and generous people—ranging from staff to volunteers to donors—two hundred conservation projects have been completed, which works out to about two new places conserved every month and an ever-growing portfolio of lands to monitor and care for in perpetuity.

Through your support, we’ve been actively listening to and collaborating with people, towns, and organizations to make conserved lands more valuable and meaningful to communities. We’ve connected thousands of people to the coast, and run in-depth programming for hundreds of Maine kids. We’ve also been supporting and advocating for the state’s robust land trust community, and launching initiatives to make the coast more resilient to climate change.

While it’s valuable to look back, my tendency is to look ahead—there is still a great deal of work to do. Right now, the coast we love is facing complex challenges that call for complex solutions, and through this Campaign I see MCHT strengthening, evolving, expanding our conservation work to meet these challenges head-on. I also know that in order to stay effective, we must remain centered—as individuals, and as an organization.

Thankfully, the thing we work to protect—nature—has an unsurpassed ability to call us back to where we need to be.

Spring has arrived and life is returning to Maine. I’d like to write to say I’ve been walking through moss-coated forests or standing on the Bold Coast greeting weary songbirds with my binoculars, but the truth is, in this final stretch of MCHT’s transformative $125 million Campaign, work calls me to my desk (and I know you can relate). And so I’ve been turning my attention to the azaleas in my front yard. For the past ten days, on my way to the office, I’ve charted the growth of a single bud, watching as, with simultaneous patience and urgency, it swells, splits open, and flowers.

It doesn’t take much, it turns out. Just like that I’m back to center, ready to keep working alongside you.

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