Stewardship

Jersey Bog Conservation Area, Buckfield

 

The Androscoggin Land Trust conserves over 5,000 acres of land in 64 parcels including natural areas, wildlife habitat, farms, working forest land, trails and recreation areas.  With the conservation of these important areas, comes a perpetual responsibility to protect and care for the land.   This perpetual responsibility is stewardship.

In order to meet these responsibilities, Androscoggin Land Trust has initiated a volunteer steward program to care for and visit all of our conserved properties.  Currently over 50 volunteers assist us and we’re looking to expand the program to continue to meet all of our needs. See below for the volunteer steward job description.

Volunteer Steward Job Description:

Volunteer Steward Judy M. at Fish Farm in Leeds

 

The Androscoggin Land Trust has different kinds of relationships with different properties. The land we care for includes property we own, land that we hold restrictions on through conservation easements, or land that we care for on behalf of municipalities. In each situation, our relationship with the land is different and how we involve volunteers is different. For instance, property ALT owns are open to the public often include trails – these properties are best served by volunteers who want to regularly visit or walk a particular section of trail or a park on a regular basis (monthly, seasonally, etc.). Conservation easement properties, on the other hand, are often privately owned and not open to the public (such as a working farm) and only require an annual visit and report. The descriptions below are a summary, and we will work with individuals once there is agreement on interest and ability as to what specific property and duties one choses to manage.

Goals of the Volunteer Steward Program:

  • Visit all conserved land annually.
  • Keep ALT informed by regular updates so they can manage relations with neighbors, land‐owners, and municipalities.
  • Ensure all public use properties are maintained.

Requirements:

  • Ability/desire to hike off‐trail to follow property boundaries in woods, fields, and wetlands, and/or regularly visit preserve, trail or park as assigned.
  • Willingness to become familiar with the terms of conservation easements, deeds, management plans, baseline documentation notebooks and other conservation instruments.
  • Willingness to serve as a friendly, professional ambassador for the Androscoggin Land Trust as appropriate (it is not the role of the Volunteer Steward to enforce property rules).
  • Ability to provide a specific (agreed upon) amount of time for regular visiting, depending upon the

assignment, to ensure ALT core responsibilities are managed.

  • Willingness to submit a report to ALT annually.

Duties:

  • Communicate with landowners of conservation easement properties annually informing them of upcoming visits, and inviting them to join in the visit if so inclined.
  • Visits include:
    • Documentation of any suspected or obvious stewardship issues.
    • Filling out report form during visit.
    • Maintenance as needed.
  • Draft and send report and letter to ALT.
  • Trash pickup as needed.
  • Stewards spend time walking and visiting the trail or preserve to ensure safe and secure property that is attractive to the public.

If interested in helping with the Androscoggin Land Trust’s volunteer stewardship program, please contact the ALT office at 207-782-2302 or via email at info@androscogginlandtrust.org

 

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