Our Work to Date
Over the past ten years, working with an all-volunteer Board of Directors and a small group of active, committed members, we have:
- Purchased 30 acres of farmland, plus infrastructure, in Greene and transferred its use and care (along with ownership of infrastructure) to the Wild Mountain Cooperative (formerly JED Collective) via a 99-year Ground Lease. At this time, we also secured the protection of an additional 60+ acres of wild forest land via deed-restricting Conservation Agreements.
- Developed an innovative Community Financing Program through which to make this purchase, involving 18 grassroots lenders ($30,000 in donations raised for a down payment, plus lenders providing the remaining $170,000 for the purchase).
- Merged with Clark Mountain Sanctuary, a local conservation organization, acquiring an additional 49 acres of land adjacent to the original property, also leased to Wild Mountain.
- Acquired, by gift, an additional 172 acres of wild forest land in Greene, completing the protection of the entire watershed of the 30-acre undeveloped Berry Pond.
- Leveraged funds from our Community Financing Program to offer a land-saving loan to a low-income, long-time homesteading family in Appleton, Maine.
- Collaborated with a grassroots community effort in Blue Hill, Maine in an attempt to keep an elderly, low-income woman in her family home through purchase of the property. While this project did not lead to property acquisition, we were able to support this elder’s transition to a new home and build experience with on-the-ground organizing around land and housing in rural Maine, including the passing of a successful resolution through the Blue Hill town meeting.
- Explored a number of possible land acquisitions, each of which taught us important things about the complexities of this work. These pursuits led us to develop a detailed “project intake” process through which to evaluate the feasibility of projects prior to their pursuit.
- Co-organized a Lewiston/Auburn Farmland Access Conference that brought together more than 100 landowners, farm seekers, and service providers in Androscoggin County.
- Leveraged donations and internal savings to fund a part-time Organizational Development Coordinator position, beginning in April 2019. This staff person will lead the process of program and capacity development as we launch into our next phase of work.