This season of giving, please consider making a gift to Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust.
A message from Landon Fake, GPMCT Executive Director
In June, a father with three young children said to me, after biking on the Valley Road, “We have to do this, just to stay sane. They are like different people when they come back.” The meaning and value of the Wildlands may sometimes be hard to quantify, but for that father and for thousands of visitors this past year, it’s easy: the natural world helps bring us into balance and makes us better people.
The Wildlands’ 4500 acres of public-access lands provided respite and recreation to about three times as many people in 2020 than previous years. This dramatic increase is heartening and confirms our commitment to the property and the infrastructure to keep it accessible. But the increased use also has an impact and cost: parts of the Stuart Gross Trail that were shoulder-width last year are now eight feet wide; our neighbors on the Don Fish Road sometimes have difficulty getting past cars parked on both sides of the road on weekends.
We’ve also had an unprecedented number of people ask how they can help. Our Adopt-a-Trail program now has 20 people who love the manual labor needed to keep trails open and easy to follow. An incredible number of folks who believe in public-access wilderness have supported the Trust since its founding almost 30 years ago. Dozens of donors have returned to the Trust after some time away.
For many of us, 2020 has clarified our priorities; we are grateful to be counted among yours.
Some of the specific projects you supported this past year:
- Major erosion repairs and control measures on Hillside Road, protecting the Hot Hole watershed
- New state-of-the-art multi-use Hillside Trail (see video on our website)
- New extension of Capstone Bike Trail
- Relocation of Connector and Hay Ledges trails with switchbacks to reduce erosion
- Acquisition of a 14-acre parcel between the Mountain Trailhead and the Dead River Gate, which protects 1200 feet of Mountain Brook, a tributary to Alamoosook Lake, and creates new access opportunities
- Thinning of 90 acres to accelerate reforestation
- New parking lot and entrance on the Dead River Road, now under construction
- New half-time staff position to support outreach and build membership
Thank you for your continued generosity over many years. Every gift and every volunteer hour matters. Over time, small donations evolve into major commitments. The community of donors, volunteers and friends keep this gift of land protected, open and accessible.
Landon Fake, Executive Director