TOPSHAM — Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), a statewide land conservation organization, has been reaccredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a national board that recognizes conservation organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement.
In awarding reaccreditation, the commission signified its confidence that Maine Coast Heritage Trust lands continue to be managed professionally and will be protected forever.
In Maine, there are 23 accredited land trusts, and a handful of others have recently applied. First accredited in 2010, MCHT oversees the permanent conservation of more than 32,000 acres of land along the Maine coast, from Kittery to Eastport.
MCHT manages more than 100 preserves that are open to the public throughout the year for a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, hunting, clamming and birdwatching. They also host more than 30 field trips each year to showcase the historical, scenic and ecological features of these conserved properties.
In 2015, MCHT stepped up efforts to enhance visitor experience by improving or establishing new access points at more than 20 sites along the coast. Highlights included new campsites on Casco Bay islands, community gardens in Washington County, experiential youth education programs in several coastal towns and a wellness trail in Rockport.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust was among 37 land trusts across the United States to achieve accreditation or to have accreditation renewed in February and MCHT is one of 342 land trusts throughout the nation that demonstrate their commitment to professional excellence through accreditation, helping to maintain the public’s trust in their work.