Land Preservation


Photo: John Shambroom

The story of land preservation begins with the purchase of the ten acres of land in the cove on the western shore of Back Pond in 1980.  Twelve families raised the money ($5500.00) to buy the “Boulder Cove” land, as the cove was referred to in a 1932 deed.  Because no agency would guarantee preserving the land in its natural state, the owners raised additional money to provide a fund whose interest would pay the taxes.  The land was then recognized as “open land” by the State of Maine and the Town of Stoneham, and it had deed restrictions which declare it “forever wild” and not to be changed in any way.  In 1999 the owners of the cove land deeded the land to the Greater Lovell Land Trust, the area now known as the Back Pond Preserve with no public access. 

The GLLT agreed to cooperate with owners wishing to protect this land and other land in the Five Kezar Ponds Watershed and the Kezar River Watershed, of which our ponds are the headwaters.  Protection can be through purchase, easements, long-term agreements with owners, etc.  In 2006, 139 acres across the road from the Back Pond Preserve was purchased by 61 owners, families and “friends of the ponds” raising all of the money, and the GLLT owning the land.  A 1-mile loop trail named “Ron’s Loop” provides a hike through several different habitats - see Trails page.

One of our owners, Jewell Collins, has protected six-plus acres of land behind her cottage on Back Pond with an easement so that it can never be developed.

Again in 2010, an opportunity arose to purchase 110 adjacent acres, including the ledges that provide a wonderful view of the ponds.  This time more than 90 families and individuals contributed the funds needed for purchase, and we also received a matching grant from a donor to GLLT.  GLLT again owns the land.

Project Dreams workshops, initiated by the late Ron Gestwicki, continue to educate and inspire owners about the possibilities for land preservation. 

Carol Gestwicki and Rick Johnson are the designated stewards for the preserved lands.  Please refer observations and questions to them. 

Carol Gestwicki