Endowing an Acre Yields Benefits Forever
As a non-profit, Island Heritage Trust depends on membership, donations and grants to fund programs, and volunteer time and expertise to keep them running. Whether it's dollars or dimes or simply time, all help is appreciated and put to good use.
One way some supporters, such as Monie Lonergan, have chosen to contribute is to "endow an acre." From her perspective Deer Isle is a "marvelous island" and IHT is doing important work "to keep the land in its natural state." She first came to Deer Isle with her family in 1984, and has been coming to stay "from Memorial Day to hunting season" most years ever since.
For her, the Endow an Acre Program is appealing because it will, over time, create an endowment, the interest from which can fund ongoing stewardship activities: signage, survey and legal work, trail maintenance, insurance, and staff time.
A long-term effort, the Stewardship Fund ensures proper oversight and maintenance of IHT's holdings. Moreover, as a responsible member of the community, IHT makes an annual payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT), to the towns of Stonington and Deer Isle, at a rate slightly above the tax rate for land under forest management. One goal of the Endow an Acre Program is to ensure that resources continue to be available for the "payment in lieu of taxes." The stronger its roots in the community, the better IHT can serve the Island and its residents, be they year round or, like Mrs. Lonergan, part-time.
Ultimately, as the Stewardship Fund grows, then monies raised through other IHT activities such as its annual campaign can be used to expand programs for schools and for residents, as well as visitors to the Island. As Mike Little points out, a healthy endowment ensuring proper stewardship is a win/win for everyone. And from Monie Lonergan's point of view, the $750 it costs to "endow an acre" is money well spent, a contribution that will continue to benefit the Island for generations to come.
420 Sunset Road ~ Deer Isle, Maine
Mail: P.O. Box 42 / Deer Isle, ME 04627