back over 20 years of IHT’s
dedication to land conservation
He had a talent for finding people to roll up their sleeves…”
IHT celebrated its 20th anniversary with a Celebration at this
Meeting held at Heritage House, its future permanent home.
acknowledging the contributions of many including founder Rowan
President Ken Crowell highlighted many accomplishments of IHT
including its community
programs – Adopt-A-Preserve Program, collaboration with Island Community
Center in providing summer programs to kids at Camp Kooky, its many free Walks
and Talks programs for the public, and Quarryography dance festival with the
Opera House Arts – as well as significant land and stewardship projects,
especially in the last five years.
Here are comments from some of the early supporters of the Trust:
Brenda Gilchrist (from her remarks in tribute to Rowan Wakefield) - " I
remember attending meetings around Rowan's kitchen table in the early years. We
were a small band, incited, fueled by Rowan's enthusiasm and total dedication
to the IHT. Barbara, his wife, sat quietly in the background, ably assisting. Gentle,
friendly, a smile always on his face, Rowan worked indefatigably around the
clock, inspiring us to share his commitment. He had a talent for networking in
the field, for organization building, and for finding people to roll up their
sleeves on behalf of the IHT. Tireless in his pursuit of grant money, he
also wrote and edited much of the Newsletter."
Cherie Mason - "On an evening in 1986 in the apartment
above the Pilgrim's Inn barn, Lloyd Capen, Dud Hendrick and I were ending a meeting
of the Deer Isle
Conservation Commission when we reopened our discussion of establishing a land
trust on Deer Isle. We were encouraged by Blue Hill's successful effort. We
began making a list of people we knew who might be interested (that battered
list is attached). We then went to Blue Hill to pick the brains of Jean
Nickerson and others. From there the ball just rolled and rolled." (She
attached lists of former board members which I will leave in the office on
Dan Hadley - His memories of the early days include working on a strategic
plan. He "recommends that IHT adopt an aggressive campaign to inform
new property owners about the work of the trust and also about local customs
concerning waterfront access. A significant number of new
owners bring with them their "from away" views re: private property. The
result is that many clammers find themselves shut out of access to the shore. I
would be glad to work on an educational effort directed to this issue."
Peg Myers - "The early days of the Trust
seemed "ad hoc", putting
things together from scratch. It was exciting, as we felt we were building
something important for the future of the Island. It was a scramble at
times - finding a place for an office (we had several office sites: Main
Street in Stonington where the back room of the Dry Dock is; at the back of the
Opera House below the stage; and on the porch of the old Atlantic Avenue Hardware. Getting
our first easement was a landmark event. Another milestone was the purchase
of the Settlement Quarry, the first property to be owned by the IHT. The
early focus was on attaining easements, as there was not the money to purchase
land. Each easement was a triumph of cultivating the interest of landowners
in the future preservation of their land."
Stan Myers - "Conservation easements are an important conservation tool
but they do not impress skeptical Deer Islanders about the community benefits
of protecting private land from future development" .....'
Preserving Settlement Quarry, an important remnant of Stonington's industrial
past and opening it to everyone for exploration, hiking and enjoyment helped
shift community attitudes towards greater appreciation of the Trust's work.'
Dan Hotaling - "When we moved to Deer Isle year-round
in 1993/94 and served on the board, I was convinced of the excellence of the
the accomplishments (land acquisition, easements and long-range education and
education for everyone)."
Diane Walker – “I remember Stephanie Levy as the first staff
served on the Land Committee beginning in 1991. He prepared the first
list of steps for preparing a Conservation Easement. At that time there
was little or no really helpful information for new land trusts, so "helter
skelter", not well-organized or systematic procedures rules - drove Ian
to take it on because he cared that IHT have a systematic process and stick
to procedures....The Conservation Easement Handbook, published in '87, a key
with necessary background and legal information, was helpful in identifying
the steps and criteria but few people had it, or read it or used it at that
Molly Felton - "Ned and I already serve as stewards for two islands and
plan to continue on doing so. We feel that our IHT is a most important
asset to the communities of Deer Isle and value its connection with the larger
communities of environmentally conscious groups."
Dee Dee Moore - "The Island Heritage Trust has been
a significant variable in the quality of life on the Island, and is gaining
involvement by natives. I truly appreciate the incredible commitment
of so many volunteers. Important accomplishments have been involving
the schools and children in knowing and valuing their island; involving natives
on the board;
preserving the Causeway Beach and properties that would deny development of
high rises, etc.'