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An Open Letter to the Community

On March 14th, the Arundel Conservation Trust (ACT) held our first Annual Meeting. In preparation for that, board members reviewed all the activity from 2018 to prepare topics for the discussion. In doing so, it became apparent to me that we have a lot to thank the community for.

For starters, even the venue in which we held the meeting, the Community Center of the Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve was due to the generosity of the community. Thank you to WHO DO WE THANK? for this kind and helpful gesture!

Over 40 interested and enthusiastic folks attended our first Annual Meeting to help us celebrate all that’s happened over the past year. We are thankful for their participating and interest in our cause.

During the meeting, we spent several moments acknowledging several important people that really helped ACT to get off the ground this year. Among them was Phil Labbe, who was presented with our first Community Hero Award. Phil a life long resident, selectman and quiet hero of Arundel who donated an easement over his land that will connect ACT’s Limerick Road property to the Eastern Trail.

In recognition and gratitude for his outstanding generosity and commitment to the citizens of Arundel and his hope that through his gift all its people, for generations to come, will have access to its natural beauty and come to love it as much as he does.

Arundel’s Boy Scout Troop 330 was awarded Volunteer Appreciation Awards for their work in building benches to be installed on our trails this spring and summer. The boys and several of their leaders, in full uniform to accept our thanks and seemed anxious to join other ACT volunteers in trail building once the weather warms and the mud dries a bit.

The meeting ended on a very high note when Becky Jacobs VP of the Kennebunk Savings Bank presented ACT with a check for $25,000 to help pay down the loan on the Limerick Rd Property. The loan which began at $175,000 is now down to only $55,000 left to pay. We are very grateful to Kennebunk Savings Bank for their continued support and sponsorship.

As you can see it’s been a VERY busy year with lots of accomplishments. None of it would be possible without the help of our volunteers. We’ve been amazed at the number of folks willing to donate their time and energy from graphic designers creating our logo to a local attorney who has donated his services, to all the folk at Kennebunkport Conservation Trust especially Tom Bradbury who has served as an incredible supporter and mentor. Others from KCT like Dave Jourdan and Bud Danis helped us plot out and build our initial trails. Thank you to all our trailbuilders of all ages, from 4yrs to 84yrs, who donned their work gloves and got out there clearing paths for all to enjoy.

I would be totally remiss if I didn’t knowledge the fantastic debt ACT owes to its Board of Directors. Nothing would have been accomplished without their unselfish, creative, dedicated and talented efforts. The incredible amount of work they have all contributed has made all of ACT’s success possible and I am grateful to be associated with such a fantastic group.

The past year saw many other accomplishments we didn’t get a chance to talk about at the Annual Meeting, including.

  • ACT was selected as Arundel’s “Mover and Shaker” as awarded by the York County Coast Star

  • The first ACT property sign was erected on River Road

  • Membership has grown from 50 to more than 125 with another 75 supporters or folks who have requested to be on our mailing list.

  • Our annual membership mailing increased individual donations by more than 60%.

  • Act has Increased our social media footprint dramatically - we reached 2,225 people in the month of December 2018 alone.

  • We completed negotiations and signed an official contract with the Eastern Trail Management Division to connect the Limerick Rd Property to the ET.

  • We completed all required town permitting completed in order to begin Spring trail building on Limerick Rd property

  • ACT debuted our second Facebook page for trail volunteers - ACT Trailblazers

  • Our first volunteer trail building days were held on the Welch Woods property.

  • ACT completed the process becoming incorporated and obtaining ACT’s own Federal non-profit corporation status while still remaining a subsidiary of KCT.

For 2019 we hope you’ll considering joining in the ACT. Spring is almost here. Sign up to become a member! Volunteer as a trail builder, event helper or administrative helper. If 2018 proved anything to me, it’s that we need volunteers like you all to help us continue to build a stronger community and connect our community to the natural beauty that is Arundel.

Thank you all for a wonderful start to Arundel conservation efforts.

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