The Chris’s Pond Expansion Project

Thanks to generous donors, MCHT has raised the funds needed to secure the land. We continue to raise funds to help the town of Southwest Harbor redevelop the property and bring the vision of an enhanced Chris’s Pond to life!

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Originally conserved by local students

In 1995, thanks to the initiative of a group of students (the Pemetic School “Problem Solvers“), Southwest Harbor’s cherished skating pond, Chris’s Pond, was conserved instead of turned into a 68-car parking lot.

Photo by Misha Mytar

A cherished community spot

Owned by the Town of Southwest Harbor and protected by a conservation easement held by Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Chris’s Pond is a popular ice-skating location.

A warming hut was constructed by Pemetic School seventh grade students and visitors also come for the wildlife—including the ducks that nest in the pond from spring through fall.

An opportunity to expand and improve Chris’s Pond

Now, a new opportunity is bringing together landowners, pond users, community members, the Town of Southwest Harbor, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Island Housing Trust: the possibility of purchasing nearby properties to expand the Chris’s Pond conservation area.

Portions of these properties would provide a better entrance to the Pond, with space for parking and picnic tables, and could also make land available to help meet the community’s need for workforce housing.

Photo by Kathy Van Gorder

Join the effort to improve Chris’s Pond

Help further protect and enhance this special community spot and make your gift today! Every dollar counts.



Sign up to get information about this project and others up and down the coast!

For more information, please contact

Misha Mytar
Senior Project Manager
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
1034 Main Street, P.O. Box 669
Mount Desert, ME 04660


Project details

Town/County: Southwest Harbor, Hancock County
Project size: Up to 5 acres
Project cost: $250,000

Fundraising covers land acquisition and MCHT operational support. As the vision for the property takes shape, funding needs for site development and maintenance will be identified.


Progress updates


May 2023: the Town of Southwest Harbor voters authorized their Select Board to accept a donation of land at Chris’s Pond.  MCHT staff will be working with the Select Board and the Conservation Commission to finalize the boundaries, terms, and timing for the donation.

October 2022: House and shed removed.

March 2022: Thanks to a patient landowner and generous donors, the property at 20 Chris’s Lane has been secured.  The property has been acquired by Conservation Limited Development LLC to allow time for further planning to determine what portion may be conserved to protect and enhance Chris’s Pond.  Remaining portions could be resold.  This property is roughly 5 acres that rises steeply above the pond’s west shore. It also includes a narrow strip of land that wraps around the pond’s north shore and is currently used for pond parking and a warming hut and storage shed.

Winter 2021/2022: The Southwest Harbor Conservation Commission hosts a series of public meetings where they share information and gather input about the Chris’s Pond project.  See their Frequently Asked Questions document and Draft Concept Plans.

November 2021: Thanks to patient landowners and generous donors, the property at 392 Main Street is secured. This property is 3/4 acres and could provide space for a new entrance and parking for Chris’s Pond. The property was acquired by Conservation Limited Development LLC to allow time for further planning to determine what portion should be conserved to protect and enhance Chris’s Pond. Remaining portions could be resold or transferred to Island Housing Trust, to be used for a year-round workforce housing project. More project details are available in article in The Mount Desert Islander.

February 2021: The Southwest Harbor Select Board votes to authorize the Town Manager to apply for a Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant for the Chris’s Pond project. This program could fund the costs to create improved access and parking and to improve park amenities.

January 2021: The Mount Desert Islander published a story about the project describing what it will take to make the enhancement of Chris’s Pond possible.

August 2020: Thanks to patient and generous landowners, MCHT secures a purchase option for the property at 392 Main Street.

June 2020: The Mount Desert Islander published a story about the opportunity to purchase a small parcel near Chris’s Pond and enhance the Pond.