Photo by Kathy Van Gorder
Photo by Kathy Van Gorder

The Chris’s Pond Expansion Project

You can help expand the conservation area around Southwest Harbor’s Chris’s Pond—making this an even better place to visit!

We have until July 1, 2022 to raise the $250,000 needed to conserve land around Chris’s Pond. Every dollar counts and will be matched thanks to generous donors committed to MDI communities.


Want more project details?

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


Every dollar donated will be matched 

Generous donors committed to MDI communities have stepped up to match—dollar for dollar—all gifts made to the Chris’s Pond Expansion Project.

The fundraising goal of $250,000 must be met by July 1, 2022. Help further protect and enhance this special community spot and make your gift today! Every dollar counts and the clock is ticking. 



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 deadline: 7/1/2022

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

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.

February 2021: The Mount Desert Islander published a story about the history of the warming shack on the edge of the pond and the Pemetic Elementary schoolteacher, Bob Sattler, who led the effort to build the structure with students.

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.