A Local Sliding Hill Protected
In 2015, in East Machias, a “for sale” sign went up on a piece of land that had long been used as the local sliding hill.
To make sure kids could keep on using the hill, Maine Coast Heritage Trust purchased and protected a part of the property, made improvements (including putting in a park parking lot!), and eventually turned it over to the town to manage as a small local park.
Soon after purchasing the land, MCHT spoke with then 9th grader Violet Vigil. “I’d be really disappointed if they put a house there,” said Violet, who had been screaming down the hill for ten years. “There’s not so many things to do here in winter, and I have so many great memories of fun times. It’s cold! But that’s just part of the adventure.”
MCHT’s field staff live and work in communities up and down the Maine coast, and pay attention to the places people care about—places that might not be protected, where access could be taken away.
“Boothbay Harbor lost its sledding hill,” says Downeast Project Manager Jacob van de Sande, “so we were concerned.” But in East Machias, MCHT was able to ensure this kind of place was conserved.
“Sometimes the schools bus the kids in to sled,” says van de Sande, “and winter weekends it’s crawling. This is exactly the kind of small project where the community benefit is so clear, it’s a natural.”
To some it may be just a two-acre hill, but to MCHT and the town of East Machias, it is a place to make magic in the snow—every winter, from here on out.
More Stories from the Coast
Years ago MCHT helped conserve much of Sears Island; today the Friends of Sears Island are bringing it to life
In a changing climate, protecting connected woods and waters becomes increasingly important to help plants and animals survive.
“I immediately fell in love with the people and the land and now I want to do whatever I can to help out.”
Over the past six years, Maine Coast Heritage Trust has worked with partners to complete 36 marsh protection projects from York to Washington counties, conserving a total of about 1,800 acres of marsh and upland buffers.
MCHT collaborates with The Community School to protect important habitat and create permanent outdoor education space on Mount Desert Island.