In My Words
Land Trust Program Director
While serving as Executive Director of Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, Angela worked with MCHT on the effort to conserve Woodward Point in Brunswick, a preserve now cared for by both organizations.
Angela Twitchell grew up with a unique perspective on Maine. Her father’s family business—Twitchell’s Airport in Turner—provided her the rare opportunity to visit largely inaccessible wilderness lakes and ponds and see at landscape scale the impacts of environmental degradation. She knew from a young age that she wanted to go into an environmental field, and to date she’s worked with conservation organizations including The Nature Conservancy and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT).
In September, Angela joined Maine Coast Heritage Trust full-time as the new Land Trust Program Director. The Land Trust Program is dedicated to strengthening all of Maine’s 80 land trusts. Having served as Executive Director at BTLT for 15 years, Angela has unique and valuable insights about the needs of Maine land trusts, and how we can work together to achieve shared goals for Maine’s lands, waters, wildlife, and people.
Four takeaways from my time as Executive Director of a local land trust
- Even though we work at a “land” trust, it’s the people who make everything possible. Putting the focus on building successful, trusting, mutually beneficial relationships is how you build a successful land trust.
- Local land trusts serve the whole community, and it’s important to cast a wide net and build relationships with a diverse cross-section of people and user groups. The ways that people value and interact with the land are many and varied, and the ways that land trusts meet the needs of their community need to be, too.
- The adage “people give to people” is true, but people really only give to people who have and implement exciting ideas that robustly meet the needs of the community and make a tangible difference in the world. Donors want to be inspired by and proud of the work they make possible.
- Never let the day-to-day drudgery (record keeping, report writing, endless meetings, etc. etc.) tarnish the incredible honor it is to get to make an impact that will last forever in the place you call home. I often reflect on a thank you note I received from a landowner after spending years negotiating an easement on his property. He wrote, “Thank you, Angela, for a dream come true.” We are in the making dreams come true business.
More Stories from the Coast
Kate Stookey, president and CEO at Maine Coast Heritage Trust, introduces a new MCHT publication and shares information about the organization’s strategic planning process.
All of us at Maine Coast Heritage Trust mourn the passing of Peter Blanchard, a true champion for the Maine coast.
“This place, and the people who also call this place home, made me who I am and instilled in me a desire to care for this land and the lives and livelihoods it supports. For me, that’s what conservation is all about.”
Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields require much-needed investment to make them safer, more efficient, and more inclusive community preserves. How do we extend access to the special experiences they offer?
By 2022 MCHT Richard G. Rockefeller Conservation Intern Calvin Lucindo