Why Is Conserving Land so Important?

The conservation of land should be of the upmost importance in everyday life. Globally, nationally and locally we are losing wild lands at an alarming rate. Before you know it a lot of these places that you once knew well will be decimated by habitat fragmentation and degradation.

I have done many research projects on the protection of wild lands and why it’s important to protect them for current and future generations to enjoy as I do. One thing I was blinded by was how important the local park, or preserve is for the overall health and structure of a community. It’s the ability for a family to go on a stroll in the local preserve that really makes memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Devon at work in the woods

Becoming an intern for the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust has already taught me a great deal about the technicalities of acquiring and maintaining these lands for their protection and for generations to enjoy. Before this experience, I couldn’t fathom the maintenance these trails require, and it has opened my eyes to a whole new world.

As mentioned earlier, prior to this internship I knew quite a bit about the conservation of public lands on a national level, just not on a local level. Getting out in the field at the local preserves and seeing the groups of people that use them from young to old, human to 4-legged friends has really helped me see how important these are for a community to grow and maintain a healthy outdoor living style. Every time I pass someone on the trails running or walking, they always have a smile on their face. Nature is a natural medication and it brings out the best in us all.

Replacing a bridge that got washed out by melting water in the spring

The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust preserves mostly reside in Westbrook, Windham, and Gorham, which are the three fastest growing towns in the state. PRLT recently acquired a 180-acre parcel of land in fee and we are in the middle of establishing trails for the public to use the land. This and the other preserves are the buffer that help ensure that there will be some places in the future for people to get outside, and to protect the communities natural resources and ecosystem services. It’s these lands that will help build memories for generations to come, whether if it’s a small walk in the woods or a group paddle event. Once a land is developed, it’s gone for good. The land conserved by PRLT is here to stay.

Devon Case was one of nine 2020 Maine Coast Heritage Trust Conservation Interns. Devon worked for Presumpscot Regional Land Trust.