In 2008, “The South Portland Land Trust signs an easement and collaborates with the City of South Portland and Maine Conservation Corps to lay out the Long Creek Trail,” said the South Portland Land Trust’s website Courtesy South Portland Land Trust

SOUTH PORTLAND — The public is invited to join the South Portland Land Trust on Dec. 18 at 7:30 a.m. to discuss the history and mission of the organization as well as learn about its upcoming activities.

The meeting will be held at SMCC, in the McKernan Center, which is located at 122 McKernan Drive, South Portland.

“The South Portland Land Trust is a private, nonprofit land trust dedicated to the conservation of open space and the expansion of trail networks that are significant historically, educationally, recreationally, or ecologically to the people of South Portland,” said Richard Rottkov, president of South Portland Land Trust.

South Portland Land Trust has over 300 members, according to the group’s website, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life in South Portland.

According to the website, 3.6 percent of South Portland has been conserved since the land trust began in 1987.

Rottkov said that the land trust will be announcing the inauguration of the Tom Blake Leadership Award. Blake, he said, was the founder of the organization.

“Tom Blake has embodied volunteerism his entire life, not only through his devotion to our mission,” said Rottkov. “A key attribute of leadership celebrated by this award is that of a generous spirit — the sharing of ideas, experiences and knowledge with others to nurture and mentor the next generation of conservation leaders. This has been an important part of Tom’s devotion to environmental preservation.”

A crowd meets for a Get to Know Your Trails walk at the Dow’s Woods Nature Preserve. Courtesy South Portland Land Trust

The nonprofit group has three goals, says the programs website: “Creating and supporting a network of trails interlinking South Portland neighborhoods to each other and to the trails of adjoining communities, engaging the community in park and trail use, open space protection, trail building and land stewardship and encouraging and supporting acquisition of priority open spaces.”

The event will also be announcing the land trust’s new volunteer recognition program, said Rottkov.

Ways one can volunteer, according to the SPLT website, include becoming a member, volunteering as a trail manager, donating land for conservation, making a monetary donation and becoming a business sponsor.

The event is free to the public, Rottkov said, but anyone attending is asked to RSVP at

Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., Rottkov said, and the program, a presentation about the nonprofit organization, will begin at 8 a.m.

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