OGUNQUIT, Maine – Tin Smith of Wells, a founding board member and former president of the Great Works Regional Land Trust, recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency’s New England office.
The office recognized Smith as “a visionary and tireless leader in environmental protection and land conservation in southern coastal Maine for 35 years.” EPA New England since 1970 has recognized individuals and groups that show “particular ingenuity and commitment” in efforts to protect or improve the region’s environment.
Thirty years ago, a group of citizens worried by the development of southern Maine formed the Great Works Regional Land Trust. Smith took an immediate leadership role, using his contacts in the conservation field to educate the novice volunteer board. He continues to be at the heart and soul of the trust.
In addition to his leadership role (board president for 10 years), Smith worked tirelessly on individual projects. Thanks in large part to his effort, the trust has completed 119 land purchases or easements, protecting 5,974 acres in its six-town service area.
Smith was one of the first to visualize and advocate for preserving the unique ecosystem of the 30,000-acre Mt. Agamenticus area. He helped lead the effort to bring the individual towns, land trusts and conservation groups together to form the MtA2C (Mt-Agamenticus-to-the-Sea) coalition.
“Tin has always shown that he is an innovative thinker when working with landowners and towns to find ways to protect our fields and forests, protect water quality and to provide public access to the natural places that are a respite from the demands of the modern world,” said Michael Wright, a founding GWRLT board member and its current president.
In addition to the land trust, Smith contributed to other conservation efforts. He was part of the core group that had the vision in the early 1980s to protect the land and buildings at the former Laudholm Farm and to create the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve.
The Great Works Regional Land Trust provides conservation options to landowners of Eliot, South Berwick, Berwick, North Berwick, Ogunquit and Wells. For more information, visit www.gwrlt.org.