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Land Trust to focus on branding Androscoggin River

The Androscoggin Land Trust on Tuesday will highlight another year of conservation and recreation, and it will envision a new future by branding the Androscoggin River.

With the backdrop of the Lewiston-Auburn region’s industrial and community history at Museum LA in the Bates Mill Complex, ALT will host its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, December 7.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. with light refreshments by Teen Catering and Lots to Gardens, the evening will include a look back at the last year of conservation and recreation development in ALT’s region of the Androscoggin River watershed.

The feature program will be a workshop led by Bob White of ORW Landscape Architects and Planners in White River Junction, Vermont, a firm hired to lead the development of a wayfinding and signage plan for the Androscoggin River corridor from Dixfield through Lisbon.

Maine-based outfitter Adventure Bound brought its rafts this summer to help ALT lead visitors on the river to watch balloons launch during the 2010 Great Falls Balloon Festival.

Through a grant provided from the National Park Service and the Rails to Trails Conservancy, ALT has hired ORW Landscape Architects to formulate an approach to branding the cultural history and recreational assets of the Androscoggin River corridor.

“We are excited to again have Museum LA, a major partner of ours, host our Annual Meeting,” said Jonathan P. LaBonte, ALT executive director. “The opportunity to connect the story of this major Maine river’s history to its potential as a major recreation destination for New England should become evident as the audience engages in a discussion on the wayfinding plan. This river and its communities are poised to leverage the economic potential of the Androscoggin.”

The wayfinding effort, begun under the title of the Androscoggin Greenway, will seek to link water-based trails for paddling, land-based trails, riverside parks and open spaces to the cultural and historic assets along the riverfronts in the villages and downtowns of the Androscoggin River corridor. Consistent approaches to signage, helping visitors and residents find these assets whether they are in their car, on foot or in their kayaks or canoes, is a major goal of this initiative led by ALT with the help of more than a dozen local, state and federal partners.

From its founding around kitchen tables in Turner in the 1980s, as local residents sought to protect what is now known as the Androscoggin Riverlands, ALT has evolved into a strong force for land conservation and stewardship serving 19 towns and cities in the Androscoggin River watershed.

With nearly than 4,000 acres of land conserved, including nine miles of frontage on the Androscoggin River, ALT’s programming has diversified to enhance the connections between the natural landscape and the diverse and vibrant communities along the corridor.

The event is open to the public and free of charge.  The membership of ALT will also elect new board members for the 2011-13 term during the Annual Meeting. Museum LA is at 35 Canal Street in Lewiston, within the Bates Mill complex.  To RSVP, call the ALT office at 782-2302 or e-mail info@androscogginlandtrust.org.

The Androscoggin Land Trust is a membership-supported organization dedicated to protecting, through land conservation and stewardship, important natural areas, traditional landscapes and outdoor experiences in the Androscoggin River watershed. ALT offers recreational programs in the region include LA Trails, serving Lewiston-Auburn, Chisholm Trails, serving Jay and Livermore Falls, and the Great Falls Paddling Society, offering seasonal outings on the Androscoggin River.

For more information about the Androscoggin Land Trust, see www.androscogginlandtrust.org or ALT’s new offices at 86 Main Street, Suite 201 in Auburn.

Maine-based outfitter Adventure Bound brought its rafts this summer to help ALT lead visitors on the river to watch balloons launch during the 2010 Great Falls Balloon Festival.

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