10 December 2014
When Albert Chatfield Jr., original owner of Aldermere Farm, passed away in the fall of 1999 the farm transferred into the hands of Maine Coast Heritage Trust to own and manage. This gift occurred because of the great amount of time and effort spent between MCHT land protection staff and "Chatty." Initially they worked together on conservation easements for the property placing one on the forested section in the 1970s and then two easements were placed on open pasture areas in the 80s. The relationship continued into the 90s with a more comprehensive plan initiated by Mr. Chatfield for MCHT to inherit the property. It is believed that the success Aldermere has continued to realize in the community is due in part to this early wonderful partnership.
Aldermere Farm has grown now from a private family entity to a community education center helping people deepen their appreciation for sustainable agriculture and land conservation. The impact is both deep and wide whether it is through intensive programs or from just driving past the farm. The influence on peoples' lives goes beyond descriptive words, and the essence of this place has permeated the lives of so many. From stories like a local teen who struggled to learn basic life skills who then joined the summer Farm Hands program and succeeded at halter training calves to those teens who have showed cattle in our 4-H club for five to six years and are now studying animal sciences in college. The gift keeps on giving!
MCHT is honored to have owned and managed this property for fifteen years now. The Trust supports the program and farm efforts at the site as well as community outreach efforts with a variety of partners to make our communities more whole.