The Maine Community Foundation recently awarded the Georges River Land Trust two grants totaling $50,000 through its Ram Island Conservation Fund.

The first award is a $25,000 matching grant for the recent installment purchase of the Paulsen Farm easement. This conservation easement, signed last December, protects a 252-acre hay and cattle farm in South Thomaston that acts as an important bridge of protected land between the Weskeag Marsh and the St. George River. The Paulsen Farm connects two important conservation areas, the state-owned Waldo Tyler Wildlife Management Area and GRLT’s Riverview Hayfields Preserve.

“We are very excited because this grant means the land trust has raised 80 percent of the funds necessary to complete the purchase,” said Annette Naegel, GRLT conservation program manager.

The second award, also a matching grant of $25,000, is for building a permanent endowment to fund GRLT programs. An endowment fund’s principal is preserved and expanded through an investment strategy that yields revenue, which can be used to offset annual operating expenses or for other purposes. The Ram Island Conservation Fund’s advisors believe that endowments build long-term financial sustainability. By building an endowment today, GRLT’s leaders and donors are helping to guarantee permanent financial resources for mission-related activities in the future.

“We are one of only four land trusts in the state to receive this grant,” said Gail Presley, GRLT executive director. “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to jump start one of our strategic plan goals to establish an endowment, and to double the power of the grant through matching gifts.”

The Georges River Land Trust’s mission is to conserve and steward the natural resources of the St. George River watershed region for the public benefit. The land trust has conserved 2,365 acres in 13 preserves and 34 conservation easements. For more information visit grlt.org or call 594-5166.