7 Lakes Alliance COVID-19 Response

A message from our CEO

Dear 7 Lakes Alliance Friends and Supporters,

 

I hope this message finds you and your family safe and well. As we all try to stay connected to the people and places we love while social distancing, it is gratifying to know that our community continues to embrace the lands and waters that you have helped us to protect. These lands would not be here for all of us without your support. The importance of land conservation and outdoor recreation is further reinforced in the state’s current “Stay Healthy at Home” mandate, which lists “outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running or biking” as being essential personal activities. As increasing numbers of hikers visit the trails we own or care for, we are working closely with state officials and stay up-to-date on guidelines to keep all members of our community safe. 

In other news, I am excited to report that we recently completed two land conservation projects, which cumulatively conserve an additional 253 acres in the Belgrade Lakes region. This includes an easement in Rome and donation of a spectacular property in Mount Vernon, protecting headwater streams, wetlands, and lake front. We expect to complete two more land projects in the weeks ahead that will put 7 Lakes protected lands over an exciting milestone! Stay tuned for additional information about these special places and the wonderful people who make these projects possible.

 

7 Lakes staff continues to work remotely, making good progress in all areas of our mission. As summer approaches, we’re preparing to do everything we can, as soon as we can, to protect our watershed from harmful erosion, invasive plants and to keep our community connected to nature. Things are changing daily, so we are planning, adapting and being creative about how best to protect lakes and lands we all love. As program planning evolves, we will keep you posted.  

Most of all, stay well and stay in touch,

Laura Rose Day,

President & CEO

Help keep our trails open by following recommendations and precautions described on this page and on trail signs.  

Our Courtesy Boat Inspectors​ Are Out!
CBIs serve an essential function of protecting our lakes from invasive species. They will be at the boat launches in our watershed 7am-7pm, 7 days a week. ​

Get Outside for Physical and Mental Wellbeing but do it Safely.

Biking, boating, hiking, fishing, birdwatching, and other outdoor activities are great ways to stay healthy in the age of COVID-19 – provided they are conducted in accordance with all public health restrictions and guidance. As summer weather is fast approaching, Maine’s conservation and recreation communities, natural resource agencies, and outdoor brands developed the following checklists to help us all enjoy Maine’s outdoors in ways that are safe and responsible during this difficult time. Before you hit the trail, cast a line, or launch a canoe, please be sure to:

 Find the Right Time and Place

  • Know What’s Available: Consider visiting a nearby Wildlife Management Area, or a less-trafficked state parkpublic land, or local land trust (Maine Trail Finder is a great resource!)

  • Check before you go: While some popular conservation lands have closed recently due to overuse and crowding, the vast majority remains open to the public. Visit websites to see the latest information on closures or conditions. Please respect all property closures.

  • Have a plan B: If the parking lot is full, the destination is too crowded. If your first destination has a busy parking lot, go to the next spot on your list!

  • Avoid peak times: Get out earlier or later in the day.

Be Prepared Before Heading Out

  • Expect limited services: Facilities like public restrooms could be closed, so plan accordingly.

  • Dress for success: Be aware of current conditions and bring appropriate gear to match those conditions. Local outdoor brands are open for online sales and are available to give advice on appropriate gear and equipment.

  • Support local businesses: Many local businesses – from restaurants and retailers to guides and lodges – are working hard to provide services in ways that are safe and in keeping with public health rules and guidance. If you’re comfortable, consider finding ways to support them while you’re enjoying the outdoors.

  • Don’t take risks: Stick to familiar terrain and avoid unnecessary chances to avoid injuries, which add stress on first responders and medical resources.

  • Be aware of the rules: Check before you go to see what activities are allowed. If dogs are permitted remember to bring a leash and to properly dispose of waste.

  • Watch out for ticks and biting insects: Wear light-colored pants, closed-toe shoes, and apply EPA-approved bug repellent.

  • Leave home prepared with sanitizer and disinfectant.

Heed All COVID-19 Health Warnings

  • Practice social distancing: Stay at least six feet away from other people who do not live in your household. If necessary, step aside when passing other people on the trail.

  • Don’t linger: Shorten your stay when visiting natural stopping points such as waterfalls, summits, and viewpoints so everyone can enjoy them while maintaining a safe distance.

  • Bring a mask: When you’re in the vicinity of others, even with six feet of separation, a mask will help keep everyone safer.

  • Don’t touch: Avoid touching signs, kiosks, buildings, and benches to minimize the potential spread of the virus.

  • If you’re sick, stay home: It puts others at risk when you leave home while exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19, or if you have recently been exposed to the virus.

If we all follow these guidelines and put public health first, we can enjoy Maine’s natural resources in safe and responsible ways as we work through this difficult time together.

137 Main Street,

Belgrade Lakes, ME 04918

(207) 495-6039

Mailing Address:

PO Box 250,

Belgrade Lakes, ME 04918

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© 2018 by 7 Lakes Alliance