Sweet Water Trust is dedicated to the preservation of wild Nature.

Sweet Water Trust Begins a New Chapter as Sweet Water Fund

Sweet Water Trust, a charitable trust founded in 1992 to protect wilderness lands in the Northern Appalachians, is announcing a new chapter in its history. Starting in 2022, it will become the Sweet Water Fund, a donor-advised endowment fund at Vanguard Charitable, thus continuing its mission of funding wilderness land protection in as permanent a way as possible.

Over three decades, Sweet Water Trust has made more than 650 grants in support of forever-wild land conservation, including small grants promoting wilderness values. Sweet Water has had a direct role in 178 land protection projects conserving over 310,000 acres of wildlands across the Northern Appalachians - primarily in northern New England, the Adirondacks, and eastern Canada -- working with close to 90 partners.

These wildlands are now owned by land trusts or state or federal conservation agencies and the vast majority are further protected with forever-wild conservation easements. Sweet Water was an early and forceful champion of this essential method for ensuring that a high level of secure and permanent protection is achieved to conserve land in its wild natural state. That protection is assured by imposing a second layer of protection on the property via a legally binding conservation easement that must be monitored and enforced by a qualified conservation entity - usually a land trust - separate from the property's non-profit or government owner.

In creating the Sweet Water Fund, Sweet Water Trust is partnering with Northeast Wilderness Trust (NEWT), a land trust headquartered in Vermont that is exclusively dedicated to the protection of wilderness throughout the northeast. Instrumental in NEWT's founding in 2002, Sweet Water Trust has been an essential partner in over 90% of the 41,000 acres of wilderness land NEWT now protects. Over two decades, Sweet Water helped fund eleven of NEWT's major projects, including NEWT's 7,000-acre Alder Stream Wilderness Preserve in Maine; two Nature Conservancy preserves over which NEWT holds forever-wild easements: the 10,000-acre Bunnell Mountain Preserve in New Hampshire and 5,000-acre Burnt Mountain in Vermont; and NEWT's 2,400-acre Eagle Mountain Preserve in the Adirondacks, all areas of significant ecological value and important climate resiliency.

Under the terms of the Sweet Water Fund, Northeast Wilderness Trust will receive annual grants to further its own wilderness land protection projects and to help support its Wilderness Partnership Program, through which NEWT encourages and supports the wilderness protection work of other land trusts.

For further information on Northeast Wilderness Trust and its work, see www.newildernesstrust.org. If you have a wilderness project that you believe may qualify under the guidelines for the Wildlands Partnership Program on NEWT's website, please contact Jon Leibowitz, Executive Director, at jon@newildernesstrust.org.


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