L.L.Bean Contributes $1 Million for the Development and Donation of a Public Green Space and Park in Freeport, Maine
In honor of its 95th anniversary, L.L.Bean today announced a $1 million gift for the development and donation of a park/green space to the town of Freeport. The gift will include a maintenance fund for ongoing upkeep of the park. The green space will include trails, a skating pond, picnic benches and shelters.
Freeport Town Council Chairman Jim Cassida introduced L.L.Bean President and CEO, Chris McCormick, who made the announcement at the Freeport Town Hall.
"L.L.Bean is grateful for the long-term support of the community, and we are pleased to honor our hometown of Freeport in our 95th year with this gift," said McCormick. "We are hopeful that the donation will connect with some of the long-term visions in our community by providing additional recreation space for hiking, skiing, or just walking the dog."
Stephen Mohr, from Mohr and Seredin Landscape Architects, presented conceptual drawings that underscored the natural vision for the park. The project will take advantage of views in and through the ravine and will incorporate rambling trails, native vegetation and wooded landscape. The drawings included a skating pond with warming shelters and seating as well as picnic pavilions.
Kathy Bither, Chair of the Freeport Conservation Trust, spoke about the trail work already being done by groups in town and added, "Freeport Conservation Trust is very grateful to L.L.Bean for the gift of this public open space to the Town of Freeport. Freeport is fortunate to have L.L.Bean as a pillar of our community, and we view this gift as having significant public benefit."
The park is approximately nine acres and will provide nearly a mile of trails, bathroom facilities and parking. The space will connect with other trails in town and provide a link between the school campuses "uptown" and on Bow Street.
Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, L.L.Bean Inc. began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. In 1967 L.L.'s grandson, Leon Gorman, took over as company president and led the company's transition to becoming the preeminent outdoor retail company it is today. With the company's modern day success as his legacy, Mr. Gorman assumed the role of Chairman of the Board in 2001, passing company leadership to Chris McCormick, the first non-family member ever to hold the position.
While its business has grown and changed significantly over the years, L.L.Bean still upholds the values of its founder and continues his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. In the past five years, L.L.Bean has donated over $6.3 million toward conservation and land stewardship. The 120,000 sq. ft. L.L.Bean Retail Store campus in Freeport, Maine, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year.
Freeport Town Manager
L.L.Bean Public Affairs Manager