Archive for category: Blog

BTLT in the News, “Land’s End”

“Land’s End”

November 2018


BTLT and MCHT are teaming up to conserve Woodward Point, a beautiful property over 80 acres large with over two miles of shoreline along two peninsulas on the New Meadows River in Brunswick. Recently, Down East magazine ran a story on the project.

With its sprawling pastures, spectacular views of the New Meadows River, and meandering forests at the water’s edge, Woodward Point’s defining quality is its unspoiled beauty. Bobolinks flock in the pasture. Mussels grow in a freshwater pond. Two miles of shoreline host great blue herons, oysters, and some of the most productive clamflats in Maine.

Jaki Ellis and Andy Cook fell in love with Woodward Point 40 years ago and made their fondest memories there. They raised cattle on the site’s more than 80 acres. Their kids learned to love the woods. In summer, they sailed from the dock at their back door, and in winter, they cross-country skied in the meadow.

All the while, they’ve watched the surrounding waterfront become private estates. Now, they’re retired and ready to move — but not ready to see the land they love meet the same fate. “We want to preserve the landscape,” Ellis says. “We don’t want to see it divided up and developed.”

The couple reached out to Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust in the hopes the organizations could protect their treasured land and ensure the community can enjoy it forever. The two land trusts have an option to purchase the property and are working to raise $3.5 million by March 2019 in order to make the acquisition and manage the property as a public preserve.

To read the rest, click here!

Mountain Bike Trails Open at Neptune Woods

Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA), Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT), and the Six Rivers chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (6R-NEMBA) are excited to announce the creation of four miles of mountain bike trails on newly conserved property at Brunswick Landing, the former Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB).

Neptune Woods is a 64-acre parcel that was deeded to MRRA by the Navy and is home to a section of the former Navy Fit trail. Because of its proximity to the Recreation Center and the existing trails, this parcel had been identified by several mountain bike enthusiasts in the Brunswick community as a good location for beginner-friendly mountain bike trails. The region has a lack of beginner trails, and with a need for trails to support the highly successful new Youth Mountain Bike Program being offered by Brunswick Rec Department, the project seemed like a great opportunity. Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust worked closely with community partners to develop the most effective way to proceed.

MRRA generously donated the land to BTLT to hold for recreation and conservation in perpetuity, while the fledgling 6R-NEMBA designed and built the trails. Mid Coast Hospital’s Access Health group provided funding for materials needed to build bridges, while dozens of community members (as young as 5 years old) volunteered to build the trials.

“We’re delighted to have been able to help the land trust and support more recreational activities at Brunswick Landing and in the Midcoast region,” MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque said. “These trails will provide our business workforce and residents with a great opportunity to exercise and enjoy this beautiful property.”

On October 21, more than 200 community members came out to celebrate the new trails. Center Street Cycles partnered with Specialized Bikes to bring over a dozen brand new mountain bikes for attendees to try – and many did, including a number of older visitors that had never tried mountain biking before.

Nikkilee (Lee) Cataldo, Director of Programs at the Land Trust and secretary of the 6R-NEMBA Board, welcomed visitors on a chilly Sunday morning. “The trails at Neptune Woods are just a first step in what we hope is a much larger inter-connected trail system that allows our community to have fun, stay healthy, and enjoy the outdoors,” Cataldo said.

This was an idea the crowd seemed to appreciate. Lawrence Kovaks, president of the 6R-NEMBA board noted the value of partnerships like the ones that created the trails at Neptune – no one of the groups could have done it alone, but it was clear from the crowd that working together met a community need.

The Land Trust is very excited to offer its first mountain bike trails on BTLT lands, and very much look forward to working more with these partners and others to further develop mixed-use trails and trail corridors to support our community’s wellness!

To support the needs of this new property, BTLT is devoting Giving Tuesday to Neptune Woods. If you enjoy these trails and want to support their maintenance and creation of more like them, please visit www.btlt.org/giving-tuesday-neptune.

A huge thank you to everyone involved!

BTLT in the News, “Brunswick solar array could be model for others in future”

“Brunswick solar array could be model for others in future”

October 18, 2018

On Wednesday, October 17, the key individuals involved in the Crystal Spring Farm Community Solar Project, representatives from the Town of Brunswick and ReVision Energy, as well as local politicians gathered to celebrate the project that provides about 100,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year to Crystal Spring Farm plus seven other Brunswick families without access to solar electricity where they live.

Everyone enjoys a bright, sunny day, but for the folks at Crystal Spring Farm and their solar array, a little bit of sunshine is that much sweeter.

The 78.6-kilowatt photovoltaic solar energy installation has been online at the Brunswick farm for almost two years, producing, on average, 100,000 kilowatt-hours of clean energy every year, according to Steve Weems, one of the project’s leaders.

Along with other community members, Crystal Spring Farm and the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust, which owns the land the farm is on, partnered with ReVision Energy to establish a net metering agreement in which each participant gets a kWh credit on their electric bill each month. Crystal Spring Farm owns 44 percent of the share, and the other eight participants split the remainder.

Weems; farm owner Seth Kroeck; Angela Twitchell, executive director of the BTLT; and some of the participating families and local politicians gathered at the solar array Wednesday evening for a small celebration marking two years of solar power in the community.

The project supports not only clean energy, Weems said, but also local, community-based agriculture.

When the conversation concerning a solar array first began, Kroeck said there was initial worry from the community that the array, which covers a half acre of pasture, would be too “ugly.”

However, he argued that people should shift their perceptions of beauty. Gesturing to the silo behind him, he said that while the silo was perhaps not a particularly attractive building, it is what people think of when they think of a farm. This, too, should be the case with the array, he said, adding that “it’s part of the iconography of a modern farm.”

Click here to read the full article.

BTLT in the News, “New bike club wants to expand opportunities for riders”

“New bike club wants to expand opportunities for riders”

October 17, 2018

 

The Neptune Woods Trails Celebration is this Sunday, October 21 and we can’t wait to enjoy the trails with you! Check out this recent Times Record article to learn more about the new trails.

BRUNSWICK — A new club in the Topsham and Brunswick wants to give bike enthusiasts more places to ride and draw more people into the sport.

Since opening a new chapter in April, the Six Rivers chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association has been working to improve access to recreational trails. Topsham officials recently gave the club the go-ahead to develop a trail system in town. Through volunteer efforts and partnering with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust they are ready to officially open the Neptune Woods Trail at Brunswick Landing on Oct. 21.

“We had these trails in Brunswick and Topsham that really just need some maintenance,” said Kristian Haralson, Six Rivers board member. “Our hope is within the next year to do more programming.”

The group hopes the new trails and programs will draw more riders, especially children. Haralson said Topsham’s designs will be similar to what the club has done in other areas. The trail should be smooth, making it accessible for newer riders.

Read the full article here.

No Dog Policy begins this Saturday

Please remember that the no dog policy at the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm begins this Saturday, October 6.

The Farmers’ Market struggled with the challenges of having dogs at the market for years and with amplified popularity of our beloved market, more challenges and concerns recently surfaced.  In the best interest of our visitors and to provide a safe, positive community space, BTLT board and staff found it necessary to adopt this policy. Since making that difficult decision in August, we have been notifying Farmers’ Market visitors, our membership, and our social media followers of this change in the hopes of easing the transition.

Leashed dogs are still welcome on Crystal Spring Farm trails and many other BTLT trails. Please see our trail map of Crystal Spring Farm by visiting this link: http://www.btlt.org/land-trust-trails-crystal-spring-farm.

Thank you for your support and cooperation.