Archive for category: In the News

BTLT in the News, “Head of Tide Park connects Topsham to river’s offerings”

“Head of Tide Park connects Topsham to river’s offerings”

August 8, 2018

Looking to run in the woods or go for a paddle? Check out this article in The Coastal Journal that highlights the great running trails and water opportunities at Head of Tide Park.

The recent opening of Head of Tide Park is the culmination of a 12-year process to enhance the beauty, acquire land, and create a recreation area unique to Topsham. The work of the town and community organizations resulted in the town’s newest summer attraction.

“It really was a community effort,” said Parks and Recreation Director Pam Leduc. “It’s amazing when you look back at what it was and then now the finished product.”

The 12-acre park has a history of bustling activity, with a saw mill and then feldspar mill once standing on the land. Neglected apartment buildings made way for serenity and the gentle splash of a waterfall at the park.
Its history, however, is still a part of the landscape, as anyone passing by on Cathance Road can see the unmistakable ball mill.

While exploring the trails and nature of the park, signs have been installed to further pay tribute to the land, dating back to the tribes of the Abenakis. Leduc is most excited for residents and visitors in Topsham to have a place to connect with the river.

“It’s a nice quiet place to go for a picnic or kayaking,” said Leduc. “The Cathance itself is very mysterious.”

Runners will also enjoy what the new community get-away has to offer. The park has a trailhead that connects to more than seven miles of trails.

 

To read the rest of the story, click here.

 

BTLT in the News, “Head of Tide Park, and the 12-year saga of how it came to be”

“Head of Tide Park, and the 12-year saga of how it came to be”

July 1, 2018

Angela Twitchell and Pam LeDuc joined Mary Pols at Head of Tide Park to delve into the details of the newly opened park in Topsham.

Unless they are avid readers of the local land trust’s newsletter, the picnickers would be unlikely to know it took 12 years, at least 11 funders, multiple land purchases, easements granted by neighbors, rounds of grant writing and applications, and coordination among federal, state and local agencies – including the local fire department – to make it happen. Head of Tide Park looks like it has been part of the Topsham landscape forever, but it has been officially open only for a month.

How it came to be is a classic tale of American land conservation, a lot of patience and a vision to see beyond mildewed buildings and into a day like this one, where a family is picnicking, a man on a bicycle stops to sit in the shade, another reads a sign explaining the history of the place and two women launch a kayak to head upstream, into what had been secret to many – the beauty of a place where the tides from Merrymeeting Bay push deep into the land to meet the fresh water of the Cathance River.

Water cascades over rocks where the Cathance River meets Merrymeeting Bay at the Head of Tide Park in Topsham. It took 12 years to carve The town’s first waterfront park. Now the whole park is owned by Topsham, with a conservation easement held by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. Staff photos by Gregory Rec

To read the rest of the story, click here.

BTLT in the News, “Soak up the latest trend – forest bathing”

Soak up the latest trend – forest bathing

June 10, 2018

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Jade Integrated Health are teaming up tonight for the first of three forest bathing programs.

Want to check out the trendiest thing in walks? The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is collaborating with Jade Integrated Health in Brunswick for a series of Forest Bathing classes that starts tomorrow and is directed at “finding mindfulness in nature.” For a small donation, you can experience a guided walk – err, bath – through the woods in Brunswick.

To read the full story, click here.

BTLT in the News, “Head of Tide – How did it happen?”

Head of Tide – How did it happen?”

May 29
Doug Bennett, BTLT board member, recently wrote an Op-Ed featured in the The Times Record on May 29 regarding the long and rewarding conservation effort for Head of Tide Park.

 

As we enjoy the park, it is worth noting how this park came to be. Who made it happen and how? There are lessons for the future in the Head of Tide story.

It wasn’t simply the doing of the town government, though they played a key role. It wasn’t simply the work of private individuals, though they played a key role. And it wasn’t simply the result of community organizations, though they, too, played a key role. It was the efforts of all these and many people, working together, that made Head of Tide possible.

Not so long ago, the Head of Tide was a decaying collection of buildings, an eyesore, really. Once the site became available, it might well have become a private development, perhaps a collection of townhouses.

That might well have prevented public access or even view of the Head of Tide. But that’s not what happened.

Curious how this story ends and what Head of Tide Park has to offer today? Click here.

 

BTLT in the News, “Topsham to celebrate opening of Head of Tide Park”

Topsham to celebrate opening of Head of Tide Park

May 30, 2018

After over a decade of hard work, Head of Tide Park is now permanently conserved and offers a beautiful waterfall, picnicking areas, trails, and water access. Alex Lear of The Forecaster met up with Angela Twitchell, BTLT Executive Director, to learn more about the Park.

Twelve years of planning, funding and development along the Cathance River will culminate Saturday, June 2, with the grand opening of Head of Tide Park.

The 12-acre property at 235 Cathance Road, owned by the town and stewarded by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, has much to offer the nature enthusiast.

There’s the 15-foot waterfall at the river’s highest tidal reach, hand-carry boat access on either side of the falls, a trailhead that connects to more than 7 miles of trails, along with picnic and parking areas. Informational signs cover the rich history of the site, where a sawmill operated 300 years ago, followed by a feldspar mill.

The park’s story began with an ending.

Elizabeth Kelso, who died in 2005, owned the apartments that sat where the mill had once operated. Through a 2006 bequest, a one-third interest in the property went to the Cathance River Education Alliance, which motivated CREA to seek conservation of the entire property.

Agreeing to serve as the project’s fiscal agent, the BTLT board had Angela Twitchell, the land trust’s executive director, coordinate conservation and fundraising activities. BTLT bought the abutting 1.5-acre Cutler property in 2010, and donated it to the town, according to the grand opening’s press release.

Topsham Development used its enterprise fund to buy the entire property in 2009, as well as the 7-acre Direnzo parcel – now used for parking and soon for hand-carry boat access – across the street in 2014. TDI served as interim owner in both cases until the town and BTLT could raise the funds to purchase all the pieces of the 12-acre parcel, a process completed this March.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Twitchell said with a smile May 24 while looking around the site. After 12 years, “we’ve got the whole vision completed.”

Click here for the full article.

 

 

BTLT in the News, “Spring inspiration at Midcoast land trusts from Brunswick to Lincoln County”

Spring inspiration at Midcoast land trusts from Brunswick to Lincoln County

April 26, 2018

Local land trusts, including the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, are featured in the Coastal Journal for some exciting spring happenings. Read on to see how you can get involved this season!

There is no shortage of areas to explore along the Midcoast this spring, but local land trusts offer more than just trails. Each organization has its own focus and schedule of events coming up. Some are out on the trails while others are workshops focused on preparations for spring, like how to start your garden.

You may know the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust from its role in the outdoor farmers market at Crystal Springs Farm in the summer and on the town green in the spring and fall. I am eagerly waiting for the first spring market day on May 5.

Following on the gardening theme, BTLT also puts on the impressive Taking Root Plant Sale on May 26, where you can simultaneously provision your garden with lovely native plants and support the land trust’s efforts.

And, if you don’t have your own garden to tend, but love digging in the dirt, one of the many volunteer opportunities possible with BTLT is to help at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden. The garden is used for educational programs and also provides produce for local food banks, in addition to having private plots for those interested in having their own patch. You can find out more at www.btlt.org/volunteer.

To read the complete article, click here.