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.”
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