Archive for category: Blog

BTLT in the News, “Land trusts working to preserve 300 years of open space conservation in Brunswick despite push for development”

Land trusts working to preserve 300 years of open space conservation in Brunswick despite push for development

The Times Record

By Hannah LaClaire

May 17, 2019

Conservation has always been an important piece of our community. Check out the recent article in the Times Record about how we have, and continue to, cherish our open spaces.

The Brunswick Town Commons, one of Maine’s earliest preserved tracts of open space, is celebrating its 300th year at a time when the town is under pressure to develop as continued growth in larger towns like Portland and Lewiston pushes some people and businesses into communities like Brunswick.

Whether it’s a walk on the trails, a bike ride after work or a weekend afternoon kayaking, open space is “that backdrop of our lives,” said Steve Walker, town councilor and project manager for the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

Open space is just what it sounds like — land that a municipality has consciously decided not to develop. The town defines it as land that provides “scenic beauty and proximity to the natural world,” but “it means different things to different people,” according to Walker. It can also be farmland, space for recreation like trails, access to the waterfronts, large parks or even “pocket parks” like the downtown mall. “Communities that make those intentional decisions, those are the communities people want to live in,” he said.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

BTLT in the News, “Town celebrates 300th anniversary of Town Commons, notes early impact on Brunswick development”

Town celebrates 300th anniversary of Town Commons, notes early impact on Brunswick development

The Times Record

By Hannah LaClaire

May 9, 2019

Celebrations are underway for the 300th Anniversary of the Brunswick Town Commons. In a recent article in the Times Record, local writer Hannah LaClaire details the history of the area and the importance of the Commons to our community.

The Brunswick Town Commons, a “little corner” of town with a big impact on Brunswick’s history, is celebrating its 300th anniversary this year, marked by seven full weeks of activities and events.

The Commons, often confused with the Brunswick town mall, according to Fred Koerber, a member of the town commons committee, is a 71-acre chunk of what was once 1,000 acres given to the town in 1719 by the Pejepscot Company “to ly in general comonage.”

One of the earliest conserved open spaces in Maine, the land was also used to help draw both Bowdoin College and the United States Navy to town.

Bowdoin College was given 200 acres to start the college, and the Navy was given land to build the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, where they helped train British World War II pilots, Koerber said. When the Navy left decades later they were unable to give back the original land, he said, but instead gave the town the Kate Furbish Preserve.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

For a schedule of events celebrating the 300th Anniversary of the Brunswick Town Commons, click here.

BTLT in the News, “300th anniversary of the Brunswick Town Commons is underway, activities planned”


300th anniversary of the Brunswick Town Commons is underway, activities planned

Bangor Daily News

May 10, 2019

The 300th Anniversary of the Brunswick Town Commons is well underway, with the formal ceremony to be held this Sunday, May 19th! Check out the recent piece in the Bangor Daily News for more information about what’s to come…

The Town of Brunswick began a 7-week celebration of the 300th anniversary of The Brunswick Town Commons, one of the very oldest conserved open spaces in Maine, on April 23. A full day of activities, including a formal anniversary ceremony, with be held on May 19, to highlight the weeks worth of events. The full schedule can be found on the Pejepscot Historical Society’s website, the Town of Brunswick’s website and the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust website.

In May of 1719 the Pejepscot Company “granted one thousand acres of land to ly in general comonage.”  Over time, pieces of the property have been repurposed for other use, most notably by the US Navy in order to build the former naval air station and by Bowdoin College.  The current property offers over 71 acres with numerous trails running through diverse and ecologically unique terrain. The Brunswick Town Commons also frequently serves as a community recreation space and outdoor classroom for Brunswick schools.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

To see a full schedule of events, click here.

In the News, “Your Land: In Brunswick, a ‘Common’ purpose”

Your Land: In Brunswick, a ‘Common’ purpose”

The Times Record

By Sandy Stott

May 3, 2019

May marks the 300th Anniversary of the Brunswick Town Commons. Since mid-April, organizations in Brunswick have worked together to celebrate this exciting anniversary with walks, talks, and even a film made by students from Brunswick High School’s Film Department. In a recent article in the Times Record, Sandy Stott recounts the joy and light the film brought to one of Maine’s oldest conserved areas.

May is our expansive month. Leaves unfurl, waters warm, our woods are flecked with flowers at our feet. Perhaps no bloom says better, “It’s time to walk” than the lady’s-slipper, or moccasin flower. This foot- (and heart-) shaped blossom is our native orchid, and, where our woods are undisturbed, it can be legion. Brunswick’s Town Commons, with its 300-year legacy of being “saved” land, offers these wild orchids by the tens; sometimes during a walk I can count hundreds.

I thought of this the other night, when I was taken for a filmic walk in those Commons. Created by co-directors Ania Johnston and Josh Flanagan and other students from Brunswick High School’s Film Department, Uncommon Ground, pays lyrical tribute to this core of our town. Settled back among 200 others in the school’s Crooker Theater, I followed the film down familiar trails, and paused with it for appreciative close-ups of pines and ferns and mosses. It was all enlivening and soothing.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

To learn what events are left to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Brunswick Town Commons, click here.

Maine Outdoor Recreation Survey needs your input!

The Maine Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) is partnering with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to update the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.  As a MRPA member agency, the Brunswick Parks and Recreation Department is hoping that you will take the time to complete the Outdoor Recreation Survey linked below.

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands is interested in hearing about the types of outdoor activities you participate in and your thoughts about outdoor recreation opportunities in Maine. Your participation in this survey is very important as the results will be used to help develop the new Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.

To participate in the survey, please click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser:

https://www.research.net/r/MaineSCORP

The answers you provide in the survey will remain confidential and reported in combined form only. The survey should take about 10-15 minutes to complete, depending on your answers.

If you have any questions about the Maine State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, please contact Rex Turner, at the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, at (207) 287-4920, Rex.Turner@maine.gov. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact the study director, Patrick Madden, at (207) 767-6440 ext. 101, pmadden@marketdecisions.com