Archive for category: In the News

BTLT in the News, “Merrymeeting Bay groups look to tackle farm labor shortage”

Merrymeeting Bay groups look to tackle farm labor shortage

By Sandy Stott

December 6, 2019

On December 16th, the Merrymeeting Food Council is hosting a roundtable that’s open to the public on Monday, December 16th.

A wide-ranging group of stakeholders from the Merrymeeting Bay area are getting together later this month to discuss ways to address the local farm labor shortage.

The Merrymeeting Food Council and University of Maine Cooperative Extension are hosting a roundtable Monday, Dec. 16, to discuss farm labor models, share resources and build a network focused on short and long-term solutions to a shortage of workers in the industry.

The council, based in Brunswick, represents 14 towns that surround Merrymeeting Bay, including Richmond, Dresden, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Woolwich, Bath, Topsham, Brunswick, West Bath, Arrowsic, Westport, Harpswell, Phippsburg and Georgetown. The group is a collaborative network of farms, fisheries, businesses, nonprofits, government and individuals working together to advance the food system in the region.

Planning partners for the event besides the food council include area farmers and representatives of Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative; Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust; the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; the Maine Department of Labor; Land for Good; Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

To read the rest of the recent article, click here.

To register for the Roundtable or learn more about the Merrymeeting Food Council, click here.

BTLT in the News, “Survey says: Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust forming new strategic plan”

Survey says: Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust forming new strategic plan

By Alex Lear

November 26 2019

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust completed a community survey this fall to gain a deeper understanding of what our members and the greater community think about the work that we do. Alex Lear recently covered the results of the survey in an article in the Portland Press Herald.

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has many great preserves to offer, but could do a little better publicizing them, preliminary results from a recent survey have determined.

The organization plans to spend the next several months analyzing survey data received this year from 520 community members, and use those findings to develop a new, five-year strategic plan by 2022.

The survey was meant to ascertain community awareness of BTLT’s work and learn how the organization can better serve members and the community, according to Executive Director Angela Twitchell. The questionnaire had multiple choice options, answers from which were more readily available this month, along with opportunities for people to write in comments.

“We really wanted to seek some more meaningful information,” she said Monday, adding that the respondents “gave us some really great feedback.”

The “strong and overwhelmingly positive response” is “a great boost for us,” Twitchell said.

But some areas for improvement were mentioned, too, which will inform BTLT as it convenes an advisory council next March to review the findings and hold an April board retreat to consider mid-term revisions to its current 2017 strategic plan, in view of those results.

To read the rest of the recent article in the Portland Press Herald, click here.

BTLT on the Radio, “Conserving Maine’s Islands: What’s Being Done to Protect Maine Islands from Climate Change & Threats”

 

Conserving Maine’s Islands: What’s Being Done to Protect Maine Islands from Climate Change & Threats

By Cindy Han

November 6, 2019

Angela Twitchell, BTLT’s Executive Director and the Chair of the Maine Land Trust Network was recently featured on Maine Public Radio’s Maine Calling alongside Tim Glidden, president of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Suzanne MacDonald, Chief Community Development Officer of The Island Institute, and Sarah Demers, director of Land for Maine’s Future Program with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Climate change has the potential to wreak havoc on Maine’s coast and coastal islands. Since 1950, the sea level along the coast of Maine has risen eight inches and is continuing to rise at the rate of one inch every eight years. Warming waters and ocean acidification present additional challenges to those residing and making a living on Maine’s islands. Multiple efforts are underway to protect and conserve Maine’s coastal islands, beaches, marshes, bold coast, working harbors and more against erosion and damage from strong waves and storm surges. We discuss those threats and initiatives to increase access to the Maine coast for recreational use and commercial access.

Click here to listen to the program!

BTLT in the News, “Canoeing in Maine: Exploring Woodward Point in Brunswick”

Canoeing in Maine: Exploring Woodward Point in Brunswick

By Michael Perry

November 10, 2019

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust recently conserved Woodward Point Preserve in Brunswick. This property is open to the public and has fantastic water access; not only can you enjoy the view of the New Meadows River from land, but you can paddle around the point as well.The Portland Press Herald’s Michael Perry recently wrote about a November paddle around Woodward Point complete with tips and tricks on how to maximize your time on the water.

We basked in the mid-morning sun and gazed down the New Meadows River toward the brilliant yellows of maples and golden browns of oaks at the end of Foster Point. We heard the voices of a couple coming down through the woods to the shore. The husband summed up the spot perfectly, “a good place to bring a picnic.”

The preserve is a recent collaboration of Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, made possible by the generosity of the Cook-Ellis family who farmed the property for many years. Nearly two miles of clearly marked trails meander through green meadows and through pine, hemlock and oak forests. It seemed odd walking through a preserve with the call of chickadees, blue jays and crows mixing with the sound of gulls. One of the meadow trails swings by a picturesque farm pond displaying artistic reflections of the pines bordering the pond. The white flowers of yarrow mixed with the yellow of dandelions and purple of clover. We even found a few strawberry blossoms. Was it really November?

To read the rest of the recent article in the Portland Press Herald, click here.

BTLT in the News, “Land trusts celebrate the opening of Brunswick’s Woodward Point”

Land trusts celebrate the opening of Brunswick’s Woodward Point

By Hannah LaClaire

September 30, 2019

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust celebrated the opening of Woodward Point Preserve on Saturday, September 28th. This new preserve is now open to the public, boasting 87 acres of forests, fields, meadows, and over two miles of shoreline along two peninsulas on the New Meadows River in Brunswick.

Countless porcupines, bobolinks, shellfish and butterflies have enjoyed Brunswick’s Woodward Point for years, and now the town’s human residents can enjoy the area’s natural beauty as well.

More than 100 people turned out to explore the 87 acres of sprawling meadows, forested trails and rocky coastline to help the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust officially open the preserve and celebrate the culmination of a two-year effort to conserve the parcel.

The trusts raised $3.5 million to purchase the land and provide for its long-term management as a public preserve, including $150,000 from Brunswick in January, a $400,000 grant from the state’s Land for Maine’s Future Program, and $570,000 from a federal Coastal Wetlands grant.

That access to has been touted as one of the particular benefits of the property. While Brunswick’s coastline isn’t exactly composed of white sandy beaches, the land trusts hope the preserve will be a place where families can come swim, kayak, fish and enjoy the water, said Caitlin Gerber, a land steward for the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.The land includes roughly 1.5 miles of trails and more than 2 miles of shore frontage on the New Meadows River and Woodward Cove that features four places with water access. Dogs are allowed in the preserve and must be leashed.

To read the rest of the recent article in the Portland Press Herald, click here.

BTLT in the News, “Land trust to celebrate 25 years of conservation at Crystal Spring Farm, 20 years of farmers’ market with festival”

Land trust to celebrate 25 years of conservation at Crystal Spring Farm, 20 years of farmers’ market with festival

By Hannah LaClaire

September 6, 2019

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust celebrated the 25th anniversary of the conservation of Crystal Spring Farm and the 20th anniversary of the BTLT Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm this past weekend with a festival on the Market Green at Crystal Spring Farm.

Twenty-five years ago, the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust stepped in to keep Crystal Spring Farm, a property they say has been at the heart of the Brunswick farming community for generations, from becoming a large housing development.

The property, now 320 acres of conserved land, was purchased in two pieces, according to Angela Twitchell, land trust executive director. The first 160 acres were purchased in 1994 for about $700,000, and then between 2004 and 2008, the trust raised another $2.7 million to buy the other 160 acres and renovate the existing farm buildings.

To celebrate community and conservation over the last quarter-century, the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust is hosting a festival on Sunday afternoon with live music, locally sourced food and even a special basil-infused beer released in collaboration with the land trust and Flight Deck Brewing.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

BTLT in the News: Crystal Spring Farm Festival!

If you haven’t heard, BTLT is hosting a Crystal Spring Farm Festival this Sunday, September 8th from 12 – 4pm. We’ll have tasty local food from Henry & Marty, Sowbelly Butchery, and Mere Point Oysters, along with wine and beer provided by Cook’s Lobster and Ale House with and EXCLUSIVE beer release from Flight Deck Brewing.

The Portland Press Herald recently covered the festival in two event-based articles.

Sande’s Picks: Sail away with beer and oysters by Sande Updegraph

The Wrap: A shot at free pizza for a year, and a steep dinner check for 65 by Meredith Goad

For more information on the Festival or to buy tickets, CLICK HERE.

BTLT in the News, “Topsham seeks funding for Head of Tide Park improvements”

Topsham seeks funding for Head of Tide Park improvements

By Alex Lear

July 23, 2019

Head of Tide Park is Topsham’s first waterfront park. The Park is located at the Cathance River’s head of tide, or the furthest upstream that the tide impacts the river and is home to a 15-foot waterfall, trail head, picnic pavilions, and hand-carry boat launch to access the lower, or tidal section of the river.  The town of Topsham is hoping to improve this space, though, with better parking and a hand-carry boat launch.

The Portland Press Herald recently covered these proposed improvements in a story by Alex Lear.

The town is seeking $55,000 in grants from the state to improve parking and build a hand-carry boat launch at Head of Tide Park.

The Board of Selectmen on July 18 unanimously authorized Town Manager Rich Roedner to apply for the funding, which is available through the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands’ Boating Facilities Fund.

The total project would cost $73,000; $18,000, or 25%, would be provided by the town – $10,000 from the current budget and $8,000 from in-kind work by Public Works, according to Town Planner Rod Melanson.

The 12-acre Cathance River park, at 235 Cathance Road, is owned by the town and stewarded by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. It offers a 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, and picnic and parking areas.

Click here to read more!