Archive for category: In the News

Thank you for making our successes in 2018 possible!

Thanks to the generous support of our more than 1,000 members, 2018 was a busy year for the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. From land conservation and stewardship to mushroom forays and student-grown produce for MCHPP, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust focused our efforts in 2018 on the wellness of our community and organization.

Head of Tide Park

After 12 years of collaboration between BTLT, the town of Topsham, and many other individuals and organizations, Head of Tide Park was conserved and made into the first waterfront park in Topsham. Spanning 12 acres of land on both banks of the Cathance River, Head of Tide Park’s amenities include hand-carry boat access, a riverfront trail connecting to BTLT’s Cathance River Nature Preserve, and a picnic area to bird-watch, fish, swim, and just enjoy being outdoors in a beautiful setting – and all of this is open to everyone!

This is just one of several projects that created or improved public access to the outdoors for the people of our region in 2018. Others include conservation of the Smart parcel behind Riverview Cemetery in Topsham, which permanently protects a large section of the recently built Topsham River Trail; construction of a bridge connecting BTLT’s Chase Reserve trail to the Freeport Conservation Trust’s Antoinette Jackman Trail thanks to the hard work of Eagle Scout Sam Hughes; and completion of a trail on BTLT’s Woodward Cove property in East Brunswick that ensures public access to these productive clam flats.

Neptune Woods

Our most recently completed land conservation project is Neptune Woods at Brunswick Landing and its great new mountain bike and multi-use trails opened in October. No project better exemplifies BTLT’s proud history of partnering with other organizations – in this case, Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, 6 Rivers New England Mountain Bike Association, and Mid Coast Hospital – to create access to the out-of-doors for the people of our region.

Woodward Point

We can’t leave the list of land conservation successes in 2018 without mentioning the exciting Woodward Point property which, when complete, will conserve nearly 90 acres and two miles of shorefront on Woodward Cove and the New Meadow River in Brunswick. While this project (being done in a wonderful partnership with Maine Coast Heritage Trust) is ongoing and still in need of significant funding to be completed, we count the progress we have made to date as one of our most important accomplishments of 2018. Click the photo at left to learn more about this project.

Perryman Carrot Harvest

BTLT focused on building wellness in our community by protecting clean water and open spaces with land conservation, but also through supporting healthy lifestyles, promoting self-care, growing healthy food for MCHPP, and providing opportunities for community engagement with the land throughout the year. To name a few of these wellness-focused accomplishments in 2018, we brought a series of trail runs to the community, collaborated with Jade Integrated Health for forest bathing walks on BTLT’s Crystal Spring Farm trails, redoubled our efforts to bring SNAP users to our Farmers’ Market, brought Coffin and Mt. Ararat Middle School students to the Tom Settlemire Community Garden, built raised beds at Perryman Village and brought Perryman Village children to the garden, participated in the Merrymeeting Food Council and Merrymeeting Gleaners, and grew produce for MCHPP at the Community Garden. Beyond that, we created the Southern Mid Coast Trail Guide in collaboration with other local and trusts and towns, updated the Brunswick Outdoors Map, and created an online wellness resource that promotes staying active throughout the year with an interactive map of activities in our area and matching spreadsheet for each season.

When the Land Trust conserves a property, it also takes on a commitment – in perpetuity – for responsible stewardship of the land. It’s a weighty responsibility, and BTLT has worked hard to build a financially and institutionally sustainable organization capable of fulfilling it. Our national accreditation in 2012 and 2018 re-accreditation recognize BTLT as a land trust that has its ducks in a row, both organizationally and financially.

In recent years, BTLT has achieved a lot and it has been accomplished under the leadership of Brad Babson, who in 2018 wrapped up seven years as president of BTLT’s board. We at BTLT have always known how much Brad’s vision and perseverance have done for our organization and our community. We were extremely gratified to see Brad recognized for these qualities in the wider community as a recipient of Camden National Bank’s 2018 Leaders & Luminaries award.

All of this and more was made possible by your generous contributions! We thank all of our members and supporters for the successes of 2018 and we look forward to the possibilities that await us in 2019 to conserve special places and connect the people of our region to them.

Find out more about all of the projects mentioned above at www.btlt.org.

BTLT in the News, “Land trust looks back at 2018”

Land trust looks back at 2018

December 28, 2018

Angela Twitchell, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Executive Director, and Emily Swan, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Board President, co-wrote a piece for the Times Record summing up another successful year at the Land Trust.

Key to our mission is connecting the people of our region to the land and enriching community appreciation of the natural world. 2018 has been a busy year for the Land Trust thanks to the generous support of our more than 1,000 members.

First and foremost is land conservation, and leading the pack there is Head of Tide Park, the result of a 12-year collaboration between BTLT, the town of Topsham, and many other individuals and organizations. Spanning 12 acres of land on both banks of the Cathance River, Head of Tide Park’s amenities include hand-carry boat access, a riverfront trail connecting to BTLT’s Cathance River Nature Preserve, and a picnic area to bird-watch, fish, swim, and just enjoy being outdoors in a beautiful setting – and all of this is open to everyone!

This is just one of several projects that created or improved public access to the outdoors for the people of our region in 2018. Others include conservation of the Smart parcel behind Riverview Cemetery in Topsham, which permanently protects a large section of the recently built Topsham River Trail; construction of a bridge connecting BTLT’s Chase Reserve trail to the Freeport Conservation Trust’s Antoinette Jackman Trail thanks to the hard work of Eagle Scout Sam Hughes; and completion of a trail on BTLT’s Woodward Cove property in East Brunswick that ensures public access to these productive clam flats.

Our most recently completed land conservation project is Neptune Woods at Brunswick Landing and its great new mountain bike and multi-use trails opened in October. No project better exemplifies BTLT’s proud history of partnering with other organizations – in this case, Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, 6 Rivers New England Mountain Bike Association, and Mid Coast Hospital – to create access to the out-of-doors for the people of our region.

We can’t leave the list of land conservation successes in 2018 without mentioning the exciting Woodward Point property which, when complete, will conserve nearly 90 acres and two miles of shorefront on Woodward Cove and the New Meadow River in Brunswick. While this project (being done in a wonderful partnership with Maine Coast Heritage Trust) is ongoing and still in need of significant funding to be completed, we count the progress we have made to date as one of our most important accomplishments of 2018. Expect to hear more about this project in 2019.

Virtually all of BTLT’s work supports community wellness, from protecting clean water, open spaces, and recreation, to supporting access to healthy food, and much more.

Click here to read the full article!

BTLT in the News, “Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust launches online ‘wellness resource'”

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust launches online ‘wellness resource’

Alex Lear, The Forecaster

December 18, 2018

We are lucky to live in a place so rich with outdoor resources like waterfalls and rivers, bike trails and hiking paths, kayaking, and islands to explore. Information on those opportunities for recreation and physical activity are spread throughout the internet, though, and sometimes it can be difficult to find what you’re looking for. That’s why over the past few months, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has been working on a project to provide you with a wellness resource that will provide you with inspiration and options all through the year. The Forecaster’s Alex Lear wrote a story on this new resource…

For those wondering what all-ages activities are available in the area to boost or maintain physical health, the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has the answers.

The trust launched its “wellness resource” at btlt.org/wellness-map last month. With the website a work in progress, “we are looking for information from the community to make sure that we aren’t missing anything,” Jamie Pacheco, BTLT’s wellness coordinator, said Dec. 12.

“We want feedback; we want to know what people need,” Pacheco said.

The resource is meant as a one-stop shop for those looking for outdoor, indoor or child-friendly activities around greater Brunswick. Whereas information on such opportunities has been spread over various websites, or not published online, the new guide will serve as a compilation of available opportunities.

“The Land Trust’s mission is to conserve land but also to connect people to nature by providing recreational opportunities,” BTLT said in a recent press release. “As such, the organization feels a responsibility to improve the overall wellness of our community through education and access.”

To read the full story, click here!

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!

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.

BTLT in the News, “Brunswick trail has wormers, clammers, hikers in mind”

Brunswick trail has wormers, clammers, hikers in mind

September 26, 2018

The new trail at Woodward Cove received some press recently, courtesy of Elizabeth Clemente at The Forecaster.

Woodward Cove, a property the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust purchased two years ago to preserve mud-flat access for wormers and clammers, has a new walking trail.

The new trail runs through the organization’s property on Gurnet Road.

Stewards from both BTLT  and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust were responsible for creating the new path and cut the winding, lollipop-shaped route. It is just under a half-mile long and gives hikers views of hills and apple trees.

Margaret Gerber, stewardship manager for BTLT, said the trail was completed at the end of July, and is open, but her organization will not likely have a formal opening celebration for the property at this time because it does not yet have signs or a kiosk.

Gerber said in addition to giving visitors views of local scenery, the new path will also maintain a space for fishermen to work.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

BTLT in the News, “Harpswell, Brunswick join the Dempsey Challenge”

Harpswell, Brunswick join the Dempsey Challenge

September 26, 2018

The Dempsey Challenge is coming through Brunswick on Sunday! To learn more, read the latest story on the Challenge by the Forecaster.

As part of its 10th anniversary this weekend, the Dempsey Challenge has devised a new cycling route that includes Brunswick and Harpswell.

The Dempsey Challenge Sept. 29 and 30 is an annual two-day, non-competitive run, walk and cycling fundraiser. Proceeds go to Dempsey Centers, an organization founded by actor Patrick Dempsey to help Mainers and their families impacted by cancer.

To read more, click here.