Archive for category: In the News

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!

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm named Best Farmers’ Market by Down East Readers!!

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm was named Best Farmers’ Market in Down East magazine’s annual Best of Maine issue. From shopping to eating to playing outdoors, Down East readers and editors selected their statewide favorites this year and the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Farmers’ Market made the list!

Winners of the “Best of Maine” awards are selected for one of two categories: the Readers’ Choice or the Editors’ Choice. Ideas for the annual Editors’ Choice Best of Maine Down East are collected throughout the year as the magazine’s editors and contributors travel the state. The Readers’ Choice nominees are identified and voted on by thousands of Down East readers each year. Individual categories include Travel & Play, Food & Drink, Arts & Media, and Home & Style. This year the winners were closer than ever.

Farmers’ Market Manager, Jacqui Koopman, says of the award, “I have long been proud of our stellar lineup of vendors and it is extremely gratifying to have our market named the Best in Maine for the second year in a row. Saturdays at our market are good fun; it is a community, much more than a place to buy great food and I’m very happy people appreciate what happens there.

The full list of “Best of Maine” winners appears in the July issue of Down East, on newsstands now and available in the Down East Shop now.

Down East Enterprise, Inc., is a multimedia company based in Camden, Maine. The company’s flagship publication, Down East: The Magazine of Maine, is the largest paid-circulation magazine dedicated to the Pine Tree State. For more than six decades, Down East has been the authority on Maine, and today continues to capture the reader’s attention with an insider look at contemporary life in Maine. They also produce a suite of digital assets that complement and support each of its niche brands.

BTLT in the News, “Brunswick land deal had happy ending”

Brunswick land deal had happy ending

Tim Glidden & Angela Twitchell

June 16, 2019

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust recently acquired Woodward Point, a property totaling 87 acres along the New Meadows River. The property was discussed in another CentralMaine.com article earlier this month and thus, Tim Glidden, the President of MCHT, and Angela Twitchell, Executive Director of BTLT, wrote to expand the reader’s understanding of this exciting update.

We read Douglas Rooks’ column (“Conservation land a big draw,” June 6) with great interest and were pleased to see that the town of Wayne is considering expanding its publicly accessible waterfront. We are writing to share the full picture of the example in Brunswick that Rooks cited.

While the town’s decision to sell a tax-foreclosure property was the source of some local controversy, the story has a happy ending. The town reserved a significant portion of the sale proceeds, dedicating them to improving public access to Brunswick’s coast, an opportunity that is in particularly short and shrinking supply on the Maine coast. With generous and enthusiastic financial support from the town, our organizations, Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, came together to acquire and conserve 87 acres on the New Meadows River that provides public access to two miles of coastline, including highly productive clam flats. Community divided no longer!

We’d also draw your readers attention to the recommendations of a recent statewide Land Conservation Task Force, maineconservationtaskforce.com) released earlier this year. The 1986 effort referenced by Mr. Rooks led to the creation of the Land for Maine’s Future Program now popular across all of Maine that has assisted communities like Brunswick to conserve the cherished lands and waters that form the basis of Maine’s economy and quality of life.

The new report stresses the importance of community-led land conservation efforts like those in Wayne and Brunswick. Even as we write, the Legislature is considering a major new Land for Maine’s Future bond to support implementation of the task force recommendations.

We agree with Mr. Rooks: “Effectively combining conservation with economic development may not be the whole answer, but it’s surely a good place to start.”

Click to link to article on CentralMaine.com

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust helps to address food insecurity in our community.

By Emily Swan, President, Board of Directors

Last Friday’s Times Record included an excellent article about BTLT’s use of the Harvest Bucks program, designed to boost SNAP recipients’ access to healthy foods, at the Crystal Spring Farm market.   It also appeared in the Press Herald. Click the logos below to read the article.

As in so many areas, BTLT’s efforts to connect SNAP recipients with healthy, nutritious, locally produced food involve collaboration with other community groups.  One example is our partnership with Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program to raise food at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden for food-insecure people in our community.  Another is our collaboration with Curtis Memorial Library to get more SNAP beneficiaries out to the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm.  In pursuit of that goal, the Library is sponsoring market tours, one of which took place this past Saturday.

I was the BTLT representative in the market booth during Saturday’s market tour (described in the articles mentioned above).  Although there were only two ladies on the tour, I know market manager Jacqui Koopman shares my belief that it was a moving, transformational, and joyous event, one that I hope will be repeated with other SNAP recipients during the course of the market season.

One of the ladies on the tour was hard of hearing, and it took her a while to grasp the fact that her $20 EBT investment would be matched by $20 worth of Harvest Bucks.   She asked incredulously whether the match would be available each time she came to the market and not just this once, and when I told her it was, her face positively lit up.  Jacqui then led the ladies from booth to booth, introducing them to vendors and the food choices each offered.  Both proved to be culinarily adventurous and came away with a fabulous assortment of fresh foods.

I think these tours are really the way to help interested SNAP recipients pass the hurdle of the unknown.  Now that they know what the market – and the Harvest Bucks program – have to offer, I have no doubt the ladies on yesterday’s tour will be back many times.   I hope we are able to introduce many more SNAP recipients to our wonderful market in the coming months.

Jacqui and I agreed that yesterday was one of the most rewarding days we had ever had at the market, and we look forward to introducing more.

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.