Archive for category: In the News

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.

BTLT 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.

BTLT in the News, “A life of quiet generosity”

 

A life of quiet generosity

The Times Record

By David Treadwell

An lovely article was recently written by David Treadwell in The Times Record about a kind person who generously gives back to the community that he calls home.

You wouldn’t expect a global company that serves the neuroscience community to be headquartered in rural Maine. And you wouldn’t expect that company to provide a daycare facility and community gym right on-site. And you wouldn’t expect the owner of such a company to eschew the let’s-position-the-company-to-go-public-or-be-bought-out-so-we-can-make-millions mindset of today’s entrepreneurs.

Click here to read the whole article!

BTLT in the News, “Brunswick project tests Topsham scout’s paperwork, bridge-building skills”

Brunswick project tests Topsham scout’s paperwork, bridge-building skills

Patti McDonald, March 26, 2019

Sam Hughes, a local Eagle Scout, completed a bridge at the end of Jack’s Trail at BTLT’s Chase Reserve last fall. Through challenges in the paperwork to the excitement of building, Patti McDonald at The Forecaster recently covered the story.

Some teenagers are buried in their electronic devices or concerned with the next social media challenge.

Not 15-year-old Sam Hughes.

Hughes, a sophomore at Mt. Ararat High School, revels in his time outdoors and appreciates nature. He said his love for the outdoors is the reason he decided to join the Boy Scouts when he was 6 years old.

Hughes, who lives in Topsham, has been in the Boy Scouts for nine years and has already achieved the Eagle Scout rank, the organization’s highest achievement. He completed his service project last fall: a bridge he built at the end of Jack’s Trail on Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Chase Reserve on Bunganuc Road in Brunswick. The trail connects BTLT’s trail with Freeport Conservation Trust’s Antoinette Jackman Trail.

Click here to read more about Sam’s project!

BTLT in the News, “Fat Biking in Brunswick”

On February 10, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust teamed up with Six Rivers NEMBA, Midcoast Conservancy, and the Merrymeeting Wheelers for a group fat tire mountain bike ride at Neptune Woods. Over 40 people attended and many ended up at the Brews for a Cause Fundraiser to benefit BTLT hosted by Flight Deck Brewing on Brunswick Landing.

Bikers before the ride.

Patrick Gabrion posted about the ride on the cycling blog, Pedal 2 Page, covering the event.

I heard one participant say, “I love these trails,” and that was the sentiment expressed by many others. Here’s my take on the four miles of loops:

* Well groomed and the abundance of trees kept icy conditions to a minimum
* Wooden bridges, not too many and short, were wide enough that they didn’t create freak-out moments
* Well marked
* Ample parking
* Despite the occasional plane taking off at the nearby airport, the wooded area was quiet and peaceful

BTLT reached out to Six Rivers NEMBA to run Sunday’s ride. In the end, the event represented a collaboration between BTLT, Six Rivers, the Merrymeeting Wheelers and the Midcoast Conservancy, which provided 20 fat bikes to loan to participants.

“The number of participants was staggering,” said Lawrence Kovacs, president of Six Rivers NEMBA.

Pedal 2 Page

Click here to read the whole post!

BTLT in the News, “Guest column: Finding common ground for the common good”


Guest column: Finding common ground for the common good 
February 01, 2019
By Angela Twitchell, Executive Director, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust 
and Tim Glidden, President, Maine Coast Heritage Trust 

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust have been working together to conserve Woodward Point, an 87-acre property with over 2 miles of shorefront and plentiful opportunities for recreation. Now, with the help of the Brunswick Town Council, we are closer than ever to achieving our goal of conserving this very special property.

We have both lived in the Brunswick-Topsham area for decades and have chosen to build our careers here, raise our children here, and participate in the civic life of our community through municipal committees and the support of many local nonprofits and community groups. We love this area and are proud to call it home, but we have never been more proud to be members of this community than we were last Thursday evening when the Brunswick Town Council voted unanimously to contribute $150,000 toward the conservation of the 87-acre Woodward Point property.  If conserved by Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) and Brunswick Topsham Land Trust (BTLT), this property will offer 2 miles of shore frontage on the New Meadows River and Woodward Cove in East Brunswick and will create ample opportunities for free outdoor recreation, water access, nature-based education as well as the protection of natural resources including some of Brunswick’s most productive clam flats. 


This vote was a shining example of how our community can unite by working together for common goals—and an example of how the land holds potential to bring us together. Our Town Council (representing diverse political viewpoints) found common ground for the common good. 

The Times Record, February 1

Click here to read the rest of this guest column.

BTLT in the News, “Fat bikes keep outdoor enthusiasts active, even in winter “


Fat bikes keep outdoor enthusiasts active, even in winter
January 30
Chris Quattrucci

The Times Record covered the growing trend of fat biking last week and mentioned our upcoming event on February 10.

Curious about trying it out for yourself? Join us this Sunday at Neptune Woods on Brunswick Landing for a group ride led by Six Rivers NEMBA. For registrants without bikes, Midcoast Conservancy who will bring 20 fat bikes to loan out. There is still space available for this FREE event. Click HERE to register today!

A growing group of locals are hoping to stay fit on fat bikes this winter, even as the offroad trails they traverse are covered with snow and ice.
 
Fat bikes are made for off-road terrain, designed with over-sized tires to handle unstable trails and snow.

Increasing trail options and growing interest in local biking options has led to many in the cycling community getting off the road and into the woods all year. Lee Huston, the former owner of Center Street Cycles in downtown Brunswick, noticed the shift while he owned the shop.

“Right now, everybody is riding in the woods,” he said.

One motivator for riding off-road is a growing fear of being struck by a distracted driver, Huston said.

That fear may be well-founded. According to a recent report in the Portland Press Herald, the Maine Department of Public Safety estimates that distracted driving is a factor in up to 40 percent of the 35,000 annual crashes last year.

“A lot of people are afraid to ride on the road,” Huston said, “but people are also a lot more nature-oriented … .”

Huston credits groups like the Merrymeeting Wheelers and the New England Mountain Bike Association Six Rivers chapter for keeping the community active.

“Every week we’ve had a fat bike ride with 20 to 25 people,” said Six Rivers President Lawrence Kovacs. “It’s brought people out in freezing temperatures. We’ve had night rides. It’s really exploded in recent years.”

The Times Record, January 30

Click here to read the rest of the article.

BTLT in the News, “Town agrees to help fund conservation of Woodward Point”


Town agrees to help fund conservation of Woodward Point
January 28
by Hannah LaClaire

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is energized by the Brunswick Town Council’s decision last Thursday to commit to support the Woodward Point Project! This unanimous decision is incredibly exciting as it puts us even closer to reaching our March 31 deadline.

The Times Record recently covered this decision on the front page,

The town council last week unanimously backed a request for $150,000 to help the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust complete the funding for conservation of Woodward Point on the New Meadows River.


Councilor David Watson said his first question when evaluating an agenda item is, “Is this good for Brunswick?” The conservation was decidedly “good for Brunswick,” he said.


Councilor Steve Walker recused himself from the vote at Thursday night’s meeting due to a conflict of interest with his position as a project manager at Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a move which received a “thank you” from chair John Perreault and a quick round of applause from other councilors.


“We’ve seen an incredible outpouring of community support for conserving Woodward Point and opening it to the public,” Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust President Angela Twitchell said in a recent press release. “Funding from the Town would provide a critical lift in our push to the finish line. The project will bring numerous benefits to Town residents and visitors, but only if we can close the funding gap by the end of March.”


In partnership with the Brunswick-Topsham trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust wants to raise $3.5 million by March 31 to purchase the land and provide for its long-term management as a public preserve.

Click here to read the whole article.

BTLT in the News, The Times Record covers Woodward Point

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust have joined together to conserve Woodward Point and are calling on the town of Brunswick to help preserve the property consisting of 96 acres and 2 miles of shoreline. The Times Record recently published three articles regarding developments in this ongoing project.

See below for previews and click each title to read the full article.

Land trusts to ask Brunswick for $150K in public funds to conserve Woodward Point

January 15, 2019

 The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust are asking the town of Brunswick to help complete the funding for conservation of Woodward Point on the New Meadows River.

The town council will consider the $150,000 request Jan. 24, according to a joint news release from the trusts.

“We’ve seen an incredible outpouring of community support for conserving Woodward Point and opening it to the public,” Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust President Angela Twitchell said in the release. “Funding from the Town would provide a critical lift in our push to the finish line. The project will bring numerous benefits to Town residents and visitors, but only if we can close the funding gap by the end of March.”

Guest column: Time for Brunswick to lend a hand to conserve Woodward Point

I made a fabulous discovery a few weeks ago. On a bright and icy cold day, I bundled up and headed over to Woodward Point in east Brunswick, eager to see for myself what Angela Twitchell, executive director of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, had told me was “an amazing place that almost no one knows about.” She was right. The view from the parking area was stunning, and it only got better on my hour-long exploration. Guided by Keith Fletcher from Maine Coast Heritage Trust, I crossed rolling hayfields, passed a stream and a large freshwater pond, poked around in the pine and hardwood forests, and stood in awe at the shimmering shoreline. There weren’t many birds to see on that cold day, but I had a lovely look at a porcupine sequestered high in a White Pine.  

For the past two years, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) and Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) have been working in partnership to preserve 89 acres on Woodward Point. With two peninsulas and more than 2 miles of shoreline on the New Meadows River, the property is one of the last remaining undeveloped waterfront parcels of its size in southern Maine. It’s also is one of the last large coastal parcels available to conserve in Brunswick. Woodward Point will be a public preserve, available for outdoor recreation, water access, and education. It will also protect an ecologically significant area. Of particular note are its shellfish flats, which are among the most productive in the state.  

Your Land: January at Woodward Point

It’s about promise. 

On Jan. 24, Brunswick’s Town Council will consider making the town a partner in the Woodward Point Project. That project nears both goal and deadline for raising the $3.5 million needed to purchase nearly 90 acres of shoreline that encompasses much of a longtime, saltwater cattle farm along the New Meadows River. The farm’s open fields, mixed habitat, good condition and more than two miles of shoreline are unparalleled in southern Maine. 

And thanks to the cooperative work of Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Brunswick Topsham Land Trust and their many supporters, we, the public, are within sniffing distance of forever access to this special land. 

If these two partners in preservation can raise the 300,000 remaining dollars needed by April 1st, they will be able to complete the purchase of Woodward Point and begin the work of imagining its public future. Which, by land and from the sea, will include you.