Archive for category: Latest News

For press releases only. Will show on front page under latest news. Only focus on what we want the media to follow.

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.

The Beaches Conference with Maine Sea Grant and University of Maine Cooperative Extension

On June 13 and 14th, Maine Sea Grant and University of Maine Cooperative Extension are presenting the Beaches Conference in Kittery.

The Beaches Conference works to provide continuing opportunities for exchange of the most current information among beach and coastal stakeholders with diverse interests in order to facilitate informed decision-making. All are invited to join them in celebrating beach monitoring and stewardship, building strong partnerships, and taking informed action on coastal issues.

>> 2019 Beaches Conference Program
>> REGISTRATION

Conference Themes

  • What makes for a healthy beach system?
  • Implementing coastal projects to support people and environment
  • What’s in the water? (i.e. bacteria, toxic contaminants, stormwater, etc.)
  • Coastal regulation for municipalities
  • Impacts of marine plastics and litter
  • Harvesting from the sea: interactions with other uses
  • What’s happening with marine animals?
  • Planning for climate uncertainty using the best science
  • Public participation in coastal science
  • Coastal access for multiple uses
  • The culture, history, and economics of our beaches
  • Flooding, Erosion, and Storms: preparing and responding

Click here to learn more and to register!

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.