Thank you for supporting our mission!

We are grateful to all of our Members and Partners who have renewed their support of BTLT thus far this fiscal year! 

As we wrap up our 2023 giving season, it is clear that you continue to value the work of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and the Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA) and that you recognize it is only with your support that we are able to accomplish our critical conservation, environmental education, stewardship, and community engagement work. Thank you. Since the beginning of FY2024 on July 1, we have welcomed 180 new Community Members and 20 new Community Partners (gifts of $1,000 or more). We also welcomed back 547 renewing Community Members and 59 renewing Community Partners, putting us close to our mid-year goals. The support of our business community remains strong as well, with a total of 26 Business Members and 18 Business Partners as of December 31st. We still have work to do, of course, to meet our fiscal year-end financial goals by June 30th, but thanks to you we are off to a solid start.

Your generous and steady support enables us to focus on our primary goal this year of “merging well” with CREA, taking care to integrate our programs and operations as seamlessly as possible. We are also preparing for CREA summer camp (lottery opens February 1st!); the coming growing season at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden; offering our Winter Garden Workshop series; planning for the coming stewardship season, including the completion of box steps leading to our new bridge at Cathance River Nature Preserve; pursuing lands projects in key focus areas like Maquoit and Middle Bays and the Cathance and Androscoggin River watersheds; corresponding with vendors as we look forward to the 2024 Farmers’ Market season; and settling on our summer programs, including stewardship walks, the Taking Root Plant Sale, and so much more. 

Thank you for helping to make all of this — and so much more — possible. We are grateful.

Local resident, past BTLT board member, and current BTLT member Peter Simmons enjoying the trails at Crystal Spring Farm this winter

You Make Our Work Possible

Giving Tuesday: Engaging the Next Generation of Local Food Lovers

Do you remember the first time you tasted a locally grown strawberry or a freshly harvested carrot? Did your family have the opportunity to visit a farmers’ market when you were a child? Do you remember the feeling of excitement and autonomy to make your own purchases?  

At BTLT, we believe that cultivating a connection to locally grown food should start at a young age, and this past season at the Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm we piloted a program to help do just that. The Power of Produce Club, or POP Club, provides all kids at the Farmers’ Market with ‘POP Bucks’ to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farmers. This program offers kids the chance to choose their own foods, connect with farmers, and ultimately get more healthy foods into their diets. One parent shared, “My eldest especially is old enough to start understanding things like what food costs. So, the [POP] bucks were a great way to start to introduce conversation about the cost to buy the food, how spending money in this way is important, not to mention all the discussions about the seasonality of produce. On some level I think the children also feel like their presence at the Market matters and they are playing a part in an important economy and community.”

The program contributed almost $5,000 to the local economy through Pop Bucks spent with farmers at the Market. And it boosted the spending power of hundreds of kids and families. 

The popularity of the program exceeded all expectations and is why we are focusing this year’s Giving Tuesday effort on POP Club. We had over 350 individual kids from over 200 different families join the Club. We hope to continue and even expand the program in 2024 to reach more families and have returning kids join us again, empowered and excited to participate in our local food system. But to do this, we need your support! Every little bit helps; it costs $200 to fully fund the POP Club program for a single Saturday at the Market. That’s $5,400 for the whole Market season. 

DONATE NOW

Feedback from parents was robust and positive, sharing that most children tried a new food, learned about different fruits and vegetables, made their own purchasing choices, and had the opportunity to build money management skills. Some parents noted that the POP Bucks allowed their kids to purchase something they wouldn’t have normally bought at the Market and that the extra funding helped to ease the family food budget. Almost everyone who responded to the survey noted that this program got their child or children excited about going to the Farmers’ Market. 

Here’s some of our favorite quotes directly from parents of POP Club kiddos:  

If you want to learn more about the experience of a POP Club family, check out this BTLT blog post.

To donate, click here. Thank you in advance for your support of engaging the next generation of local food lovers.

Supporting BTLT Through Clynk To Give

By BTLT summer intern, Hannah Leitzell

As a full-time college student, it’s not often feasible for me to give financial support to organizations like BTLT, despite how much I may want to. Between tuition, rent, books, and groceries on a part-time job wage, there’s not a ton of room for donation. What I do seem to have capacity for, however, is filling Clynk bags with returnables. In fact, over the course of the last few months, I have developed a modest collection of bottles and cans in my garage that I have been reluctant to deal with for one reason or another. By modest, I mean a giant pile of returnables that I have dubbed “Mt. Bottles and Cans”. When I found out that BTLT has a Clynk To Give account, it was just the lightbulb I needed to support a cause I love and attack the aforementioned Mt. Bottles and Cans – and the best part is you can do this, too! 

There are two ways to support BTLT using the Clynk To Give program. The first you may be familiar with – using a BTLT Clynk bag to collect your returnables. You can swing by the BTLT office at 179 Neptune Drive or visit the BTLT booth at the Saturday Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm to get a Clynk bag with a BTLT account sticker. Once you’ve filled it up you can take it to a Clynk drop-off area at a local Hannaford. Click here for all Clynk drop-off sites in Maine. There you can scan the bag tag, open the chute, and drop off the bag. BTLT will receive the proceeds of your returnables and your garage will be free of Mt. Bottles and Cans.   

If you don’t have time or inclination to get a pre-stickered BTLT Clynk bag, have no fear – you can also donate to BTLT via the Clynk To Give option. Clynk To Give allows community members to donate some or all of their Clynk account balance to important causes like BTLT. 

The first step in donating from your Clynk account balance is to create a Clynk account. If you have an account number already but haven’t yet visited the Clynk site, you can do so with your account number and your pin. If you don’t yet have a Clynk account, you can create one here.

Once you have your Clynk online access squared away, follow these easy steps: 

  1. Log in to Clynk account in the top right corner of the website. 
  2. Click the donate button on the lefthand side of the screen. 
  3. Select Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, either by scrolling to it or by typing it into the search bar. 
  4. Select the amount you wish to give. 
  5. Click ‘Confirm’ and you’re done! 

You can also visit the Clynk kiosk at your local Hannaford, access your account, select ‘Donate,’ and give some or all of your balance to BTLT – no fuss, no muss! 

See how easy it is to financially support your favorite local non-profit by barely lifting a finger? I have found this method of giving to be really accessible and a great way to donate without breaking my own bank. If you too have a Mt. Bottles and Cans in your garage, shed, or basement, stop in to the BTLT office to grab a free Clynk bag or give via your Clynk account. Thank you! 

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

Most of you have supported the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust for years and years and years. Over 50% of you made your first gift to BTLT 10 years ago or earlier. Last year, 80% of you renewed your membership support of our work, far outpacing the national nonprofit annual retention average of 40 to 45%. The steadfastness of your membership fills us with awe and gratitude.

And what a difference your support has made! Your annual fund gifts and donations to land projects have protected more than 3,220 acres of land in Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin. You have protected wildlife habitat, salt marshes, and farmland. You’ve conserved miles of river frontage, critically imperiled sand plain grasslands, and quiet forests, home to deer and foxes and skunks and so many other local critters. You have made all of our land conservation work possible and have given our community places to explore, exercise, and experience all that our incredible natural areas have to offer. You have made it possible for the Land Trust to make the forever commitments that underlie land conservation. We — and future generations — thank you for your generosity.
You can actually continue your preservation efforts far after your lifetime with a gift through your estate. Leaving a gift to BTLT is a profound way to ensure that we keep our conservation and stewardship promises, while also positioning us to answer the “what ifs” that arise as we strive to meet the expanding needs of our communities. As August is “Make-a-Will Month,” please consider creating or updating your will to leave a percentage of your estate to the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. You can do this by talking to your attorney or using an online estate planning tool. We have some resources on our website, including sample language to make a bequest and information about other gift planning options, such as designating BTLT as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or investment account. If you have already included BTLT in your estate plans, we would love to know, both to be sure we understand your intentions and to thank you. Thank you in advance for considering making a planned gift to BTLT, enabling you to continue what you’ve already begun and ensure a solid future for land preservation in our midcoast area.
If you have any questions or need additional information about legacy giving options, please do not hesitate to call Kristi Hatrick, Director of Development, at (207) 729-7694 or email her at kristi@btlt.org.

A Note to Our Members and Partners

Your steadfast support of our work is absolutely remarkable and we are grateful that you continue to support our conservation, stewardship, education, and community engagement work as generously as you do. Thank you. On June 30th we wrapped up Fiscal Year 2023, and though we are still calculating the final results, early indications show:

  • Nearly 80% of our Members and Partners renewed their support;
  • Over 1,150 people donated over $415,000 in support of our operating budget, a new program high; and
  • We welcomed 260 new supporters.

Your financial support puts us on a strong financial footing as we now formally join together with the Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA) into one organization. We are excited to continue our critical work of protecting valued local landscapes and resources and are thrilled to now add CREA’s school programs and summer camp to our joint offerings. Your dollars make all of this possible. Thank you.

 

Help us improve access on our trails!

The Woodward Point Accessible Trail Project

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust and are fundraising to create a level, half-mile trail at Brunswick’s popular Woodward Point Preserve. Join the effort and make a gift today—every dollar supports making this beautiful preserve more accessible to everyone in our community! 

GIVE TODAY!

We want community members of all abilities to enjoy the beauty of Woodward Point.

Our goal is to build an accessible trail and parking to facilitate access for all visitors, including people who need a level surface to walk, use a wheelchair, or push a stroller.

To do this we need to raise $132,000.

Trails create active, healthy, and happy communities. Everyone deserves the enjoyment of this special place!

How this place became open to the public

Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust conserved Woodward Point in 2019, realizing the previous landowners’ dream of permanent protection for the property’s open space, scenic beauty, and extensive ecological values.

Woodward Point is a much-loved outdoor resource

Just minutes from downtown Brunswick, Woodward Point is a cherished destination for walking, nature observation, kayaking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Trails cut across several large fields, through woods, and down to the shore. Stone steps at four locations provide access to the water—including at a hand-carry boat launch site not far from the parking lot.

When you give today you will help:

  • Establish a level, half-mile accessible trail with a stone dust surface;
  • Make Woodward Point safe and accessible to more people;
  • Expand local outdoor opportunities for people of all abilities.

Thank you for considering a gift to help us enhance this community preserve!

For more information, please contact:

Angela Twitchell, BTLT Executive Director: 207-729-7694 angela@btlt.org

OR

Seth Levy, MCHT Donor Engagement Officer: 207-607-4361 slevy@mcht.org

Additional project details:

Woodward Point Preserve was conserved with generous support from many individuals, the Town of Brunswick, the Land for Maine’s Future Program, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Wetlands Program.

Town/County: Brunswick, Cumberland County
Total Project cost: $132,000

Raised Beds Have Been Raised!

A Great Year of Support from Our Members

What a year — and how grateful we are to you, our members!

As the pandemic unfolded in Maine one year ago, we, like you, were not sure what to expect. We knew our properties and trails would be more important than ever for those seeking solace and fresh air and exercise, but we were not sure what the economic fallout would be. Our members quickly made it clear, however, that if they could continue to support our work, they would.

We now find ourselves closing in on the end of a second fiscal year impacted by Covid-19. We are working hard to meet our Annual Fund goals. To date, we have raised $226,736 towards our goal of $257,753 and we have 927 members with a goal of 1,078 members.

We have $31,017 left to raise and 151 members to add to our ranks by the end of our fiscal year on June 30th. We could use your help!

If our properties, programs, and trails helped to make the past year a little better for you and your family, helped to ease your mind, and maybe made things a little less stressful, we ask you to make a gift to BTLT before the end of our fiscal year on June 30th. Your support makes everything we do possible!

You can make a secure, online donation HERE or feel free to mail a donation to our new office located at 179 Neptune Drive, Suite 200, Brunswick, 04011. Thank you for helping to make our work possible!