Archive for category: Support

BTLT’s Year in Review

At this wonderful time of giving and thanks, we want to express our deep gratitude to the many hundreds of loyal supporters who made the work of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) possible this year.

BTLT is a member-driven community organization that works collaboratively with municipalities and partner organizations to conserve the remarkable natural resources of Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin.  Just as important as conserving these natural places is connecting the people of our region to them.   We made great strides in 2019 in both of these areas.

BTLT’s star achievement of 2019 was our collaboration with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust to conserve Woodward Point, nearly 90 acres of land with two miles of shorefront on Woodward Cove and the New Meadow River in Brunswick. This spectacular property was opened to the public in September and in just a few months has become an indispensable entrée to the waterfront for the people of our area, where public access to the coast is so limited.

Woodward Point Preserve

BTLT also created brand-new trails on the Tarbox Preserve in Topsham.  This beautiful wooded 124-acre property has frontage on both the Cathance and the Muddy Rivers.  Last July our staff and regional field team cleared old logging roads, hauled stone, and removed roots and boulders to create a trail on the north side of the property that winds along stone walls, through fern gullies, and past towering pines to a peninsula overlooking the Cathance River.  We encourage you to get out on this beautiful new trail in all seasons of the year.

Tarbox Preserve

BTLT completed two other significant conservation projects in Topsham in 2019:  the Robert Williams Preserve, totaling 73 acres with 5,600’ of river frontage on the tidal portion of the Cathance River; and the 53-acre Schoodic Forestry parcel, with more than two miles of frontage on the Androscoggin River in a part of town without much conserved land.  In addition to protecting wetlands and wildlife habitat, it will allow for public access to the river for hiking, fishing, and enjoying nature.

Crystal Spring Farm Celebration

The theme of the Land Trust’s community outreach this year has been “Honoring Our Heritage, Building Our Future.”  We honored our heritage in grand style with a year-long celebration of BTLT’s signature property Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick, complete with nature and history walks, citizen science, and a festival of music and food at the farm in September.  2019 marked 25 years since we undertook conservation of the farm and 20 years since we opened our award-winning farmers’ market.  We are proud of all the work BTLT does to support local agriculture, and the market is the centerpiece of these efforts, providing a vibrant market to 39 local farmers, bakers, cheesemakers and others producers. In the “Building our Future” category, we continued to build robust partnerships with local schools and some of our most meaningful days this year were spent with dozens of school children getting their hands dirty and learning where local food comes from at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden.

Another major initiative in 2019 was the member and community survey BTLT conducted last summer.  Over 520 people responded to the survey with great feedback on what we are doing right and where we can improve.  We expect to respond to some of the survey results immediately, with plans for things like better signage and more guided walks at BTLT properties.  Other survey findings will be incorporated more gradually through the upcoming review of our five-year strategic plan, helping us to ensure that as an organization we are meeting our members’ expectations and responding to identified community needs.

Community Survey

As we celebrate our many achievements in 2019, we are also aware that every conservation success today entails future responsibility.  When the Land Trust conserves a property, it also takes on a commitment – in perpetuity – for responsible stewardship of the land.  A firm financial footing is essential to ensure we are able to meet that responsibility.  In 2019, BTLT increased the size of its stewardship endowment to $700,000, making significant progress toward our five-year goal of $2 million. We also created the BTLT Legacy Circle to recognize and thank those who include BTLT in their estate plans.  We are proud to report that 18 individuals and families have already made such a commitment.  Legacy gifts are the cornerstone of BTLT’s long-term sustainability and ensure that the places we conserve today will remain well taken care of for generations to come.

We thank all of our members and supporters for making the successes of 2019 possible.  We look forward to 2020 and the possibilities that await us to conserve special places and connect the people of our region to them.  Happy New Year!

If you’d like to help support BTLT in 2020, click here.

Angela Twitchell and Emily Swan are the executive director and president, respectively, of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.

Help BTLT win big this month!

This February, you can help Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust win big with the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s Community Matters More Program.

The top two vote-getting organizations in each region will receive $5,000 and the top nine of write-in vote recipients we will receive $1,000.  With that amount of money, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust could improve signage, provide more programs and outreach to disadvantaged communities, improve stewardship on our trails, and more!

Please help us win by writing in Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust for Cumberland County or Sagadahoc County today! Voting ends on February 28, so please spread the word and help BTLT strengthen our community through conservation with the help of the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation.

The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation believes in giving back to our communities. And we believe that by focusing on the needs that matter most to our neighbors and friends we matter more in the daily lives of our fellow community members. 

In March, the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation will give more than $140,000 to 55 local nonprofit organizations. We are looking to you, our community, to assist us in deciding how to best distribute these funds. Cast your vote today for your favorite nonprofits! 

Bangor Savings Bank

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.

A unanimous vote to support Woodward Point!

Last night, the Brunswick Town Council voted unanimously to contribute $150,000 toward the conservation of Woodward Point using funds previously set aside for water access needs. We are so thankful for this strong support from the Town Council and are eager to advance work on this exciting project in partnership with Maine Coast Heritage Trust.


Woodward Point has over 2 miles of coastline, features extensive open rolling meadowlands, pine and hardwood forest, a freshwater pond, and several good access points to the water. Now, with the help of the Brunswick Town Council, we are one step closer to creating a public access preserve with significant ecological value and excellent outdoor recreation and education opportunities for all ages and interests, ranging from fishing and kayaking to hiking and swimming.  

We have just a few more months to raise the remaining funds by our deadline on March 31. If you haven’t already, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to help get us to the finish line.

For more information or to make a donation,
visit btlt.org/woodward-point-project.

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. 

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!