Land Trust Has Opportunity to Conserve Final Piece of Historic Farmland Property

We are so excited to announce that we have entered an agreement to acquire 25 acres on Pleasant Hill Road, one of Brunswick’s most viewed and beloved rural landscapes. This past winter, a local resident acquired the house, iconic barn, and surrounding land at 262 Pleasant Hill Road, directly across the road from BTLT’s Saturday Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm. This resident approached BTLT, extending an invitation to conserve this local landmark and granting the Land Trust two years to raise the necessary funds for this acquisition, plus the renovations necessary to meet BTLT’s expanding program needs – between $3.0 and $3.5 million. This effort will be a significant piece of BTLT’s coming comprehensive campaign.

Newly appointed Executive Director Steve Walker heralded, “this moment stands as an exhilarating juncture for our organization, presenting an extraordinary chance to unite the community in a shared commitment to conservation, agriculture, and environmental education.”

 

This significant conservation opportunity comes at an auspicious time, as 2025 marks the Land Trust’s 40th anniversary and this year being the 25th anniversary of BTLT’s cherished Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm. In conserving this parcel, BTLT will reunite this final piece of the original 347-acre Dionne Farm, which historically encompassed what is now known as Crystal Spring Farm. At the same time, it preserves this 25-acre centerpiece of Brunswick’s Pleasant Hill Road gateway – including the renowned cupola housing the clock from Brunswick’s former town hall.

Volunteer Tom Settlemire at the BTLT Saturday Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm

This project provides BTLT with a pathway for additional land conservation and habitat preservation. It also opens up the potential for moving the Farmers’ Market, improving access and parking, and building an associated community gathering venue for Farmers’ Market patrons; expanding summer day camp and other youth offerings; and meeting both BTLT’s and the public’s need for event space and educational programming. Additionally, it offers the chance for enhanced operational effectiveness by providing office and meeting space.

In the words of Tom Settlemire, then Vice President of BTLT’s Board, expressed upon the culmination of the previous Crystal Spring Farm campaign thirty years ago, “the preservation of this expansive and beautiful farm, so close to the center of town, is a unique gift to the people of this area… one that most certainly will become even more valued by each succeeding generation.”

Just as in 1994, the realization of BTLT’s vision depends on the support of the community that has cherished Crystal Spring Farm’s offerings over the past three decades. In the coming months, the Land Trust will launch a comprehensive campaign aimed at not only securing the rich recreational, agricultural, and educational potential of this property for the public and for future generations, but also growing into the full potential of BTLT’s successful merger last year with Cathance River Education Alliance.

Settlemire, still a BTLT board member, presently reflects, “Our effort to bring the last piece of Crystal Spring Farm back together will complete a vision only dreamed about some 30 years ago. The combination of working agriculture, plant and wildlife protection, community gardens, environmental education, trails, and a labyrinth is more than we could imagine. Now let’s work together to make it happen.”