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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, “Head of Tide – How did it happen?”

Head of Tide – How did it happen?”

May 29
Doug Bennett, BTLT board member, recently wrote an Op-Ed featured in the The Times Record on May 29 regarding the long and rewarding conservation effort for Head of Tide Park.

 

As we enjoy the park, it is worth noting how this park came to be. Who made it happen and how? There are lessons for the future in the Head of Tide story.

It wasn’t simply the doing of the town government, though they played a key role. It wasn’t simply the work of private individuals, though they played a key role. And it wasn’t simply the result of community organizations, though they, too, played a key role. It was the efforts of all these and many people, working together, that made Head of Tide possible.

Not so long ago, the Head of Tide was a decaying collection of buildings, an eyesore, really. Once the site became available, it might well have become a private development, perhaps a collection of townhouses.

That might well have prevented public access or even view of the Head of Tide. But that’s not what happened.

Curious how this story ends and what Head of Tide Park has to offer today? Click here.

 

BTLT in the News, “Trusts closer to conserving Woodward Point in Brunswick”

Trusts closer to conserving Woodward Point in Brunswick

April 25, 2018

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust was featured in The Forecaster recently, regarding the current project to preserve land at Woodward Point.

Two land trusts have raised nearly half the funds needed to preserve land at Woodward Point.

On April 16, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coast Wetlands Conservation Program would provide $570,000 to preserve 96 acres at the site. The conservation effort was launched last summer by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust in collaboration with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.

So far, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust have raised $1.62 million of the $3.5 million necessary to buy and conserve the property. Their deadline is April 1, 2019.

The land has 10,000 feet of shoreline, open fields and trail systems, with the capacity to support outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting and picnicking. The area also cradles “two commercially significant shellfish beds,” according to a press release from Pingree’s office.

Working with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust applied for a $1 million grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in June 2017.

“We ranked well, but it was very competitive,” Keith Fletcher, Maine Coast Heritage Trust program manager assigned to the project, said. “They gave us a partial award, and of course we are very happy with this result; it’s essential to completing this project.”

To read the complete article, click here.

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Earns National Recognition

At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1985, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has been doing just that for the people of Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin.  In 2012, the Land Trust was one of the first in the state to apply for and be awarded national Land Trust Accreditation and now, five years later, we are proud to announce that we have successfully renewed our accreditation – proving once again that, as part of a network of 398 accredited land trusts across the nation, we are committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in our conservation work.

 

“Re-accreditation is an affirmation of how we have matured as an effective and responsible land trust that can be trusted in the communities we serve,” said Brad Babson, BTLT Board President. Emily Swan, Secretary of the Board, noted that “achieving accreditation is a lot of hard work for any land trust, but it means so much more than just being able to slap the Land Trust Accreditation Commission seal on our website and publications. All the policies and systems we put in place in order to achieve accreditation have made the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust a stronger, more sustainable organization, and have enormously increased our capacity to serve our local communities.”

 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust provided extensive documentation and underwent a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation renewal process. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded the renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that BTLT properties will be conserved forever.

 

Accredited land trusts must renew every five years, confirming their compliance with national quality standards and providing continued assurance to donors and landowners of their commitment to forever steward their land and easements. Almost 20 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities are now permanently conserved by an accredited land trust. BTLT has conserved over 2,700 acres to date.

 

“It is exciting to recognize the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts are united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. Accreditation recognizes the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the most recent National Land Trust Census, released in December 2016 by the Land Trust Alliance. This comprehensive report highlights the significant achievements made by the nation’s 398 accredited land trusts:

  • Accredited land trusts have steadily grown and now steward almost 80% of conservation lands and easements held by all land trusts.
  • Accredited land trusts protected five times more land from 2010 to 2015 than land trusts that were not accredited.
  • Furthermore, accreditation has increased the public’s trust in land conservation, which has helped win support for federal, state and local conservation funding measures.

 

A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits are detailed at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

BTLT in the News, “Maine Voices: Maine Land Trust Network helps support ‘the way life should be'”

Maine Voices: Maine Land Trust Network helps support ‘the way life should be’

February 9, 2018

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is featured in the Portland Press Herald today! Angela Twitchell, BTLT Executive Director, and Nick Ullo, Boothbay Region Land Trust Executive Director, wrote this informative article on the many benefits of Land Trusts in Maine.

“The Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee has been studying Maine land trusts since October. As leaders of the Maine Land Trust Network, we welcome the study and the chance to highlight the many ways we make Maine “the way life should be.”

Last summer, the Maine Land Trust Network surveyed our members and published the findings in a report titled “Land Trusts Work for Maine.” This report highlights the most important benefits that land trusts contribute to our local communities and to the state. For example, hikers can explore more than 1,250 miles of trails that wind through land trust properties in every corner of Maine. These range from family-friendly nature paths in communities like Freeport, to more challenging routes ending atop bald summits in rural corners of Oxford County, and everything in between. Motorized recreational enthusiasts also benefit from Maine’s statewide collection of land trust conserved lands, which are home to over 345 miles of ATV trails and 570 miles of snowmobile trails.”

To read more of the article, click here.

Land Conservation in Maine

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  • December 7, 2017
    6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Join the AMC for an enlightening look at how land is conserved in Maine with guest speakers from BTLT, TNC & MCHT.

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