Posts

2022 Annual Meeting


  • November 17, 2022
    5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Join us in-person or remotely for our 2022 Annual Meeting!  WHAT During this year’s annual meeting, you will have the chance to hear about BTLT’s latest accomplishments, get an update on the financial status of the organization, and vote on members of the Board of Directors. In addition, we welcome a panel of local educators (more…)

Eco-Dilemmas: Are Solar Farms Good for Maine?


  • October 25, 2022
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Join CREA and BTLT for a educational conversation on solar energy and array siting.

BTLT In the News: “Your Land: What you can see (and what you can’t) – Earth Day ‘22”

Your Land: What you can see (and what you can’t) – Earth Day ‘22

By Sandy Stott

A cool spring morning, with rising wind. It is the season — post-snow and pre-spring-growth — where what’s been thrown and blown away is easy to spot, and I’ve come to this part of Brunswick Landing with 30+ others to clear the area of this hand- and wind-scattered trash.

At my back, a one-story building, its long windows opening out toward a field, houses the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) and the Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA). Often working partners, these two conservation organizations help preserve and manage lands, bring people to those lands, and promote the spirit that adheres to and rises from those lands. Close by the building lie the plots of the New Mainers Garden, where sign of that spirit will poke soon above ground. CREA has organized today’s clean-up, and their executive director, Caroline Eliot, has welcomed our mixed lot, including a number of families (thank you, parents), and, with expansive gestures, she’s turned us loose to clean.

Armed with a picker-upper and an empty bag, I begin to work through the grasses and small pines above a crushed rock berm at the base of a thin pond. Snagged among the grasses: 2 paper coffee cups (company name withheld), plastic lid and straw, two linked post-it notes (task completed, I assume), white chunk of shipping foam, wad of paper towel, bottle cap, ah, the companion plastic bottle, a once-upon-a-pencil, bags 1, 2 and 3, (plastic). And on.

I near the water. I look back upfield, and I can see no remaining trash. Soon, I’ll join the others as they fan out into the woods and along nearby roads to fill their bags further. By morning’s end we’ll have tens of bags full. But first I turn back to the pond. I know this water. The eastern branch of the Mere Brook watershed, it too needs (and is slated for) cleansing work.

Named Pond B, the water before me has been put to work. Not far upstream sibling Pond A pools behind its own dam, and just above that the waters emerge from twin culverts that run beneath Brunswick Landing. Ponds A and B, and downstream relatives, Pond Area C and Picnic Pond receive and process 80% of the stormwater that runs off the Landing. It’s all headed finally south for Mere Brook, and then, Harpswell Cove.

Such water from a heavily-peopled, asphalt-rich site carries within the chemical equivalents of the thrown and blown trash we’re all gathering today. A full catalogue of this water’s trouble would burst the seams of this column. But before I head into the woods in pursuit of more visible trash, I want to describe briefly how the Ponds Stormwater System works, and how, over time, its waters may be redeemed.

When it rains heavily, run-off water rushes throughout the Landing. That hurried water picks up whatever’s available — grit, pollutants, bits of trash; it all courses through the system, swelling, rising. When that water reaches the ponds, it does what we all do in quieter water — it slows down. And, as it slows, it lays down some of its burden, the grit and particulates, the pollutants; that load sinks to the bottom, over time layering it. The now partially-cleansed water flows on seaward. A modicum of success.

But time’s accumulations finally make these pond-bottoms toxic, no-touch sediments that should be cleaned. Such a remediation is at hand for the Ponds system. The Navy, which put the system in place in the mid-90s, has contracted for roughly $5 million to have these sediments removed this summer and fall. A layer of clean sand will then be laid in place. The Ponds will then go back to work slowing and sorting the stormwater, which, given the successful repurposing of the former Navy Base as Brunswick Landing, will be substantial work.

Here, beside this working water, I’m thinking about the dilemma of our presence. We slough off so much, visible and invisible; how we manage our slough, how we minimize our trail of discard is an essential challenge on this Earth Day and every day.

It’s an hour later, and I’ve followed the deliberate course of my trash picking into a little draw. A tiny, transparent stream runs along its bottom toward Pond area C; on its banks, my favorite spring harbinger spirals up, maroon surprise. Before it becomes a green fan of leaf, Skunk Cabbage begins as twisting eruption from the newly soft ground; it is sculpture of the highest quality. Nearby, mid-stream, lies the thin manilla fin of a sandbar shaped by the running water. The sand’s surface is stirred and I bend to it; there, in a two-way script, go the paw prints of fellow travelers — raccoon (I’m sure), fox (I think), and the plush pads of a rogue cat(?). Here, in this little draw, slowed by my work of finding trash, I’m finding also the prints and presence of fellow animals. We are all of this earth. I owe them this effort to clean the seen and unseen litter of my life.

Sandy Stott is a Brunswick resident, chair of the town’s Conservation Commission, and a member of Brunswick Topsham Land Trust’s Board of Directors. He writes for a variety of publications. He may be reached at fsandystott@gmail.com

To read the full article online, click here. 

 

Earth Day Clean Up!

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  • April 22, 2022
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join Cathance River Education Alliance and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust for an Earth Day Clean Up! CREA’s StoryWalk and BTLT’s New Mainer Gardens are in a lovely meadow behind the CREA and BTLT offices, which is strewn with garbage that blew in during winter storms. Join us as we don garbage bags and gloves for our (more…)

Climate Series Session 5 Recap: Subtraction is Action

On February 3, 2022, as part of its climate series, Cathance River Education Alliance and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust hosted a program on action by ‘subtraction.’ We often think of solving problems by adding something – technology, infrastructure, and so on. This session’s speakers explore how to live more sustainably through subtraction.

For highlights from the session, additional resources on the topic, and how you can take action – CLICK HERE! 

For a full recorded video of the session, CLICK HERE!

Climate Series Session 4 Recap: Do Something!

On Jan. 27, 2022, the Cathance River Education Alliance and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust hosted a program offering just a few examples of the many ways to take action to address climate change.

For highlights from the session, additional resources on the topic, and how you can take action – CLICK HERE! 

For a full recorded video of the session, CLICK HERE!

Climate Series Session 2 Recap: Maine Won’t Wait

On Jan. 13, 2022, the Cathance River Education Alliance and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust hosted a program on Maine’s climate plan – Maine Won’t Wait – as part of our Taking Action on Climate series. Below, you can watch the session, read summary highlights of the program, find resources to learn more, and read suggestions on how to get involved.

For highlights from the session, additional resources on the topic, and how you can take action – CLICK HERE! 

For a full recorded video of the session, CLICK HERE!

Climate Series Session 1 Recap: Climate Inaction and Disinformation

On Jan. 6, 2022, the Cathance River Education Alliance and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust hosted a program on Climate Inaction and Disinformation as part of their Taking Action on Climate series.

This session focused on climate disinformation because of the significant role it has played in delaying meaningful action to address climate change. Our guests were Peter Dugas, a Portland-based citizen activist who co-chairs the Portland chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby – a national nonpartisan advocacy organization working to enact federal policies to address climate change, and Dan Stone, an Associate Professor of Economics at Bowdoin College whose research explores belief formation, political media, and affective polarization.

For highlights from the session, additional resources on the topic, and how you can take action – CLICK HERE! 

For a full recorded video of the session, CLICK HERE!

RESCHEDULED: Family Full Moon Lantern Walk (Event Full w/ Waitlist)

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  • Family Full Moon Lantern Walk
    December 17, 2021
    5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

With December marking the start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, this month’s full moon is called the Long Nights Moon because it occurs around the time of the winter solstice.  Join CREA Camp Director Jenny Mueller for a Family Full Moon Lantern Walk on the Long Nights Moon at Crystal Spring Farm trail. Families (more…)

Solstice Lantern Walk at the Labyrinth in the Woods

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  • 4pm Lantern Walk & Sing
    December 21, 2021
    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • 5pm Lantern Walk & Sing
    December 21, 2021
    5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • 6pm Lantern Walk & Sing
    December 21, 2021
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • 7-8pm Unguided Lantern Walk (Drop-In)
    December 21, 2021
    7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Walk the luminaria lit labyrinth to celebrate the longest day of the year, the return of the sun, and the days slowly getting longer. Registration required.

Events

Eco-Dilemmas: Are Solar Farms Good for Maine?


  • October 25, 2022
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Join CREA and BTLT for a educational conversation on solar energy and array siting.

2022 Annual Meeting


  • November 17, 2022
    5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Join us in-person or remotely for our 2022 Annual Meeting!  WHAT During this year’s annual meeting, you will have the chance to hear about BTLT’s latest accomplishments, get an update on the financial status of the organization, and vote on members of the Board of Directors. In addition, we welcome a panel of local educators (more…)