BTLT In the News: “The wonders of Woodward Point Preserve”

“The Wonders of Woodward Point Preserve”

By Jane Olsen, The Bowdoin Orient

After weeks of exploring the natural beauty around Bowdoin’s campus, each location has both astounded me and reminded me of the endless opportunities we have to explore the beauty of Maine. As my last column of the year, Woodward Point Preserve is no exception.

Through winding trails between the trees, this preserve offers secluded access to the coast. With five different pathways—none more than half a mile long—there is something for everyone within these trails. Wooden benches along the way invite the passerby to sit and watch the sea while wildflowers beckon visitors to take a closer look.

The drive to this destination is only ten minutes from Bowdoin. As the road nears the Preserve, signs for quaint side streets like Oyster Ledge and Periwinkle Lane hint towards simple delights within reach.

At the end of the road, between two red barns, you’ll find a parking lot bustling with visitors. These barns are physical remnants of the previous occupants of the land, a farming operation that grew hay and cared for dairy and beef cows.

In an effort to keep the land open to the public, the Cook-Ellis family sold their farm to The Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) in 2019. The MCHT has partnered with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and numerous private contributors to raise funds and manage ownership. This preserve is one of many conservation efforts by the MCHT from Kittery to Lubec, Maine. As articulated on their website, the organization prioritizes access, climate resilience and community support.

The Preserve boasts a 1.5 mile network of trails, 87.5 acres of upland, 38 acres of subtidal wetlands and four acres of fringing salt marsh. As one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land in northern Casco Bay, the intertidal lands include valuable shellfish beds, high-value waterfowl and wading bird habitats. The nearby New Meadows River also supports one of the fastest growing aquaculture industries in the state. Not only is Woodward Point a location rich with conservation efforts, but it is also a collection of gasp-worthy trails and seaside views.

A visit at low tide reveals the stunning geological formations emerging from the turquoise water. At each access point to the water, stone steps provide easy access down to the shoreline for dipping your toes into the refreshing current or leaning into the breeze. If you’re lucky you may spot a blue heron, bald eagle or bobolink.

Back on land, woodpeckers, foxes, porcupines and racoons meander through the trees. Aside from searching for animals, this preserve offers a kayak launching point and in the winter, a short loop for snowshoeing or Nordic skiing. For younger visitors, the MCHT offers maps with themes such as fairies or pirates to foster education of the land.

Encouraging knowledge of the environment around us is vital to protecting the future of Maine’s natural landscapes. I hope that by highlighting a few locations around and beyond campus I have sparked your interest in finding pleasure in the outdoors and aiding efforts to conserve such beauty.

To read the full article online, click here. 

Farewell to Tim Glidden

By Angela Twitchell, BTLT Executive Director

One of the things that I value most about having worked in the Maine land conservation community for the last 24 years is all of the amazingly talented, dedicated, and just plain awesome people I get to work with every single day. They provide inspiration, support, and lots of laughter and good times.

There’s no one I have felt more grateful to call my friend, colleague, and co-conspirator than Tim Glidden, recently retired President of Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT).

I first began working closely with Tim in 2001 when he became the Director of the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program. I was working in government relations at The Nature Conservancy and had just managed the campaign to pass a $50 million land bond to re-invigorate the LMF program. Tim’s unwavering leadership at LMF helped grow that program into one of the best examples of how the State can catalyze the conservation of the most special places in all corners of Maine in a way that draws strong, bipartisan support. 

I remember feeling very bittersweet in 2011 when Tim decided to leave LMF to take on the role of President at MCHT. I was so sorry to see him leave LMF (a program that was near and dear to my heart), but I was also thrilled that he would be leading MCHT – an organization for which I had great respect.

Once Tim took over the reins at MCHT there was no looking back. Under Tim’s leadership MCHT completed more than 300 conservation projects, protecting 10,000 acres of land.

Tim helped to inspire and grow the entire land conservation community in Maine through his creative and dedicated leadership of the Maine Land Trust Network and he was (and is) a strong advocate for not only conserving land but connecting people to it.

He helped usher in a new era of “Community Conservation,” expanding MCHT’s and the broader Maine land trust community’s role as builders of diverse coalitions of people working together to creatively conserve land and address community needs. 

Locally, I have been fortunate to work closely with Tim and others at MCHT to conserve some amazing places in our community – most notably the Woodward Point Preserve.

Tim will be sorely missed. But as Tim (a fellow Topsham resident) has said to me, “I’ll still be around” and, indeed, he is true to his word. Only days after leaving MCHT, Tim has stepped up to moderate the Take Action on Climate Speaker Series that BTLT and the Cathance River Education Alliance are currently running weekly this January and February.

As we say goodbye to Tim, we get to say hello to Kate Stookey, the new President of MCHT. I look forward to getting to know Kate and continuing to work with MCHT as a valued partner in our work of conserving the extraordinary natural areas in our community and ensuring they are accessible for everyone. 

THANK YOU, Tim, for all you have done and will continue to do to make our corner of the world and the larger land conservation community a better place! I look forward to seeing you around our neck of the woods.  

If your interest is piqued, you can read more about Tim Glidden’s 40 year career in conservation here and here.