Brunswick Town Commons 300th Anniversary
The Brunswick Town Commons has experienced 300 years of change. It has felt the weight of countless feet and influenced the lives of generations of families that call Brunswick home. Beginning on April 23rd the Town of Brunswick will begin a 7-week celebration of the 300th Anniversary of The Commons, one of the very oldest conserved open spaces in Maine. In May of 1719 the Pejepscot Company “granted one thousand acres of land to ly in general comonage.” Over the time pieces of the property have been repurposed for other use, most notably by the US Navy in order to build the former naval air station and by Bowdoin College. The current property offers over 71 acres with numerous trails running through diverse and ecologically unique terrain. The Brunswick Town Commons also frequently serving as a community recreation space and outdoor classroom for Brunswick schools.
The celebration has been organized by The Town Commons Committee, the Pejepscot Historical Society, the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, Brunswick Parks and Recreation Department, and the Brunswick High School Film Class, with each group organizing activities that recognize the different roles the property plays in the community. These groups have worked to produce the celebration honoring The Commons because it is ”not only of local, but also state and national, significance. It is one of the first public lands established in Maine. It is an example of early urban planning in the state and it remains a window to the past, a popular recreation destination, and a living laboratory” says community member and organizer Jym St. Pierre.
The 300th Celebration events span mid-April through Mid-June and includes a film about the property made by Brunswick High School students, a commemorative postage stamp release, a 5K, history exhibits and various guided walks highlighting different ways to experience the Commons. May 19th will be the highlight of the seven weeks of events, with a full day of activities including an anniversary ceremony. The full schedule can be found below. A map of the property can be found on the Town’s website at this link.