Volunteers at the Heart of Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Work

An enthusiastic crowd of Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) volunteers gathered at The Brunswick Inn on Thursday evening in an event to recognize and thank the many volunteers who help conserve and steward land, build trails, and connect our community to the land.

The Land Trust is lucky to have more than 50 volunteers who help us with our work to steward some of the most special lands in our community. Last Thursday night was an opportunity for BTLT to express our gratitude and give a little something back to the volunteers who are at the heart of our organization.

“The hundreds of hours contributed by volunteers make it possible to manage and monitor 52 conservation properties and maintain our trails,” said Margaret Gerber, BTLT Land and Stewardship Associate.

The volunteers were also able to view the new film Community Conservation by local filmmaker, Mark Ireland, which highlights several ongoing projects of BTLT.

The Brunswick Inn is a Land Trust Business Partner and generously hosted the event and provided delicious sustenance to the group. Highlights of BTLT stewardship work in the past year include:

  • Building new trails at Chase Reserve in Brunswick and along the Androscoggin River in Topsham;
  • Monitoring 29 easement properties and 14 Land Trust-owned properties;
  • Engaging 15 dedicated Trail Monitors who keep a watchful eye on the 17 miles of BTLT trails and help keep them passable and enjoyable for all users;
  • Utilizing a tireless cadre of diehard Trail Stewards that tackle blow downs, bog bridging, stone hauling, you name it to keep trails safe and open;
  • Replacing and improving the Beaver Brook Bridge at the popular Cathance River Nature Preserve.

Looking ahead to the 2017 work season, the BTLT Stewardship team will focus on:

  • Kicking off the season on Earth Day with half day work parties at the Farmers’ Market Green and the Labyrinth in the Woods;
  • Improving access and trails at the newly conserved Woodward Cove property;
  • Replacing bog bridging and improving existing trails on the Heath Loop at the Cathance River Nature Preserve.

“Managing and caring for the lands that we conserve is some of the most important work that we do at the Land Trust and it is a commitment that we make forever with each property we conserve”, says Angela Twitchell, BTLT Executive Director.

Over the next several years, BTLT hopes to raise $2 million for stewardship endowment to underwrite the cost of stewardship above and beyond the significant contribution made by the dedicated team of BTLT volunteers.

The Land Trust has been working for over 35 years in the Brunswick-Topsham region to strengthen their community through conservation. They manage over 17 miles of trails, the Saturday Farmers Market at Crystal Spring Farm, Tom Settlemire Community Garden, and the Labyrinth in the Woods, along will a diverse array of events and programs.

“We couldn’t do all the work that we do without the support and partnership of our volunteers and members, especially our business members like the Brunswick Inn,” said Twitchell.