50,000 acres designated for Brunswick conservation after concession

The Maine Community Foundation’s $ 619,000 funds cover projects across the state.

BRUNSWICK, Maine – Tom Farrell is delighted that Brunswick is discovering his new public land.

It’s called Merrymeeting Park, and it’s hidden in plain sight off Highway 1. Until about a week ago, the land was privately owned. Farrell, Brunswick’s director of parks and recreation, had his eyes on this land for years.

“In terms of the beauty of this plot, the natural resources of this plot and the significant history of the plot, the city has been looking to acquire the plot for 20 years,” he said.

Merrymeeting is now a public domain, in part thanks to a grant from the Maine Community Foundation.

In its second year of giving, the foundation listed 20 projects it had chosen to receive either as a foundation grant or a donation from fellow Mainers who wished to contribute.

According to Maine Community, the contributions cover plots from Pembroke to York, totaling 50,000 acres and $ 619,000. The foundation listed the projects as follows:

Grants 2021

  • Bangor Land Trust, to conserve 7.3 acres of Wabanaki homeland for current Wabanaki cultural uses: $ 49,000
  • Coastal Mountain Land Trust, for the acquisition of 64 acres as part of the Mt. Tuck reserve in Stockton Springs and Prospect: $ 9,000
  • Lower East Salmon Federation, for the purchase of an easement of a property with high conservation value with riparian habitats on the Pennamaquan River in Pembroke: $ 7,000
  • Somerset Woods Directors, to expand Weston Woods & Waters and provide essential access to year-round outdoor recreation, sustainable forestry and environmental education: $ 35,000
  • The Kennebec Land Trust, for a land acquisition project in Fayette that will protect a wetland buffer zone and provide local families with access to fields and mature forest: $ 15,000
  • Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, to support the Sewall Woods Reserve Expansion Project to conserve 8.2 acres adjacent to its existing Sewall Woods Reserve and expand the Whiskeag Trail network: $ 15,000
  • City of Brunswick, to support the Merrymeeting Park project by purchasing a property along the Androscoggin River with access to water and historical, prehistoric and ecological assets: $ 15,000

From funds advised by donors:

  • Appalachian Club, to conserve the 26,740 acre Pleasant River Headwaters Forest, adding to the permanent protection of the West Branch of the Pleasant River: $ 50,000
  • Bangor Land Trust, to conserve 7.3 acres of Wabanaki homeland for current Wabanaki cultural uses: $ 1,000
  • Coastal Mountain Land Trust, for the acquisition of 64 acres as part of the Mt. Tuck reserve in Stockton Springs and Prospect: $ 27,779
  • Lower East Salmon Federation, for the purchase of an easement of a property with high conservation value with riparian habitats on the Pennamaquan River in Pembroke: $ 20,000
  • Maine Forestry Society, to complete 21,300 acres of conservation corridor in the Township of Grafton: $ 50,000
  • Frenchman Bay Conservatory, to protect nearly 5,000 acres of climate-resilient land, rivers and wetlands: $ 50,000
  • Grand Lovell Land Trust Inc., to protect a 1,300 acre forest landscape in the Kezar River Corridor with conservation, climate resilience and regional connectivity value: $ 50,000
  • Alliance of high summits, to support the conservation of a historic property with trails and habitats for Atlantic salmon and wild brook trout: $ 50,000
  • Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, to support the Sewall Woods Reserve Expansion Project to conserve 8.2 acres adjacent to its existing Sewall Woods Reserve and expand the Whiskeag Trail network: $ 15,000
  • Mahousuc Land Trust, to acquire Tumbledown Dick Mountain, a 978-acre regional ecological and recreational resource, connecting critical habitats in the Mahousuc region: $ 50,000
  • The Public Land Trust, to buy 193 acres in southern Maine and develop programs on what will be known as the Talking Brook Public Lands: $ 25,000
  • City of Brunswick, to support the Merrymeeting Park project by purchasing a property along the Androscoggin River with access to water and historic, prehistoric and ecological assets: $ 35,000 (two donor grants of $ 25,000 and $ 10,000)
  • Maine Farmland Trust, to protect the Blaisdell Brothers family farm in York, a bicentennial farm that provides sustainably grown local food, community support and environmental protection amidst heavy development pressure: $ 50,000

According to Maine Parks and Lands Office, approximately 20% of Maine’s land is designated for conservation. In her climate action plan, Governor Janet Mills, a Democrat, set an objective so that this number reaches 30% by 2030.

According to the philanthropist of the foundation Maggie Drummond Bahl, land acquisitions bring two equal promises: one of conservation and the other of public access.

“This program, in particular, tries to do it in a way that increases people’s access to their homes, near their communities, where they can go out and enjoy the outdoors,” she said in a statement. virtual interview Tuesday.

Having waited 20 years to share Merrymeeting Park with his neighbors, it’s music to Farrell’s ears.

“When the community finds out about the beauty and resources of this property, quite frankly I think people are going to be shocked,” he said.

“This is an extraordinary property.”

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