Sprit Pond - Photo by Carol Main
Phippsburg Land Trust Mission
The Phippsburg Land Trust preserves, protects and stewards special wild and natural places in Phippsburg for the benefit and education of our children, grandchildren and future generations.
Land Trust seeks your help to protect Morse River wetlands.
Phippsburg Land Trust is overjoyed at the opportunity to add 46.6 acres to your preserves, protecting critical habitat, recreation opportunities, and preserving room for marsh migration that will occur in the future. To do this we need your help. We will be giving you; our valued supporters; multiple opportunities to do your part through donation, read on to learn more about this great opportunity.
Two parcels are involved in this campaign, both of which can be found on route 209. The first is immediately to the east of the Bates College Shortridge Center, and contains approximately 400ft of frontage on the Morse River – very near to the headwaters of this important body of water. The 27.7 acre parcel is bordered on its south by route 209 (Popham Rd.) and to the north by another privately held parcel, to the west is the Bates College Shortridge Center, and the eastern boundary is on the Morse River marsh north of Rte. 209. This parcel contains a wide variety of flora and fauna: over a dozen each of tree species, shrub or woody plants, herbaceous (non-woody) plants; and is prime habitat for butterflies, migratory songbirds, and has been identified by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W) as a prime area for Deer Wintering. In addition, it contributes to the waters of the Morse River. South of Rte. 209 the Morse River and its salt marshes are protected by the Bates Morse Mountain conservation area, and the state owned Spirit Pond Preserve, which protects the river to its meeting with the Atlantic. Our purchase will protect the western side of the Morse River north of the Popham Rd.
The second parcel is the Northwest side of the road where Route 209 meets the southern end of the Parker Head Rd. This 19.6 acre parcel is made up of a Peat Bog Freshwater Marsh and Rocky Highland that are the headwaters of the stream that empties into Spirit Pond from the north, also contributing therefore to the makeup of the Morse River. This parcel also contains varied topography and a similar mix of flora and fauna as the above described parcel, though it also contains more freshwater marsh species as well. Across route 209 to the south lie the Spirit Pond Preserve and the PLT McDonald Sanctuary. Acquisition of the new parcel will protect the waters of Spirit Pond, a tidal embayment that hosts many migratory shore birds, fish, and other flora and fauna.
More details about these new acquisitions can be found in our latest newsletter, as well as in the mail to you soon. Both of these parcels sit in an area that has been identified by Maine IF&W as the Kennebec Estuary Resource Focus area – this area (in which the vast majority of Phippsburg is located) contains multiple ‘high occurrences’ of prime habitat for one or more species of animal or plant, or is a rare habitat in and of itself.
So how can you help? To be plain this is not an inexpensive endeavor, we acknowledge that we are purchasing both parcels at conservation friendly prices, a reflection of the current owners’ willingness to see the land preserved by PLT; but even so the price-tag for this opportunity is a hefty one at over $200,000. We are actively seeking grant funding from various sources that assist in projects of this nature, but the funding is scarce this year and we are not the only ones asking. That leaves us with you our loyal PLT membership, and we know that you will rise to the occasion as you have in the past such as you did with the McDonald preserve where you contributed well over half the total purchase price. If you have given in the past, we ask that you give again today, if you can afford to give more than you did last year, we would greatly appreciate it. But even if you can only give $25, it all ads up to a successful campaign and more protected land that you, your children, and their children can enjoy forever.
Annual Meeting Thursday Aug 18th:
Guest Speaker: John MacLaine – Habitat Outreach Biologist
The Annual Meeting of the Phippsburg Land Trust was held Thursday evening, August 18th at the ever generous Sebasco Harbor Resort. Brenda Cummings, President of PLT; opened the meeting by speaking eloquently about her father Robert Cummings, a co-founder of the Phippsburg Land Trust, who passed away in February of 2016. Brenda related how a sense of place, and belonging is fundamental to our sense of community A brief business meeting elected to the board; returning members – Brenda Cummings, Tim Richter, and Barabara Knuckles – and new members of the board Dot Kelly, Bob Kohler, and Rodger Herrigel.
Phippsburg Land Trust is very pleased to welcome John MacLaine, Habitat Outreach Biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “We are extremely fortunate to have John MacLaine as our guest speaker. He works at the intersection of habitat conservation and stakeholder outreach. His knowledge and shared values will be of great interest to our PLT members and guests.” — Brenda Cummings PLT President.
John Maclaine is a Biologist with MDIFW’s Habitat Outreach and Environmental Review programs. Prior to joining the Department in 2015, John worked on multiple natural resource issues in Maine and New England including fish and wildlife transportation conflicts and planning, non-point source pollution and land use regulation, wetland ecology, anadromous fish restoration, and shorebird conservation. He holds a B.S. in Wildlife
Ecology with a concentration in Conservation Biology from the University of Maine.
Midcoast area Conservation Commissions collaborate!
Four midcoast Conservation Commissions have collaborated on a document to help local citizens steward their properties.
Totman Cove – Photo by Tim Richter
A deep caring for the land, water, and community of their towns led members of the conservation commissions in Arrowsic, Georgetown, Phippsburg, and Westport Island and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) to come together to create stewardship guides for their local residents.
The unique collaboration between four communities made the publication of these brochures possible. The four towns share similar rural settings, with plentiful forests, extensive shoreline, and houses dependent upon wells and septic systems. For small communities, they all have active conservation commissions, but this project is the first time that members of these groups have worked together.
The 28-page booklets highlight issues important to coastal residents, like caring for septic systems, dealing with ticks, and how to have a truly “green” lawn. Each town has a unique cover and town-focused section. “We hope the information provided in these guides will assist local residents in managing their landscapes and properties to ensure continued water quality and habitat protection, and help keep our communities safe, healthy, and beautiful not only for our ourselves and our families, but for all the animals and plants that live among us,” says project editor and Arrowsic Conservation Commission member Paul Schlein.
Clicking the image above will allow you to view a .pdf version of the document.
Dogs are Welcome on Land Trust Properties
We get this question periodically, so to be clear about our policy – dogs are allowed on lands owned by the Phippsburg Land Trust. In accordance with Maine state statutes, and Phippsburg ordinances, all dogs must be under the control of their owners at all times. As with anything else, please use common sense: do not allow your dog to threaten or interfere with wildlife, and remember that dog owners share our preserves with other walkers, who may feel threatened by your dog’s enthusiasm, no matter how well-intentioned. Please keep your dog nearby, so that you are able to ensure others (wildlife, humans, or other pets) are not harmed. We also ask that you “carry out” any waste, especially when near a water body, including bogs, streams or vernal pools. Finally, be sure your pet wears orange during hunting seasons.
Be aware that for lands where the Land Trust holds an easement, landowner policies may differ. Some easements, such as Mary’s Woods, involve passing through a landowner’s yard and by their home. To preserve the privilege of bringing your pet to these lands, be sure your dog is a well-behaved guest.
Paying Our Share — Thanks to Member Support
The Phippsburg Land Trust makes an annual Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (usually called a PILOT) to the Town of Phippsburg for the lands we own.
We appreciate your support…so that we can show our support of our community.
Help us in 2016: Volunteer!
The Land Trust is a volunteer organization. We rely on the volunteer help of interested members of our community like yourself! If you are willing to help please email Cheri Brunault at email@example.com . No experience is needed, check out our Volunteer page for more details, and to see our scheduled events!