Current Projects

Grant Parcels in Mt. A Focus Area


December 2014

 

On December 11th, Great Works purchased two adjoining properties on Old County Road in South Berwick. The 37 acres of secluded, hilly woodlands are within the Mt. Agamenticus Focus area and the Ogunquit River watershed. Thank you, donors, for conserving these two parcels, GWRLT's 8th and 9th projects for the year 2014.
There is still the need and the opportunity to fund conservation/stewardship of the Grant parcels, and to replenish the Mt. A fund for the next priority project. Please send your donation to GWRLT, PO Box 151, S.Berwick, ME 03908 or contribute online and designate "Grant Project" or "Mt. A."

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Spiller Farm

Link to pdf with photos and information.
(opens in new window)

"The importance of farms such as Spiller Farm to their communities cannot be overstated." Adam Bishop of Maine Farmland Trust

Great Works Regional Land Trust is working with Bill & Anna Spiller to conserve their 130-acre farm on Rte 9A in Wells. The funding to purchase a conservation easement from the Spillers is nearly in place - thanks to a bargain sale from the Spillers, funds from the federal Farm & Ranchland Protection Program, and funds approved in November 2014 by Wells voters.

You can help: Great Works seeks to raise $10,000 from community members to conserve Spiller Farm forever. Donate. We're halfway there!

 

Brooks Farm in Berwick


July 2014

Family Farm in Berwick Protected Forever

Thanks to the generosity of Ruby E. Brooks and her family, a beautiful 90-acre farm in Berwick will benefit the community, agriculture and wildlife forever. The farm’s new owner, Great Works Regional Land Trust, will protect its open hayfields, fine sandy loam soils, woodlands and streams in accordance with Ruby’s bequest.

Great Works has established a stewardship fund to care for the property. If you would like to contribute to this, call Great Works at 207-646-3604, mail a check to GWRLT, PO Box 151, S. Berwick, ME 03908, or donate online.

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Lapierre Farm in Berwick

February 2015

Great Works protects fifth farmland property in Berwick.

Lapierre Farm

With frontage on both Route 236 and Blackberry Hill Road, Lapierre Farm is blessed with high-quality fields–currently in hay production–upland forest, and forested wetlands. Its owner, Paul Lapierre, has been caring for the farm most of his life. He will continue to do so with the certainty that the land will forever remain available for farming and timber harvesting, activities he loves. On January 15, 2015, Paul and his wife Diana conveyed an agricultural conservation easement on their 69-acre farm in Berwick.

The family negotiated the transaction with Adam Bishop, Project Manager at Maine Farmland Trust (MFT), through their Purchased Easement Program. Darrell DeTour managed the project for Great Works Regional Land Trust, which was assigned the easement by MFT. A generous bargain sale by the Lapierres made the farm’s conservation possible.

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North Berwick Farmlands

On Saturday, April 5, 2014, North Berwick voters voted to support conservation of key farmlands in their town. The Budget Committee and Board of Selectmen recommended that the town assist Great Works Regional Land Trust in conserving Parker and Hilton Farms in North Berwick. Open Space funds of $20,000 will be the last money in to complete the purchase of easements for these farms. They both contain prime farmland soils, which the owners would like to protect from future development (read about other funding awards below):

Parker Farm, 100 acres on Maple St. owned by Charles and Marjorie Parker

Hilton Farm, 26 acres on Maple St. owned by Ella Hilton

Dave Parker photo: Parker Farm Field

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Salmon Falls River Projects

From the Summer 2015 newsletter:


"Acquisition on Salmon Falls River Creates 229-acre Conserved Block


With the May 18, 2015 closing on the Keay Brook parcel, nearly two miles of frontage on the Salmon Falls River in Berwick is protected. The 86 acres were purchased with funding from the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Program, creating a 229-acre block of conserved land, preserving habitat for wildlife and protecting water quality. The Salmon Falls River is the public water supply for more than 28,000 people.


Keay Brook flows through the property, which will be managed for wildlife habitat, water quality and recreation. Project manager Michael Wright, Great Works Board member from Berwick, says “We will be creating a parking area and establishing public access for hiking and other low impact recreation. The Berwick Trails Committee is interested in working with Great Works. If, at some time, we can build a footbridge over a breached dam on Keay Brook, we will be able to connect with the trail on the Tuckahoe Preserve.”


A disused road runs along the southern edge of property, which had been approved in 2006 for a 13-unit development. Walnut Grove Road ran from Hubbard Road, across the river into Rochester, N.H., and crossed Salmon Falls Road at the Walnut Grove Church. It then continued through and terminated near the Rochester Airport. "

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Richard E. Payeur Conservation Area, Ogunquit

On July 13, 2013, the Richard E. Payeur Conservation Area (Berwick Road, Ogunquit) was officially dedicated: 35 acres named in honor of the donor of the land. A lovely loop trail of approximately 1 mile winds alongside wetland meadows and vernal pools, through forest. The double stone wall along part of the path sends one's imagination back to the time when this was pastureland. The trail is accessed from the Ogunquit Dog Park, next to the Transfer Station off Berwick Road. There is parking for two cars.

Land Trust Dedicates New Trail from Seacoastonline July 18, 2013.

Link to photos.

Steve Einstein photo.

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Gerard Desrochers Memorial Forest

Generous donation of family land next to South Berwick Town Forest

From the Summer 2013 newsletter:

With soft pine needles under foot and the sound of birds overhead, amble along a woods road to reach the Gerard Desrochers Memorial Forest in South Berwick. Made possible through the generosity of the Gallo family, this 135-acre property is Great Works’ newest conservation parcel.

South Berwick resident Patti Gallo recently donated this large, desirable tract of land to Great Works Regional Land Trust in honor of her father, Gerard Desrochers. “The donated land is named after my father who had great fondness for animals and nature,” said Gallo. “And, my daughter and I have wonderful memories of walking this land with him.”

Located next to the 88-acre South Berwick Town Forest, the parcel features frontage along the Great Works River, a tributary of the Salmon Falls River. Except for several acres of mature pines and hemlock near the river, the property consists predominantly of young, hardwood forest interspersed with wetlands. The property is accessed on the Town Forest Road at Knight’s Pond Road, and begins about 400 feet beyond the Town Forest sign and parking area.

Click on map for more encompassing view.

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Rustlewood Farm

Conserving Rustlewood Farm: Farmland & Heritage in Kittery and Eliot

A 300-acre dairy farm straddling the Kittery/Eliot town line is the latest in Great Works' farmland protection projects, assisting Kittery Land Trust.


Rustlewood Farm Photos by Peter E. Randall

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Grants Meadow III in Beaver Dam Heath

May 2011

Great Works Regional Land Trust is well on its way to purchasing 28 acres next to the 117 acres it owns in Beaver Dam Heath in Berwick. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant of $75,000 to Great Works towards the purchase of the property.

In addition, Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership has notified Great Works Regional Land Trust that $10,000 has been awarded to the Grants Meadow III project. The Trust must match this grant with non federal dollars and is actively fundraising.

Voters in Berwick will decide May 10, 2011 whether or not to appropriate $10,000 to the project, which will make the reality of public access trails in Berwick that much closer.

When Bill and Carol Bryan donated 113 acres of property in the Beaver Dam Heath to Great Works, they requested that we name it Grants Meadow. This is the description on the earliest survey known, 1855. Bill related how the land had been managed for hay into recent times, but when a wildfire burned long and deep in 1941, the peat that had built up over the centuries was lost, the land subsided and was flooded by Beaver Dam Creek.

Bill and Carol recognized the natural resources of the Heath and the wonders hidden in its deepest interior. Their vision for protecting the heath included a desire to make the public aware of this amazing habitat by establishing hiking trails and wildlife viewing areas. The public investment was confirmed when Berwick voters approved the donation of an adjacent lot that had been held for back taxes. This small parcel has been designated as Grants Meadow II. See the Winter 2008 issue of the newsletter on our website for more about the Bryan donation and the Heath.

Now, GWRLT has a new project in Beaver Dam Heath, thanks again to Bill and Carol. Grants Meadow III consists of 28 acres of upland, vernal pools and wetlands, offered to the Trust at a bargain sale. With frontage on Diamond Hill Road, a parking lot and trail head is envisioned for public access. Fundraising is under way to purchase the property.

Interested in helping out? Contact Great Works Regional Land Trust at 207-646-3604 or info@gwrlt.org.

Link to more information about Beaver Dam Heath under Focus Areas.

 

New Perkinstown Commons in Wells

New Perkinstown Commons Preserve in Wells
Thank you to all who contributed toward Great Works' $50,000+ fundraising effort!


  • Excellent outdoor recreational and educational opportunities (wildlife viewing, hunting, fishing, hiking and x-c skiing) to come when the project is completed.
  • High water resource values, protecting the water quality of our rivers and beaches.
  • High value wildlife habitat for rare & endangered species such as Brook Trout, New England cottontail rabbit, Blanding's & Spotted Turtles.
Link to map.

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Deb-Tone Farm Conserved!

March 2010

GWRLT's purchase of a conservation easement on Deb-Tone Farm was joyfully completed on March 23, 2010. A small celebration at the North Berwick Town Hall after the closing gave way to a room full of supporters enjoying Ken Goodwin's storytelling and sharing the success of the project.

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Great Works River Watershed Project

The Great Works River Watershed, 23 miles in length, drains large areas of South Berwick and North Berwick as it heads to the Salmon Falls River, then the Piscataqua River on its way to Great Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partners has granted funding to Great Works Regional Land Trust, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve and Great Works River Watershed Coalition for the purpose of implementing five high priority tasks:

  • Outreach to increase recognition of the direct connection between the condition of waterfront buffers and water quality.
  • Update water quality data
  • Create 'Best Management Practices" proposal
  • Outreach concerning invasive aquatic species
  • Provide access to information utilizing the Reserve's Seacoast Watershed Information Manager (SWIM).