Friday, October 16, 2009

Land Conserved in the York Pond Region

Great Works Regional Land Trust and Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative (MtA2C) announced on Oct. 8 the successful purchase of 91 additional acres of conservation land in the York Pond region of Eliot/South Berwick. The forested parcel on Rocky Hill features wetlands, vernal pools and the headwaters of Quamphegan Brook. It is the seventh project that Great Works Regional Land Trust has secured in the York Pond region.
Interest in conserving the lands around York Pond began in the late 1980’s and efforts that began over 20 years ago have now yielded over 600 acres of permanently protected land in this rapidly growing region of southern Maine. The York Pond Conservation Area is situated between Routes 236 and 91 on the northerly shores of York Pond and Bartlett Upper Mill Pond, and encompasses much of the abandoned settlement of Punkintown. The lands are owned by Great Works Regional Land Trust, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Town of Eliot (Eliot Town Forest) and Town of South Berwick. The conservation area is home to rare and endangered species, historical and cultural artifacts and lies within a 3,000-acre region of unfragmented forest.
This recent addition to the York Pond Conservation Area was purchased with funds generously donated by 94 individuals in the community, generous grants from the Davis Conservation Foundation and the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, along with monies raised by MtA2C. This is the 47th successful acquisition since 2003 made possible by the MtA2C campaign.
MtA2C has received recognition by the State of Maine Department of Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its landscape-scale and multi-organization approach to the land protection in southern Maine. A coalition of ten conservation partners, MtA2C is comprised of The Nature Conservancy, Great Works Regional Land Trust, York Land Trust, Kittery Land Trust, The Trust for Public Land, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, US Fish and Wildlife Service/Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, and York Rivers Association.
The focus area for MtA2C covers 48,000 acres from the Tatnic Hills south over Mt. Agamenticus to York Pond, down the York River and south along the coast to Brave Boat Harbor and Gerrish Island in Kittery; and includes six communities (York, Kittery, Eliot, South Berwick, Wells, and Ogunquit). This focus area represents the largest unfragmented coastal forest between Acadia National Park and the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The Initiative aims to conserve a broad assemblage of ecological, scenic, agricultural and recreational lands that weave together the rich fabric of the region’s lifestyle. MtA2C has protected over 2,554 acres of land in the region since the Initiative began in 2002.
Great Works Regional Land Trust has scheduled a Nov. 8th hike on the new property. Contact GWRLT for more information:, 207-646-3604 or visit the website