Land conservation organization Maine Coast Heritage Trust received a $400,000 grant from the State’s Land for Maine’s Future program to support the Woodward Point conservation project in Brunswick.

Last week, the LMF board agreed to invest more than $3 million in 15 projects across Maine.

In partnership with Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, MCHT is seeking to raise $3.5 million by April 2019 to purchase the land and provide for its long term management as a public preserve. This grant brings the total to $960,000 of committed funding to permanently conserve the property and open it to the public.

“The LMF funds are a big step forward for this terrific conservation project,” project manager Keith Fletcher said. “That said, it will take support from many to make a project like this work and we are working hard with our partners at Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust to secure the remaining funds needed.”

The property, located a short distance from Cook’s Corner, includes more than 10,000 feet of shore frontage on the New Meadows River and Woodward Cove, and offers expansive views of neighboring peninsulas and islands. In a press release, MCHT described the area as a dynamic landscape of grassy meadows, woods and rocky outcroppings well suited for activities including walking and birding.

Conservation of the property would help protect its significant ecological values, including shorebird feeding and roosting habitat, nearby productive clam flats, and upland wetland habitat, according to MCHT.

“Conserving Woodward Point is important for water quality, the health of the estuary, and for the local economy,” Dan Devereaux, Brunswick’s Marine Resource Officer, said. “The New Meadows River has been identified as a growing aquaculture area and is a tremendous natural resource.”

“This project, like all LMF sponsored projects, will be successful because it meets the recreational needs of the citizens of Maine and supports the State’s natural resource based economy,” commented Maine Coast Heritage Trust President Tim Glidden. “This latest round of investments in land conservation could not have come at a better time.”

The LMF board, comprising public officials and private citizens appointed by the governor, reviews proposals from municipalities, state agencies and land trusts before deciding which projects will provide the most public benefits. The announcement of grant recipients is not the final step. Before the State commits funds, each project will go through a rigorous due diligence process to ensure Maine voters’ expectations are met both in terms of quality and affordability. “It’s great to have the LMF-stamp of approval in support of this project,” added Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Executive Director Angela Twitchell. “We’re hopeful the fundraising momentum will continue so we can meet the goal and open the property to the public”.

Those interested in donating should contact Nicole Connelly at MCHT at (207 729-7366 or Angela Twitchell at BTLT at (207) 729-7694).

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