Curtis Memorial Library and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) each recently received significant bequests from the estate of long-time Brunswick resident, Wallace Pinfold, who died in November 2021. These gifts – the largest in the history of both organizations – will enhance the endowments of both the library and land trust for generations to come, according to a news release from the organizations.

Pinfold was a French language interpreter and translator, a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, a ranger naturalist in Yosemite, and a gardener in greater Brunswick. He authored one book, co-authored another, and traveled the world, collecting ceramics, paintings and photographs along the way.

“I had the great pleasure of working with Wallace a few years ago to design a small perennial garden in a space in my yard created by the removal of a tree,” BTLT Board President Emily Swan said. “Wallace’s wide-ranging and on-point observations during our search for plants and rambles through the
garden transformed what might have been an otherwise mundane experience into an entertaining and educational adventure. And I have never met anyone with more impeccable manners.”

To honor his late mother – a longtime library volunteer – Pinfold established the Jean Laidlaw Pinfold Flowers Fund in 2018. Most days, a floral arrangement from Mare Brook Farm graces the library lobby in a favorite vase given by Wallace.

Memorial gifts to the library received at Wallace’s passing were used to restore the gardens surrounding the Middle Street entrance to the library this summer, thanks to the support of many volunteer master gardeners led by Noreen Williams. In addition to native flowers and trees, a variety of Siberian and Japanese irises from the stock of late hybridizer Currier McEwen of Harpswell were donated and planted under the guidance of Pinfold family
friend, Sharon Whitney of Eartheart Gardens.

Curtis Memorial Library’s Board of Directors have designated a majority of Pinfold’s bequest to the library’s endowment fund in support of its long-term health. A portion of the funds will be directed to fund several more immediate projects that align with his love of gardening and the library.

Pinfold was a member of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust for 17 years, where he was motivated by the opportunity to conserve land in his community. Inspired by the environmentalism of his father, local veterinarian Dr. Russel Pinfold, Wallace’s early involvement with BTLT included supporting the conservation of Crystal Spring Farm.

“Wallace’s generosity during his lifetime helped us to conserve many of the most special natural areas in our community. His extraordinary bequest will allow us to steward these lands into the future and make sure that we are able to fulfill the commitment we make with each piece of land we conserve,” said Angela Twitchell, executive director of the land trust. “The Board of Directors of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has designated the bulk of
Wallace’s bequest to its long-term land stewardship fund. When BTLT conserves a parcel of land, it makes a promise that it will care for the land forever. This commitment extends to maintaining trails and public access, making sure the terms of an easement are honored, removing invasive plants, or promoting a sense of place and a love of the land through education and outreach.”

Pinfold’s bequest will ensure that BTLT’s stewardship endowment will provide funds on an annual basis to support stewardship needs.

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