The Woodward Point Project
Thanks to the generosity and support of many, this special place in Brunswick is now conserved. Want to learn more about how to visit and what to expect? You’ve come to the right place.
Over the past several years, Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) have been working together to raise $3.5 million to protect and open to the public 87 acres at Woodward Point in Brunswick. This spring we reached that goal, and the property is now conserved.
We would like to thank the more than 150 individual donors who stepped up to contribute to this project, including special thanks to former Woodward Point landowners, Jaki Ellis and Andy Cooke, for their generosity and vision. Additionally, the following organizations, foundations, and public funding sources contributed significantly to the conservation of this spectacular property:
- Casco Bay Estuary Partnership
- Davis Conservation Foundation
- Fields Pond Foundation
- John Sage Foundation
- Libra Foundation
- Morton-Kelly Charitable Foundation
- Partridge Foundation
- R. K. Mellon Family Foundation
- State of Maine’s Land for Maine’s Future Program
- The Alfred M. Senter Fund
- Town of Brunswick
- US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
What makes Woodward Point so special?
Woodward Point is one of the few remaining undeveloped waterfront parcels of its size in Southern Maine, with 87 acres of forest and fields and over two miles of shoreline along two peninsulas on the New Meadows in Brunswick. Protection of this land offers incredible opportunities for locals and visitors to get outside and enjoy the coast.
An estuary of national significance, it cradles two commercially important shellfish beds and provides refuge for waterfowl, such as ducks and geese, and wading birds, such as ibis and heron.
So, the place has been conserved. What happens next?
Since acquiring the land on May 1, 2019, MCHT staff and our partners from BTLT have hit the ground running preparing this place for public use. The preserve will be under construction for the next several months as we create new opportunities for recreation while protecting the natural integrity of the land and the quality of the surrounding waters.
Here are some things we’re working on…
(Updated on 5/22/2019)
Right now, there’s limited parking at Woodward Point (up to six cars). Visitors should park in the area across the driveway from the barns. The week of May 20 or May 27, we are having a permanent parking area installed for at least ten cars to the east of the barns. Keep at eye out for construction in the coming weeks.
We’re working on installing permanent informational signs and boundary signs. For now, temporary signs are up. Please take care and pay attention to signage. If anything appears amiss, or if you’d like more information, please contact Caitlin or Peg (info below).
Better water access
To make it easier to access the water, we’ll be working with contractors to install stairs at key sites along the shore in the fall. Until then, please pay attention to signs as some water access points will not be safe until we have a chance to install stairs. We’ll also be working on creating a hand-carry boat launch in the months to come.
We’ve got a plan in place to improve existing trails and build new trails to create the best visitor experience and protect important wildlife habitat. The current trail system is lovely, but in some cases leads to private property. Please pay attention to boundary signs and take care to stay on the preserve. Land steward Caitlin Gerber says, "There are some basic trails in place to the eastern and central peninsulas. People are also welcome to walk down the western peninsula, where there's a short trail that leads to a view of the Bullpen on the Northwest corner. The week of May 27 (or so), I hope to cut a path through the field."
Protecting plants and animals
When MCHT conserves a place, one of the first things we do is conduct a Natural Resource Inventory—a list of all the plants and animals we find. That helps us do a better job of managing the land in a way that protects its flora and fauna, such as creating signs to educate visitors, or routing trails to avoid important wildlife habitat.
Getting rid of those troublesome invasives
Invasive plants—that is, plants that haven’t historically been found in Maine—can do great harm to the natural integrity of a place, and the native plants and animals who live there. We’ll be mapping invasive plants at Woodward Point and making a plan to manage invasives so that they do as little damage as possible.
Thank you for your patience while we work hard to make Woodward Point Preserve the best it can be. We encourage you to check in from time to time to learn more about how our stewardship efforts are progressing!
Mark your calendars! On September 28, Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust are co-hosting the Woodward Point Opening Celebration.
Woodward Point Opening Celebration
Saturday, September 28, 2019
12 – 5 pm
Stay tuned for more information!
Questions? Concerns? Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Southern Maine Regional Steward
Assistant to Director of Stewardship
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 201
Topsham, ME 04086
(207) 729-7366 | www.mcht.org
Brunswick Topsham Land Trust
56 Main Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 729-7694 | www.btlt.org