BATH, Maine — The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust on Friday announced that it has preserved 146 acres in the south end of Bath as the Lilly Pond Community Forest.
The parcel is part of one of the last large undeveloped tracts of forested land in the city, in an area currently underserved by public open space and trails, according to KELT executive director Carrie Kinne.
The Lilly Pond Community Forest includes upland forest, rocky woodlands, wetland forests and open wetland. It protects 900 feet of frontage on Lilly Pond, the headwaters of Whiskeag Creek and a tributary of the Kennebec River.
The land was purchased in 2000 by the Krejsa Family Trust for the purpose of conservation, according to the release. The property is part of the 1760s farmstead of William Marshall, which once ranged from the Kennebec River in the vicinity of the Maine Maritime Museum westward across Route 209 and up over a wooded hilltop to the town line with West Bath. Two military installations still occupy the hilltop.
The forest, which includes three miles of multi-use recreational trails, will be managed as a nature preserve for traditional low-impact recreational uses, providing environmental education opportunities and serving as a demonstration site for sustainable forestry, according to the release.
KELT will work with the Maine Conservation Corps and local all-terrain vehicle and mountain biking clubs to complete additional trail work.
After trail upgrades are completed, a celebration will mark the opening of the preserve to the public, according to the release.