January 23, 2018
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Trolley Marsh Preserve purchased by Georges River Land Trust

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Over one hundred acres of open fields, young hardwood forests, mature pine, wetlands, perennial streams and marshland are now conserved by the Georges River Land Trust as a permanent asset to the Warren community and surrounding area for local residents to visit and explore. With grant funding from the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Program and Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, the Land Trust negotiated a sale with the Anderson Heirs, a family with a long history in the area. Eva Turner, one of the heirs who recently passed away, raised her family on the land in their home across the street. She and her family remember raising blueberries as well as using the expansive land to be outdoors and explore the historic trolley route along the river.
With this 113-acre parcel, the Land Trust will ensure the valuable habitats and historic features found on the property will remain intact. Next door to the Trolley Marsh Preserve, the Land Trust holds an easement on the Oyster River Winegrowers property, owned and managed by Allie Willenbrink and Brian Smith. These two properties provide significant protection along the river, as well as for the woodlands and open fields. Estuarine wetlands found on this portion of the St. George River are not just a priority for Georges River Land Trust but also for the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Program which directs its funds only to projects that restore, enhance, and or preserve high quality natural resources throughout the state. In addition, the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund uses its funding to acquire and manage wildlife conservation areas of statewide significance.
The 1/3 mile of riverfront is home to coastal wading birds and waterfowl, and includes a large 18-acre salt hay marsh. This stretch of the river is inundated by the tides, and so is a popular stretch of river to discover by boat. Eagles, osprey and great blue heron can be found swooping over the marsh, in search of food. And along the river’s edge are the remains of a trolley route which ran in the early 1900’s.
The Georges River Land Trust is very pleased to offer this property for the community to enjoy, study and discover. The next step will be to develop a management plan for the property, and then they will be reaching out to their volunteers to help maintain the land and trails. “Our volunteers are truly the backbone of the organization, and allow us to do incredible conservation in this area”, says Gail Presley, Executive Director of the Land Trust.
Organized in 1987, the Georges River Land Trust works to conserve the ecosystems and traditional heritage of the Georges River watershed region through permanent land protection, stewardship, education, and outdoor experiences. This region includes diverse woodlands, streams, lakes and ponds, hills, blueberry barrens and farm fields as well as rich tidal estuaries of salt marsh, clamflats and productive fishing grounds. For more information about the conservation work and programs of the Georges River Land Trust, please call (207) 594-5166, visit their website at www.georgesriver.org to become a member and help conserve our local heritage, or follow them on Facebook.