September 23, 2012

Public asked to look at Mount Pisgah land

Staff Report

WINTHROP -- The Kennebec Land Trust plans to preserve two parcels of land in town, and wants the public to take a look.

The trust has raised $15,000 of the $83,000 it needs by next month to buy 60 acres adjacent to the 735-acre Mount Pisgah Conservation Area, according to a press release from Theresa Kerchner, executive director of the trust.

It is also preserving 4,000 feet of undeveloped shoreline and wetlands on Little Cobbossee Lake, owned by naturalist Mary Oatway.

Members of the public can check it out for themselves from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sept. 30, with a hike or drive to the fire tower and blueberry fields on Mount Pisgah. The gated road to the tower will be open for those who want to drive, but they must preregister.

The property includes a former homestead of Dr. Ezekiel Holmes, according to the press release. Holmes, who moved to Winthrop in 1832, founded the Maine Farmer and Journal of Useful Arts, and later the Maine State Agricultural Society, according to the archives at the University of Maine.

An expanded trail network, as well as wetlands for canoeing and kayaking, will be open once the property is bought, according to Kerchner.

The second parcel in town the trust is preserving is 90 acres on Little Cobbossee Lake owned by Oatway, who wanted to preserve it from development.

Oatway, a naturalist, approached the land trust about buying the land, according to Kerchner.

The trust received $155,000 for the project last November from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program, an awards program that funds the restoration, enhancement or preservation of wetlands and other important habitats in Maine, the press release said. Trust members and others contributed $12,000.

A public dedication of the Oatway preserve is set for noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.


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