KELT opens its newest preserve on Westport Island

Grand opening Aug. 6
Posted:  Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 8:45am
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A new public place to hike, run, ski, and explore! The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) is pleased to invite the public to the grand opening of the Carl and Barbara Segerstrom Preserve at Squam Creek on Westport Island, Sunday, Aug. 6 at 1 p.m. Join KELT supporters for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by light refreshments and an optional guided walk. This event is free and family-friendly!

Participants can enjoy a historic, guided walk along the newly built Jeremy’s Ramble Trail, exploring several short side trails. These blazed trails begin at the parking area off West Shore Road and proceed through hardwood forest, along a picturesque stone wall and by the lush green marsh grass of the wetland along the creek. Several viewpoints offer spectacular views of the tidal salt marsh, supporting a variety of bird populations, river otters and a commercial oyster farm.

Conservation of this property was possible through support from the town of Westport Island, private foundations, the North American Wetland Conservation Act and many community members. KELT is excited to share this new place to learn, explore and appreciate nature!

This 144-acre preserve protects significant wetland habitats, 3,300 feet of shoreline along Squam Creek, deer wintering habitat and historic cellar holes and cemeteries. The property was one of the first settled on Westport Island, around 1740 by Timothy Dunton and his family. The southern part of the property was settled by the Hodgdon family shortly thereafter. The foundation of the Hodgdon home, livestock pens, extensive stonewalls, and the family cemetery are beautifully preserved.

A light rain or shine event, please RSVP to Becky at bkolak@kennebecestuary.org or call 207-442-8400. To get to the preserve: from Bath take Route 1 North for 6.8 miles and turn left onto Route 144. After 1 mile turn left to stay on 144 (Birch Point Road) and after another mile turn right to stay on 144. Follow for 6.5 miles then turn right onto West Shore Road. Follow across the causeway and up the hill. The parking lot is on the left.

Earlier this year, KELT won Down East magazine’s 2017 “Readers Choice” award as “Best Land Trust” in Maine. To celebrate this award and the new conservation land on Westport Island, all are invited to one of our “Summertime Shindig” events on Aug. 15 at Squam Creek Farm across from the new preserve. This event will display the natural beauty of the creek and be a chance to meet others land trust enthusiasts. The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $60 per person at www.kennebecestuary.org/summertime-shindigs.