Midcoast Conservancy to protect key habitat, working land on Clarry Hill in Union and Waldoboro

Wed, 05/17/2023 - 7:15pm

    With views of the White Mountains, Muscongus Bay, and the Camden Hills, the Clarry Hill Highlands is aniconic landscape where agriculture, wildlife,recreation, and Maine’s natural splendor all converge. The property is adjacent to Midcoast Conservancy’s existing Clarry Hill Preserve. MidcoastConservancy is working to protect this special place both for its habitat value and to support working landscapes in the region. Maine Farmland Trust iscontributing to the project by purchasing an agricultural easement.

    The 263-acre property, located in Union and Waldoboro, came up for sale by a private landowner, Coastal Blueberry Services, Inc., in late 2022.

    “Clarry Hill is a unique landscape that celebrates the best of Maine,” said Pete Nichols, Executive Director of Midcoast Conservancy, in a news release. “A first-time visitorwould immediately notice the incredible views, but more importantly, the property is lush with blueberry barrens that reflect one of our state’s heritagecrops, and it supports habitat for threatened bird species. We are excited to conserve this gem for the people of the state of Maine.”

    Maine Farmland Trust will assist in the project, Nichols said, by purchasing an agricultural easement on the property.

    “Clarry Hill has been on ourradar for years,” said Amy Fisher, President and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust. “This scenic area of the Midcoast is particularly vulnerable todevelopment, and an agricultural easement will make it possible for future farmers to continue cultivating and harvesting wild blueberries here.”

    Midcoast Conservancy’s acquisition of this parcel would add to the existing 87-acre Clarry Hill Preserve that is a destination for bird enthusiasts from around the state and region. Midcoast Conservancy is also working closely with Hog Island Audubon on this project, as they visit the site frequently aspart of their nature programming.

    Chris Schorn, Director of Land Conservation & Ecology for Midcoast Conservancy, recognizes the significance of this project: “Anyone who has visited Clarry Hill knows that the importance of this project speaks for itself. There are few other places in the Midcoast that offer such stunning views while alsoproviding a working landscape and vital habitat for rare and threatened species. I could not be more excited to work to conserve this landscape--not onlyfor the sake of what is already there, but for the community connections to this place that we can help grow and safeguard into perpetuity.”

    In mid-September, Midcoast Conservancy will take over ownership of the property while Maine Farmland Trust purchases the easement to protect it.Both Midcoast Conservancy and Maine Farmland Trust are actively fundraising to support this project. For more information, please visit www.clarryhill.org.

    About Midcoast Conservancy: Midcoast Conservancy is an innovative conservation organization with the mission to protect and restore vital lands andwaters on a scale that matters. We do this through land conservation, water protection, and connecting people to the outdoors. Our organization servesthe 28 town / 450 square mile area of rural Lincoln and Waldo counties, and has a membership of approximately 2,500. More at:www.midcoastconservancy.org

    About Maine Farmland Trust: Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide, member-powered nonprofit working to protect farmland, support farmers, andadvance the future for farming. Since its founding in 1999,  MFT has permanently protected over 350 farms and has helped to keep over 68,000 acres offarmland in farming and support a network of over 500 farms with critical services. More at www.mainefarmlandtrust.org