WASHINGTON — On April 7, Midcoast Conservancy accepted a donated Conservation Easement on 108 acres owned by Mary Merrifield, in Washington. The Easement not only ensures the farm will remain agricultural land, its protection ensures that it will provide wildlife habitat, clean air, and water filtration into the future.
“I put my heart and soul into this place.” says Merrifield, in a Conservancy news release. “I want to see this place and all God has put here safeguarded for future generations, including all the animals here. I want future generations to be able to see and experience what I see here, including: deer, bald eagle, and peregrine falcons. The land and this place give me so much. This is my way of giving back, saying thank you to mother nature, and showing respect and love for this earth.”
The property will remain in private ownership. Adam Bishop, Maine Farmland Trust Farmland Protection Program Director, says “This property protects valuable agricultural land and preserves the scenic nature of the landscape. We are grateful for the generosity and foresight of private landowners like Mary who want to protect the special places they love.”
Anna Fiedler, Midcoast Conservancy Land Protection Specialist, says “We are glad to partner with Ms. Merrifield and Maine Farmland Trust to carry out the vision of Maine as a landscape filled with farms and forests for years to come. Landowners like Mary inspire neighbors to protect their cherished land, which makes the broader vision possible, one landowner at a time.”
The property contains about 13 acres of fields and 95 acres of forest that include peaceful groves of hemlock forests and oak-pine forests with beech, paper birch, red maple, white pine, red spruce, hemlock, white ash, and red oaks. It has been operated as a farm, primarily a dairy or horse farm, for approximately 200 years.
Midcoast Conservancy is a vibrant regional land trust that works to protect vital lands and waters on a scale that matters and to inspire wonder and action on behalf of all species and the Earth. The organization works throughout the Sheepscot River, Medomak River, and Damariscotta Lake watersheds. Midcoast Conservancy manages over 13,000 acres in 55 preserves and 95 miles of trails, including Hidden Valley, a preserve with cabin and outdoor recreation equipment rentals and a low-impact forestry program. Community members can get involved in the organization’s work as volunteers with water quality monitoring, habitat restoration, fish passage projects, forestry and oyster farming, outdoor recreation and education. For more information, go to www.midcoastconservancy.org or call (207) 389-5150.