Land trust adds 6 acres to Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick

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BRUNSWICK — All six acres of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s newest acquisition are buried beneath several feet of snow.

But Executive Director Angela Twitchell said she is looking forward to summer, when the fields are filled with blueberries and open to anyone who wants to pick them.

BTLT announced on Valentine’s Day that it had purchased the land, which lies between Brunswick High School and Crystal Spring Farm, from Maurice and Jennifer Favreau.

Twitchell said she is excited about the purchase because the land abuts Crystal Spring Farm, “our most visible and highly frequented property.”

BTLT had been eyeing the property for a while, but wasn’t able to afford it until recently. Twitchell said BTLT is not allowed to pay more than market price for land, and previously “the appraised value and what (the Favreaus) were asking were not in line.”

But the recession has been good to the the land trust. Land values have plummeted, and competition from developers has nearly disappeared. When BTLT approached the Favreaus again, they were willing to part with their land for $100,000.

The acres of blueberry fields will help make up for the seven acres of land off of Baribeau Drive that BTLT sold last year. That land came with the 2008 purchase of Crystal Spring Farm, but it never had high conservation value because it abutted a medical office complex and was zoned for medical uses, Twitchell said.

The sale of those seven acres for $450,000 allowed the land trust to buy the Favreaus’ property.

BTLT now owns 20 acres of blueberry fields. Twitchell said the land trust plans to work with the state to come up with a management plan for the fields, and is considering leasing the land to a farmer.

Either way, the new land will be accessible to the public.

“This will allow us to build upon and increase the opportunity for trails and blueberry production,” Twitchell said. “Crystal Spring Farm is a place in our community people love to go.”

Emily Guerin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or eguerin@theforecaster.net

 

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Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust celebrated another season at Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick and the trust’s 25th anniversary with a winter fun day on Feb. 12 that included an afternoon of snoeshoeing led by professional AMC guide Michelle Moody, right.

Sledding is three times as much fun when you sled with your relatives. BTLT Executive Director Angela Twitchell’s niece, Kaci O’Grady, front, and Twitchell’s daughters Maggie and Eliza Libby, wore their favorite, identical winter coats for sledding last Saturday at Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick.

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