Nine acres added to Penny Lake Preserve
Boothbay Region Land Trust (BRLT) is pleased to announce the expansion of Penny Lake Preserve, thanks to the generosity of property owners Tom and Cathy Wilson. The Wilsons have donated an additional nine acres, which will expand the western boundary of the preserve to the Middle Road. This parcel will bring the acreage of protected land in the center of the downtown area of Boothbay Harbor to 63 acres.
The area now known as Penny Lake was once productive farmland owned by the Barlow family. Sixty acres referred to as The Meadow propagated a variety of crops including hay, apples and pumpkins. Over the years, acreage from the farm was sold off and developed bit by bit to make home for our current day Hannaford Supermarket, the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce and Carousel Theater. The rest of the lots were parceled among individual private residents.
Boothbay Region Land Trust’s Penny Lake Preserve became a reality in 2001 through the effort and generosity of a long list of contributors. The protected land was pieced together with a 19-acre parcel that was purchased from the McKenney family with substantial aid from John and Martha Heald, and a 10-acre parcel donated by Tom Wilson and his father Richard. A 25-acre conservation easement from St. Andrews Village and a trail easement granted from Steve and Richard Malcom allowed for further restrictions to development and opened public access with added trails.
Tom and Cathy have recently decided to donate their remaining undeveloped parcel to the community by entrusting it to Boothbay Region Land Trust’s management. This recent expansion will eventually increase the over two miles of trails open to the public; allow for a wildlife corridor in town for the deer, beaver, turtles and other animals that call Penny Lake home; and establish the largest undeveloped, conserved tract of land in the downtown area of Boothbay Harbor.
Tom and Cathy have long-time ties to the Land Trust. In fact, Tom’s parents Lynn and Dick were very close friends and neighbors with Phil Slayton, a founding member who served as treasurer and president to Boothbay Region Land Trust. But the most compelling reason Tom and Cathy support the Land Trust is because they are users of BRLT preserves. They explain, “Not only do we enjoy walking the trails, they help to keep us healthy. Most importantly, our dog Rosie loves them, too.”
On behalf of the community, we thank Tom and Cathy for their enthusiasm and support for the Land Trust, and for making it possible for many other dog walkers to use the trails as well.