Last week, Roland Barth, of Alna, generously donated 25 acres of Newcastle woods and wetlands to Midcoast Conservancy in memory of his late father, the Reverend Joseph Barth. Rev. Barth, with Roland’s brother Nick, founded the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association in 1966. The association subsequently became a founding member of Midcoast Conservancy.
“My father bought about 150 acres, including this parcel, in the 1950s after it had been clear-cut and stripped,” said Barth. “Now that the land has recovered, I want to protect it from ever being exploited again. It’s especially fitting that this land be protected by Midcoast Conservancy in my father’s memory. I am honored to leave this legacy.”
The property protects abutting land already protected with a conservation easement and is close to Midcoast Conservancy’s Bass Falls Preserve in Alna and Newcastle.
“We have been in conversation with Roland about conserving this special place for many years,” said Anna Fiedler, Midcoast Conservancy land protection specialist. “Many of these projects take time, which is fitting as Midcoast Conservancy’s agreement to conserve the land is forever. We are honored to be entrusted with caring for this land for the benefit of all life.” The property contains mixed hardwood forest and a small wetland which store carbon and provide critical flood control and wildlife habitat.
Christian Schorn, Midcoast Conservancy Senior Land Steward, says, “The preserve will be open to the public for hiking and hunting. We will be exploring options for developing trails. We want to work with the community to find ways for people to enjoy this land and still maintain its incredible value for wildlife.”