News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, February 7, 2013
BHHT receives gift of “Hundred Acre Wood”

by Anne Berleant

Blue Hill Heritage Trust received a 113-acre parcel of mostly forested land off High Street in North Brooklin, donated by summer residents Stephen Winthrop and M. Jane Williamson.

The parcel will likely continue to be known as the “Hundred Acre Wood,” as named by the Winthrop family after the forest in the classic children’s story, Winnie-the-Pooh, Executive Director Jim Dow said in a press release.

The trust announced the gift last week, although the property transfer took place at the end of 2012. Dow said the Town of Brooklin has appraised the property at $87,000.

The gift was motivated, in part, by the absence of “attractive peaceful off-road walking trails in Brooklin,” and is well-suited for a series of walking trails,” according to the press release.

“When we sold our house in North Brooklin 12 years ago, we kept the land behind the house because we had fallen in love with its trails and varied habitat,” Winthrop stated in the press release. “We couldn’t stand the idea of it being chopped up for house lots.”

The acreage includes small streams, many tree species, wetland, blueberry ground and an assortment of ledge outcroppings near the town’s highest point.

“When you walk there, there’s all sorts of animal tracks…It’s a wonderful, diverse place,” said Dow.

However, the walking trails first need to be designed and constructed, a project that will begin this summer.

“There’s some small trails the family used that have overgrown,” said Dow.

In addition, the trust will construct a parking area and trail head to the property, which Dow said is “very accessible” from the road.

For help, the Trust will call on volunteers, including the 60 who logged 1,750 hours in 2012 working on trails and other stewardship projects.

“We rely on volunteers—board members, committee members and trail volunteers,” said Dow. “We work hard. Our culture is to do a lot with a little.”

This latest gift to BHHT marks the fifth new land project that the trust completed in 2012, after a conservation easement gift on a scenic parcel along the Newbury Neck Road in Surry; the purchase of the Great Heath in Penobscot; and gifts of a shorefront property near John B. Mountain property in Brooksville, and a trail easement that will allow the trust to construct a trail connecting those two properties.