Mèmak Preserve

RRCT’s planned Mèmak Preserve will be 50 acres including trails through mixed forests for recreation and public access. Save this precious piece of land so future generations in the Royal River watershed will always have access to the woods of Maine. 

Please give now to RRCT’s Land Acquisition Reserve Fund to help us create this new preserve in 2020! 

RRCT’s Mèmak Preserve is a planned new 50-acre conservation area off Lufkin Road in North Yarmouth. Mèmak is a Wabanaki word for Pileated Woodpeckers, associated with luck and friendship in the culture of Maine’s first people.  

The mature woods are filled with woodpeckers, warblers, and wildlife, and are formed by a diverse mix of oak, white pine, hemlock, beech, red pine, and maple. Surrounded by mossy stone walls, the trails are popular for walking and family-friendly mountain biking. Blueberries, lady slippers, mushrooms, and wildflowers are scattered on the forest floor. A snowmobile trail creates year-round connections to Route 115 near the Gray-North Yarmouth town line.  

In 2020, RRCT is raising $30,000 for stewardship and development of this planned new preserve. The full value of 35 acres of woods will be donated by Ed & Joyce Gervais and their family, adjacent to an existing 15-acre RRCT Conservation Easement.

The budget is here:

  • What We Have: Donation of 100% of land value by Ed & Joyce Gervais & family.
  • What We Need:
  • $5,000 of donations to RRCT’s Land Acquisition Reserve Fund are needed to cover RRCT’s legal fees, due diligence, and closing costs.  Remaining funds will be applied toward year-one construction costs for signs, kiosks, parking, and trails even as we look to volunteers, local snowmobile and bike clubs, and pro-bono contractors for many of these expenses.  
  • $25,000 of donations to RRCT’s Land Acquisition Reserve Fund as a result of this project will allow us to transfer this essential donation to RRCT’s long-term stewardship reserves, which we’ll use to care for the land in perpetuity. This $25,000 donation will generate needed income to cover responsible stewardship like trail maintenance, land management, education & outreach, overhead, and other expenses.
       
  • Staff time and overhead: Staff time and overhead for this land acquisition project comes thanks to your past support of RRCT through your spring appeal, holiday appeal, and other personal and business donations.  

Donations to the Land Acquisition Reserve Fund: click here. Thank you for your support! You can earmark your donation to the Mèmak Preserve.

Full details on Land Acquisition Reserve Fund policy and approach, and long-term stewardship reserves: click here 

Contact us if you’d like specific reports on this small campaign, or budget reports on our actual use of Land Acquisition Reserve Fund money. 

Campaign Material, Progress, and Donors

Print out this three-page 8.5 x 11 Mèmak Preserve Campaign PDF to help us spread the word about this campaign, and to help people donate by mail.  The PDF information is identical to the content of this webpage.  

Thank you to the many people who have already donated to this project:

  • Ed and Joyce Gervais & family
  • Steve Barr and Martha Leggat
  • Christine Force and Tom Cox
  • Bob and Margaret Abbott
  • Rebecca Gervais and Neil Boater
  • Ann Beatty-Rose and Dan Rose
  • Audrey Lones
  • Pam and John Ames
  • Jeffrey and Robin Babino
  • Kathryn Dion and John Kennedy
  • Rob Wood and Gay Peterson
  • Dan Rosenberg and Jennifer Gervais
  • Anonymous
Trails, Trailheads, and Accessibility

Trails and trailheads are evolving during summer and fall of 2020.  In the field you’ll notice weekly changes in survey flagging, temporary signs, and construction. Please be patient and respect all neighbors.  

Today (September 10, 2020) we have opened up an RRCT trailhead across the road from where today the snowmobile trail comes out of the Dugas gravel pit. At that location (on the right, off Lufkin) is a small parking area surrounded by boulders that Scott Dugas has allowed us to used for trailhead parking, indefinitely.  The trail is on the left.   Today the trail starts with a steep berm (stone wall) leaving the road.  Soon we will use an excavator for a better at-grade trail entrance.

Rules and Regulations and Hunting

We have not yet adopted rules for this planned new preserve.  We plan to continue to allow safe and responsible hunting, dogs under control, mountain bikes, snowmobiles, and other uses.  Please let us know your thoughts or questions, and check back with us later for new rules.  

RRCT & You: Updates, Alerts, & Cautions

This preserve has not yet been opened to the public, thus please use caution if exploring the property and expect unfinished trails, evolving signage, construction sites, and other concerns. 

  • RRCT & You:  RRCT relies heavily on volunteers and help from trail users like you. You may know more recent information about trail and Preserve conditions than we do – Please consider filling out a Conditions Report. We invite you to be a thoughtful steward by acting as a respectful visitor, adhering to posted rules, and following Leave No Trace practices. RRCT’s small staff and volunteer Trail Crew is able to inspect and maintain RRCT Preserves infrequently; we ask you to report to us any issues you observe that you cannot address yourself, and especially to update us on any safety or public safety issues. Please help us on your visits with litter, pet waste, and minor trail issues. We also invite any information on needed or suggested updates to this webpage. Reach out in any way, most simply with an email to Stewardship@RRCT.org
Stewardship and Conservation History

Coming soon! 

Natural Resources, Habitat, and Historic Interpretation & Puzzlers

More coming soon!  

RRCT’s Mèmak Preserve is a planned new 50-acre conservation area off Lufkin Road in North Yarmouth. Mèmak is a Wabanaki word for Pileated Woodpeckers, associated with luck and friendship in the culture of Maine’s first people.  

To read more about Mèmak and the origins of the name visit: Abenaki/ Algonquin legends.

The mature woods are filled with woodpeckers, warblers, and wildlife, and are formed by a diverse mix of oak, white pine, hemlock, beech, red pine, and maple. Surrounded by mossy stone walks, the trails are popular for walking and family-friendly mountain biking. Blueberries, lady slippers, mushrooms, and wildflowers are scattered on the forest floor. 

The preserve is located on the northern slopes of Walnut Hill, draining toward Deer Brook.  The unique ecology of this area is due to the vast gravel deposits under the preserve, feeding Deer Brook with clear cold water that supports wild brook trout.  While many gravel deposits in the area have been excavated, the woods of Mèmak Preserve are supported by well-drained soils, resulting in a more diverse forest than most of the watershed (ledge and clay). The stone walls lining the trails, similarly, are made from small boulders typical of a gravel deposit, as compared to other walls in the watershed that are made of ledgy granite.  

On one edge of the property, a few old granite fence posts still stand, perhaps serving as gate posts in a gap in the stone walls.  

While the edges of the preserve were recently harvested, most of the preserve has had no timber harvest for more than fifty years, resulting in mature trees supporting a diversity of bird life and wildlife.

Learn more about the Mèmak Preserve with this: map puzzle

Or try this one: Pileated Woodpecker puzzle

Or the mystery photo from Mèmak Preserve