Phase II RRCT Campaign to Build Lower Village Trails, Repair the Interurban, and Restore Intervale Habitat

New Gloucester’s Lower Village occupies a hillside overlooking the Royal River Intervale’s meadows, some of the richest ecology and habitat of the Royal River watershed with wading bird habitat, wild trout streams, rare plants, and vast wetlands.

Royal River Conservation Trust (RRCT) purchased 174.3 acres of this rich landscape on July 16, 2021, more than doubling the size of RRCT’s Intervale Preserve which now totals more than 300 acres. RRCT’s 300-acre ownership now includes two shoreline miles of the mainstem of the Royal River, open marsh land, a short section of the historic Interurban rail trail, a regional snowmobile trail junction, old woods roads, and forests buffering important historic sites.

RRCT’s new ownership is unique in the context of many land trust ownerships, in that it conserves such a large block of contiguous acreage integrally linked to trails and historic assets in a bustling village center.

RRCT public access easements and conservation easements provide additional buffers and trailheads for the Intervale Preserve, including trailhead parking and hunters’ access rights on what is now an adjacent 14.7 ballfield parcel now owned by Gray-New Gloucester Little League (GNGLL). The Intervale Preserve is today the largest of RRCT’s many preserves. RRCT’s Intervale Preserve website describes the full richness of the preserve.

Phase I of RRCT’s joint campaign with GNGLL raised funds to acquire the land for conservation and recreation, but stopped short of funds necessary for the restoration of habitat, the building and reparation of trails and bridges, and the investment in educating local youth on history, ecology and care for the land. During Phase II campaigns, GNGLL and RRCT are working independently to raise funds for the land that each now owns.

RRCT’s Phase II campaign focuses on habitat restoration and recreational trail development. The budget for the campaign will evolve with consultation with the Town of New Gloucester, as the Town explores its goals for the “Grange Hall Road Lot.” RRCT’s campaign goals include tens of thousands of dollars for drainage and narrow gravel trails on the Interurban, as well as tens of thousands of dollars needed recreational bridge rehabilitation, and active management of non-native invasive plants. RRCT campaign contributions will also fund long-term land stewardship reserves, managing this land for perpetuity.

GNGLL’s efforts and its separate Phase II campaign are described on GNGLL’s website.

Give Now! RRCT Phase II Campaign To Build Lower Village Trails, Repair the Interurban, and Restore Habitat

  • Gift by check: Checks should be payable to the Royal River Conservation Trust (Mail to P.O. Box 90, Yarmouth ME. 04096)
  • Gifts of Appreciated Stock or IRA Distributions: A gift of appreciated securities or a gift of IRA distributions can have additional tax benefits for the donor. Please contact RRCT Executive Director, Alan Stearns at (207) 215-8315 or to discuss these options or to get information on RRCT’s broker for any transfer.
  • Company or Corporate Donations: We will gratefully recognize business donors to this campaign as Royal River Conservation Trust Business Partners, scaled to the contribution.

For questions or information about the campaign please contact:

Alan Stearns, Royal River Conservation Trust Executive Director * * Cell (207) 215 8315

Mark Power, Royal River Conservation Trust Board President, New Gloucester resident *

RRCT Momentum in New Gloucester and Donor Lists

The New Gloucester Land Preservation Trust was formed in 1988, and merged with RRCT in 2006. RRCT’s conservation ownership in New Gloucester has grown significantly in recent years with the new Big Falls Preserve (Woodman Road), the growing Pisgah Hill Preserve (Dougherty & North Pownal trailheads) and the growing Intervale Preserve (Route 231 and Penney Road water access). We also hold conservation easements on working forest and working farm properties like the Waterhouse Farm.

Today RRCT holds deeds to nearly 1000 acres of preserves or conservation easements in New Gloucester managed for habitat, hiking, hunting, fishing, snowmobiles, farming, forestry, and other uses. RRCT also helps other organizations conserve land — notably helping Maine DIFW acquire Chandler Mill Pond and helping create the 1700-acre Shaker Village and Sabbathday Lake conservation easement.

In total, in seven towns and cities, RRCT has conserved more than 5000 acres and grown to a staff of four people responsible for all aspects of the organization. More than half of our conservation successes – as measured by acreage – are in New Gloucester.

Donor Lists: Phase I and Phase II

Donors to Phase II RRCT Campaign for Lower Village Trails & Intervale Habitat Restoration:

  • Your name here!! We began our Phase II campaign on July 16, 2021

Donors to the Phase I Lower Village Land Acquisition Joint Project

  • Royal River Conservation Trust Land Acquisition Reserve Fund
  • Wescustogo Foundation
  • Casco Bay Estuary Partnership
  • Davis Conservation Foundation
  • Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation
  • Margaret Burnham Charitable Trust
  • Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust
  • George and Miriam Martin Foundation
  • RUDA Foundation
  • Maine Natural Resources Conservation Program
  • Planson International
  • Nicholas Planson
  • Katya Planson
  • John Shattuck
  • Julie & Michael Fralich
  • Jim and Mary Ellen Giffune
  • Fields Pond Foundation
  • Brian Noyes and Eugenie Francine
  • Doug and Debra Smith
  • John and Sandy Boland
  • Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund
  • Bafflin Foundation
  • Anonymous (several)
  • Donations of land (2019 and 2020 transactions): Michael & Lenore Sivulich, Town of New Gloucester, Field Rider & Susie Percy, Don Chandler, Jr.
  • Herbert Levine
  • Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund 
  • Andrew Alborn
  • Phil and Althea Blake

Donors to the Little League Field portion of the project (Phase I)

  • Camden Beckwith
  • Maureen Savage 
  • Alyssa Howard 
  • Robert Baiguy 
  • Jan Mulherin 
  • GNG Rockets 10U 
  • Kirk Allen 
  • GNG Rockets 9U 
  • David Southard 
  • Melissa Howard 
  • Theresa Lacadie 
  • Dawn Franklin 
  • Lawrence Martin 
  • Ian and Cole Thibodeau  
  • Melissa, Charlie and Ervena Belcher  
  • Winnie, Lucy, Jason and Jenn Dubail 
  • Kathleen Hascall 
  • Jason, Heather, Fred and Regina Nevells 
  • Christina and Dorene Libby 
  • Rodney and Joan Hunnewell 
  • Patrick Portas 
  • Joe and Carter Davis 
  • Sabrina Stoehr 
  • Spencer Davis 
  • George Belcher 
  • Nancy Belcher Smit 
  • Danielle Ouellette 
  • Beth Davis 
  • Chris Ricardi 
  • Dan and Jody Morse  
  • Ryan Belcher 
  • Matt Buckele 
  • Alisha and Steve Holbrook 
  • Jason Wilson 
  • Nicholas Thibodeau 
  • Joel Bucci 
  • Sarah Szczesniak 
  • James Magno 
  • David T Keeling 
  • Patty Ekster 
  • Linda Stone 
  • Sam Pfeifle 
  • Nathan Stone 
  • Eric Hanley
  • Steven Johnson
  • Angela Hascall 
  • Alanna and Joseph Stevenson 
  • Mary Verrill 
  • Hannah, Brian and Karen Gilles  
  • Colton Killinger 
  • Brianna Fairweather 
  • Kelly McCafferty
  • Katie Maschino 
  • Christopher Sedenka 
  • Felicia Cable 
  • Michael and Lucinda Brakey  
  • Dawn Cormier 
  • Melanie Portas 
  • Thea Dunn 
  • Erik Winchester 
  • Steve Libby 
  • Nick Caiazzo 
  • Jade Costello 
  • Isaac Libby 
  • Amber Pendexter 
  • Joanie Binette 
  • Nicholas Thibodeau
  • Joel Bucci
  • Sarah Szczesniak
  • James Magno
  • David T Keeling
  • Patty Ekster
  • Linda Stone
  • Nathan Stone
  • Eric Hanley