In 2016 SWT received a generous grant from the Eastman Charitable Foundation to develop a pollinator field at Parsons. A management plan has been developed to control and/or eradicate the invasive choke cherry growing throughout the 20-acre field and to introduce native wildflowers in a seed reserve on the property. Lupines, common milkweed, and many flower seeds preferred by bees, butterflies and other pollinators are being cultivated. A sign describing the importance of pollinators has been built for the site.
The Xerces Society has issued recommendations to improve the habitat for pollinators.
During the summer and fall of 2017 SWT hired Brian Alexander, a trail consultant, to develop up to 7 miles of mountain bike trails at Coburn Woods in Skowhegan. Three miles of trails were officially opened in November, 2017 and work continues with volunteers to complete the system. Eventually the system will connect with Skowhegan's downtown and Philbrick Trail.
The citizens of Madison voted to grant Jacob's Pines to SWT at their 2018 town meeting. SWT has now purchased an access to the property from Lower Mills Road. In the spring of 2019 we will develop a trail system and parking for hikers to enjoy the property.
The state is proposing to extend the current Bingham to North Anson rail trail to Oakland. From Oakland the new trail would cross the Kennebec at Norridgewock and the second bridge at Madison.
SWT is grateful to have received a gift of 204 acres in Concord Township from Norcross Wildlife Foundation of New York City and Massachusetts. The property was conveyed with the perpetual restriction that the land is to be maintained as a wildlife preserve.
Norcross had received the land from James R. and Diana C. Young in 2000. The Young family has owned the land for nearly, or more than, 100 years having been given to Jim's parents as a wedding present by his father's grandfather in 1916 or 17.
The land contains the headwaters for Martin's Stream which flows into the Kennebec River. There is an old beaver pond on the property and trails throughout. SWT will be managing the property to provide exemplary habitat for wildlife and trails for passive recreation. In the upcoming spring of 2018 SWT will be organizing a volunteer trail improvement day for anyone interested in trimming trails and enjoying the peaceful solitude that this property provides.
We have developed our first trail on the land off of Fletcher Mountain Road. The short, easy trail to a small beaver pond begins at the kiosk. In the summer of 2019 we plan on developing a trail to the northwest corner of the property and if permissions can be granted, extend that trail to the peak of Fletcher Mountain.