On December 4, Pittston residents Judy Schuppien and Phil Brzozowski, donated the 22-acre Eastern River Preserve to the Kennebec Land Trust (KLT). KLT’s newest conservation property, the first in the town of Pittston, features over 3,000 feet of frontage on the Eastern River. A 14 mile-long tributary of the Kennebec River, the Eastern River starts in East Pittston at the confluence of its west and east branches, and flows southwest past the historic village of Dresden Mills into the Kennebec River.
Located off of the Blodgett Road in Pittston, this KLT Preserve will be managed to protect wildlife habitat and water quality, for low impact outdoor recreation, and for nature observation. A short meandering path will provide public access to the River and will feature the property’s mixed hardwood and conifer forest, 1,000 feet of frontage on tidal Otter Creek, and scenic views of the Eastern River and an extensive oxbow.
This permanently protected conservation property protects important wildlife habitat for wood ducks, common mergansers, and mallards, and wading birds including great blue herons and American bittern, as well as bald eagles, osprey, kingfisher, and the species they eat, such as alewife. In addition, the riverbanks serve as travel corridors for white-tailed deer, bobcat, coyotes, and black bear. Many areas along the riverbank support large trees, providing nesting sites for pileated woodpeckers and barred owls.
At the time of the donation, Judy and Phil noted: “For many years, we've loved visiting preserves all over Maine. We think the Eastern River Preserve is a special place, and we want to share it, as others have shared with us." Kim Vandermeulen, President of the KLT Board of Directors recently stated, “we are so grateful to Judy and Phil for their generous donation of the ecologically diverse and scenic Eastern River Preserve. This new KLT property will be open to the public for year-round outdoor recreation including hiking, nature observation, fishing, and hunting.” A property dedication will be held on April 27, 2019.
Photo Credit: Andrew Tufts