The regional land conservation partnership known as the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative is unveiling a new website and video to announce a renewed commitment to regional land conservation in southern York County.
The 10 local, state and federal conservation groups that are part of the the initiative, known as MtA2C, Initiative are focusing new energy on achieving their collaborative vision of a conserved corridor that stretches from the Tatnic Hills of Wells to the coast in Kittery.
To realize this vision, the MtA2C partners aim to protect 5,500 additional acres within the next two decades to reach their goal of 19,000 acres of connected natural land to benefit people and wildlife.
“Science tells us that we need at least this much protected land to ensure that the natural system will continue to function as a whole and support all of the native plants and wildlife that are here today,” said Tin Smith, president of Great Works Regional Land Trust. “These lands provide our communities with trails, views, clean drinking water, natural flood control and so much more.”
Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea coordinator Karen Young said she is excited for people to use MtA2C’s new mobile-ready website at www.mta2c.org.
“The new site is beautiful and user-friendly with an easy trail map that shows where people can enjoy more than 60 miles of trails at 30 preserves around the region,” Young said.
The site has links to a schedule of events and activities, from guided walks and talks to volunteer days. It also features MtA2C’s one-minute video that highlights the features of this region through the eyes of a young girl. “We hope people will be inspired by the site to get outside, explore, get involved and appreciate what a remarkable area we live in,” Young said.
Two recent conservation projects that are part of the renewed MtA2C vision include Kittery Land Trust’s Brave Boat Headwaters Preserve, between Route 103 and Bartlett Road near the Kittery-York town line, and the York Land Trust’s adjacent Fuller Forest between Bartlett and Southside roads in York. When these projects are completed, the MtA2C corridor will extend from the York River to the mouth of Brave Boat Harbor, creating a connected landscape for people, water and wildlife.
“Together, these projects will complete the ‘to the Sea’ part of MtA2C’s vision” said KLT Executive Director Christine Bennett.
The region now has more than 13,500 acres of watershed and conservation land, a legacy that goes back over a century when the Kittery and York Water Districts set aside land to protect drinking water supplies for their communities. In the 1960s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service created the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Kittery. In the 1970s, a grassroots coalition led by the town of York bought the summit of Mt. Agamenticus following a proposal to build 3,000 housing units there.
In the last three decades, MtA2C partners led by The Nature Conservancy and the three local land trusts – Kittery, York and Great Works – have completed more than 70 conservation projects with landowners who wanted to conserve their land forever.