October 21, 2017
Contact person: Rachelle Curran Apse, email@example.com, 839-4633
Over 40 people joined City of Westbrook Mayor Mike Sanphy and the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust to celebrate the grand opening of Mill Brook Preserve North Saturday, October 21. This event marked the official expansion of the forever conserved land and trail system in Mill Brook Preserve in Westbrook.
Thanks to new land donations by Sue and Steve Cullinan and the City of Westbrook, Mill Brook Preserve is now 130 acres and has a 5-mile trail system free and open to the public for walking, hiking, trail running, and snowshoeing. Mill Brook Preserve is owned by the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust and there are four trailheads, the primary trailhead is now at the junction of Methodist Road and Route 302 in Westbrook. Click here for the trail map.
Steve and Sue Cullinan said “We always envisioned that someday many people could enjoy what we have been fortunate enough to own, a little piece of paradise. We are very happy that our land donation to the land trust, to expand Mill Brook Preserve, has come to fruition.”
City of Westbrook Mayor Mike Sanphy spoke at the ribbon cutting. “The City of Westbrook is proud to be partners with the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust in the expansion of Mill Brook Preserve because it forever provides residents public access to miles of forested trails and unique wildlife sightings in our community.”
“Mill Brook Preserve has now become a regional destination because the trail offers spectacular views of the largest migratory fish run from Casco Bay each spring. The expansion of Mill Brook Preserve means more people will be able to experience the diversity of wildlife attracted to the fish migration, like great blue herons, osprey, bald eagles and mink, all within Westbrook.” said Rachelle Curran Apse, Presumpscot Regional Land Trust Executive Director.
The official count for the alewife migration this year is in, with nearly 40,000 fish swimming through Mill Brook Preserve from Casco Bay to Highland Lake to spawn. The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust collaborates with the University of Southern Maine’s Environmental Science and Policy Professors Karen Wilson and Theo Willis each year to track the size of the fish run. Good news for wildlife in the region, this year the alewife run is about the same size as last year.
Toby Jacobs, the Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator for the land trust, stated, “We have added 1.5 more miles of trail and opened the new primary trailhead at the junction of Methodist Road and Route 302. Volunteers were critical in helping to build the trail expansion this
year. The great news is that this Mill Brook Preserve North opening is only phase two and we expect to expand the preserve and trail system again next year to the south.”
The Mill Brook Preserve North expansion was only possible with the support of Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, City of Westbrook, Westbrook Environmental Improvement Corporation, Westbrook Recreation & Conservation Commission, Steve and Sue Cullinan, volunteers, and land trust members.
Mill Brook is about five miles long, beginning in Highland Lake and ending in the Presumpscot River. Most of those five miles the brook winds through pristine forests all within the City of Westbrook.
Presumpscot Regional Land Trust is a non-profit organization that supports healthy lands, waters, wildlife, and people across the Presumpscot River watershed through conservation, water quality monitoring, education, and public access – holding conservation lands in the towns of Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Westbrook and Windham. The land trust has conserved over 1,600 acres of land and has 14 public access preserves with trails and water access that are free and open to the public, including the 28-mile long Sebago to the Sea Trail. Learn more at www.prlt.org.