Barrett Hillside in Hope permanently conserved
Hope — The Sigsbee family in partnership with the Georges River Land Trust has permanently conserved the western slope of Barrett Hill in Hope, along with blueberry lands in Union and Appleton. This summer, Bruce and Jane Sigsbee granted a conservation easement to the Georges River Land Trust that will allow their 100-acre property which fronts Sennebec Road in Union and Appleton to remain as wildlife habitat and farmland forever.
The Sigsbees bought the land because of their long-term attachment to open spaces. Bruce Sigsbee grew up near Cape Cod and witnessed his childhood haunts destroyed by widespread development that he believes changed the traditional nature of the area. Within a few years of having moved to Union and watching bald eagles catch wind thermals along the face of Barrett Hill, deer and other wildlife venture into their fields, and hearing wood frogs welcome the spring in the wetlands, the Sigsbees felt it was time to place their land under permanent conservation.
The conservation easement, a voluntary legal agreement between the landowner and the Land Trust, permanently restricts the land use to support wildlife habitat, open space and other traditional uses (such as farming and forestry) while keeping the land in private ownership. The Sigsbees will continue to live on their property, enjoy the wildlife that surround them, manage their woodlands and trails, and contract with Nash Blueberries to manage their blueberry fields.
“This 100-acre tract is quite diverse,” commented Annette Naegel, conservation program manager for Georges River Land Trust. “It has mature woodlands, hayfields, productive blueberry barrens and an important wetland complex that drains into Seven Tree Pond.”
Additional streams drain off Barrett Hill through the woodlands providing both scenic and habitat values. From Sennebec Road, this property offers sweeping views of blueberry barrens that will never be developed. Within a half mile of the property, along Sennebec Pond is a 66-acre conserved property, also held in easement by Georges River Land Trust.
“The Land Trust is very pleased to hold this easement to protect working lands and valuable habitat,” said Naegel.
Celebrating 25 years of conservation, the Georges River Land Trust works to encourage midcoast residents to discover the St. George River and care for the land. For more information and to help conserve local heritage, call the Georges River Land Trust at 594-5166 or visit their website at grlt.org.