Protecting frontage along the Dead River, headwater stream of the St. George River and the woodlands that buffer it, has been a long-term dream for Eileen O'Neil of Appleton. Ms. O'Neil started coming to the area in the 1970s as a young woman.

"This place is special," her eyes beaming, "so I knew I needed to protect it for generations to come.” She was also inspired by the Sweetland family, who owned it before her and the Bartlett family, whom she believed modeled good stewardship.

Nestled between two conserved farms by Maine Farmland Trust in Appleton and Searsmont, the George River Land Trust now holds an easement on the 73-acre woodland, combining to create nearly 200 acres of woodland habitat along a mile and half of the Dead River, a quiet marshy complex that feeds into the upper St. George River.

The easement will allow a trail to be developed in the future and appreciated by the public along this important stream. Within a 1/4 mile of this block of woodland to the north and south are the Gibson Preserve of the Georges River Land Trust and the Appleton Bog of the Nature Conservancy.

Together, these conserved parcels of woodland, marsh and river frontage create 1,000 acres of conserved lands, benefiting fish and wildlife as well as people and our shared future.

For over 30 years, the Georges River Land Trust focuses on conserving the most valuable landscapes in our watershed that protect the opportunity for wildlife to roam, people to explore, fresh water to travel and the effects of climate change to be mitigated by holding carbon in undisturbed forests, wetlands and soils.

For more information about the Land Trust and its programs to engage people in the value outdoor spaces, check out the website, or email at