Source to Sea Trek July 24th and 25th
July 24, 2010
Working Landscapes and New Riverfront Trails to be Focus of Androscoggin River Paddling
Androscoggin Land Trust and Androscoggin River Watershed Council Partner for Trek through Canton, Jay and Livermore Falls
Canton, Jay, Livermore Falls, Maine – The Androscoggin Land Trust (ALT) and the Androscoggin River Watershed Council (ARWC) are announcing two days of canoe and kayak paddling events that will feature discussions ranging from sustainable forestry and land conservation to the unveiling of a proposed new riverfront trail in Jay and Livermore Falls at a community open house.
The Source to Sea Trek, a multi-week event that starts at the headwaters of the Androscoggin River and ends at Merrymeeting Bay, will pass through this region on Saturday July 24th and Sunday July 25th.
During the Saturday event, which begins at 9 AM at the Dixfield Boat Access off the Dixfield Road, paddlers will embark downstream with a southern end point of the Riley Dam in Jay. About midway through the trip, trekkers will stop for lunch at the Canton Boat Access off Route 140 where a discussion on sustainable forestry and land conservation in the region will be led by ALT and Integrated Forest Management (IFM) of Turner.
As part of the 1998 licensing of the hydroelectric dams in the region owned by Verso Paper, ALT conserved nearly 1,200 acres of land and six miles of riverfront in Jay and Canton, much of that conservation land protected the landscape that will be observed on this trip. Beginning this summer, ALT is working with IFM to develop Forest Management Plans for these properties and to assist ALT in pursuing FSC certification.
“Integrated Forest Management has partnered with many landowners and organizations throughout the Androscoggin River Watershed with long term sustainability as a primary goal. Good forest management is one of the key elements to protecting soil and water quality in this region and also providing for ecological and economic sustainability for the many communities in which we ourselves live and work,” states Jeremy Stultz, IFM Vice President.
The Sunday paddling segment, from Riley Dam in Jay to Spruce Mountain in Jay, including a short portage at Pine Island, will transition paddlers from a working forest landscape to the historic industrial villages of Chisholm (Jay) and Livermore Falls. After the river trip, paddlers will be invited to a community reception and open house hosted by Maine’s Paper and Heritage Museum, in downtown Livermore Falls. At the reception, Chisholm Trails, the new trails group in the Jay-Livermore Falls region, will publicly unveil for the first time concepts for a “Riverfront School Trail” to connect the Jay and Livermore Falls Middle Schools, to each other and along the river, via a new trail. The former Otis Paper Mill, now owned by Otis Ventures LLC, would be a central point for the proposed new trail, offering an unique approach to reconnecting the communities and that industrial facility to the Androscoggin River.
“For the last six months, the local community members leading Chisholm Trails have been fortunate to have not only the support of the National Park Service in this effort, but multiple landscape architects that have offered pro-bono technical assistance in this trail planning, including Jennifer Claster of Wright-Pierce and independent landscape architects Dan Morabito and Chris Di Matteo. We are excited to showcase their work and the possibilities for recreation along the river in this community,” states Jonathan P. LaBonte, executive director of ALT.
With the movement in Maine to protect and promote quality of place as an economic development strategy, these two days of paddling are expected to offer attendees a glimpse into this strategy in action through both working landscapes and conservation and downtown revitalization and walkable communities.
For those seeking more information, requests can be made to the Androscoggin Land Trust at 207-782-2302 or the Androscoggin River Watershed Council at 207-754-8158. On-line registrations for the Trek are now available at http://androscogginwatershed.org/trekform.html
Saturday July 24th - 9 AM
Sustainable Forestry and Conserved Working Landscapes
Start at Dixfield Boat Access, Dixfield (1.5 miles east of U.S. Route 2)
End at Riley Dam, Jay (off Route 140)
Bring your own lunch
Sunday July 25th – 9 AM
Start at Riley Dam, Jay (off Route 140)
End at Spruce Mountain, Jay (Spruce Mountain Road, off Route 4)
Sunday July 25th – 1 PM
Public Unveiling of Chisholm Trails Proposed “Riverfront School Trail”
Maine’s Paper and Heritage Museum
22 Church Street, Downtown Livermore Falls
Light Refreshments sponsored by Verso Paper
The Androscoggin Land Trust is a membership supported land conservation organization dedicated to protecting, through land conservation and stewardship, the important natural areas, traditional landscapes and outdoor experience in the Androscoggin River watershed. ALT currently conserves over 3,750 acres. Chisholm Trails, a program of the Androscoggin Land Trust, has organized to lead an effort to build the “Riverfront School Trail” in Jay and Livermore Falls