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Harpswell Heritage Land Trust Acquires Anna M. Tondreau Preserve

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) closed on the new Anna M. Tondreau Preserve on June 12. This will be the land trust’s 19th preserve with public access in Harpswell.

The acquisition was initiated by the owners’ deep commitment to conserve their family land and honor their mother’s memory. Five siblings – Beth Tondreau, Claire Tondreau, Greg Tondreau, Nancy Tondreau Neely, and Rod Tondreau – approached HHLT in the spring of 2021 to offer the property to the land trust well below the appraised value. Their generosity enabled the land trust to acquire and conserve this 57-acre property and protect its valuable wildlife habitat.

“We are delighted to have been able to offer to the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust our mother’s property for preservation in perpetuity, and we thank the community whose contributions made this project possible,” wrote Nancy, Beth, Rod, Greg, and Claire.

Many local donors contributed to a fundraising campaign organized by HHLT to raise the funds required to complete the purchase and enable long-term stewardship of the preserve.

The Anna M. Tondreau Preserve, located across Route 24 from Harpswell Community School, includes mixed forest and shoreline on Mill Cove. Keeping this land wild benefits current and future generations by protecting clean water, both marine and groundwater; enhancing wildlife habitat; and providing access to the outdoors.

The land trust plans to begin construction of a parking area and trail system on the property this year. The public will be able to access the preserve from a parking area that will be constructed along Harpswell Islands Road.

“We are grateful to the Tondreau family for their generosity and commitment to conservation,” said Wendy Batson, president of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. “This property is an amazing addition to conserved land in Harpswell.”