We are excited to announce that the Royal River Conservation Trust (RRCT) has purchased 147 acres adjacent to Libby Hill Trails which will be called the Thayer Brook Preserve! Thanks to the generosity of the Durgin and Rogers families, RRCT completed the purchase of the property in late March. Special thanks to Carl Holmquist of the Gray Community Endowment, Alan Stearns of the RRCT, and anonymous donors who helped make the preserve a reality for Gray.
The new preserve will contribute to the Town of Gray’s Comprehensive Plan and Open Space Plan goals of having open space available for recreation, conservation, and public access. The new preserve will be a separate entity from Libby Hill Trails; however, a one-mile section of the Harold Libbey and Outback trails exist on this parcel. Those trails now will be forever protected and always accessible. This parcel also protects the Thayer Brook watershed and marsh which is home to many nesting waterfowl and other wildlife.
RRCT will now begin its preserve creation process. This includes meetings with local landowners, ATV club, snowmobile club, town officials, trail users, and the citizens of Gray to determine the best usage of the property that will align with the RRCT Conservation Principles. A short-term and long-term land management plan will be created to act as a blueprint for managing the property. The preserve will be an active partner with Libby Hill Trails in coordinating projects that impact both systems. New trails will be created over the next year to complement and connect to Libby Hill Trails.
RRCT is also creating a Preserve Outreach Group to gather local input and resources to get the preserve created. This group will be spending about a year on this project to gather public input, work on trail design, help develop the management plans, and learn about land preservation principles. Steve McPike will be heading this group. If you would like to get involved with this group, Steve is looking for more members. Please contact him at SteveMcPike@Gmail.com if you have an interest in getting involved at any level or any questions on the new preserve. Steve is also available to speak to local groups on the new preserve and RRCT conservation plan.
Access to the property is currently limited to the existing ATV/Snowmobile trail that runs through the property. You can get more information and maps of the property on the new Thayer Brook Preserve Page. You can keep up on news and new trails by joining the RRCT mail list and follow RRCT on Facebook. A rough parking area is available on Ramsdell Road which will be upgraded to a full parking lot later this year.
RRCT has regular preserve activities called the Habitat Bunch. This Thursday, April 21st, it has scheduled two sessions to explore the preserve one at 10am-noon, and the other at 5:30-7:30pm. Please Contact: Adam Pereira | adam@RRCT.org | (207) 809-9103 if you would like to attend.