Beaver Dam Heath

Beaver Dam Heath is a 1,500+ acre mosaic of wetland and upland forests, one of the few unfragmented wetland complexes remaining in the southern region of Maine. It provides critical habitat to two rare animal species (the Blanding’s turtle and the spotted turtle) and one rare plant species, the Atlantic white cedar. It lies mostly in Berwick, north of Route 9, south of Old Sanford Road, and west of Diamond Hill Road in North Berwick.

A great sense of isolation exists within the heath since none of the surrounding hills
are visible from the interior, and none of the heath is visible from the surrounding hills.

- Bill Bryan, Great Works newsletter Winter/Spring 2008

Beaver Dam Heath, A HiddenTreasure
There is a treasure in Berwick known to only a few. Most people have seen only the fringes of this important and fragile wetland, Beaver Dam Heath, while driving along Old Sanford Road.

Looking into the watery grassland to stunted trees and dense shrubs it would not be surprising to see moose grazing or ducks meandering among the hummocks, secure in a world that provides their daily living. In the autumn we might see the scarlet of red maples with the soft gold from drying marsh grass illuminated against the dark clouds of an approaching storm.

Beaver Dam Heath is home to many species of plants and animals. It is recognized as a critical habitat by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W) and Great Works Regional Land Trust has listed the heath as a Focus Area in our recently adopted Conservation Plan. The largely undisturbed 1,672 acres of interspersed wetlands and uplands provide ample space for animals that need extensive range and diverse habitat to thrive. It is home to the endangered Blanding’s turtle and the threatened Spotted turtle that have both suffered from loss of habitat.

It hosts vernal pools, those temporary wetlands that are the primary breeding grounds of salamanders, frogs and fairy shrimp. Beaver Dam Heath is also home to Atlantic White Cedar, at the northern end of its range and rare in Maine.

click here to view Beaver Dam Heath on Google Maps

click here to view 2008 Great Works newsletter with article about Bill & Carol Bryan and Beaver Dam Heath.

click here to read more about the Natural Communities present in Beaver Dam Heath