Two New Preserves Are In Reach!

Through a combination of private donations and grants, Great Works Regional Land Trust already has successfully protected the Bauneg Beg Mountain Recreation Area and will acquire the Salmon Falls Tidal Waters properties. Together, these projects make up the largest fundraising effort the Trust has undertaken by a factor of two. Thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign!

RESIDENTS OF SOUTH BERWICK: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Learn more about the May 21st vote here.

Salmon Falls Tidal Waters Bauneg Beg Mountain About Woods to Water


The Salmon Falls Tidal Waters Project, or SFTW, is an effort to conserve a unique 79-acre section of land and tidal waters featuring a quarter mile of shore frontage on the Salmon Falls River. Just downstream from Vaughan Woods and Hamilton House in South Berwick, these lands and waters will support biodiversity, promote clean water, and preserve our cultural heritage. Through a combination of private land donations and grants, the Great Works Regional Land Trust has raised $1.4 million to acquire the Salmon Falls Tidal Waters properties in less than two years!

Download the project flyer

South Berwick Residents,

thank you for your support

at the annual town meeting!

On May 21st, voters in South Berwick came out in droves to fill the meeting hall and vote on the 2024/2025 town warrant. The majority of these voters supported Article 20 to use $200,000 from South Berwick’s discretionary funds to establish public access to the Salmon Falls Tidal Waters preserve and help steward (manage) the land for future generations!
As a restatement of community support originally for acquiring the land, this vote now reduces GWRLT’s ask of the town and allows us to use funds where they are most needed. Again, this is not a vote for more money; it’s a vote to use the same funds for a different purpose than expressed on the 2022 ballot. Our success with raising state and federal funds for land acquisition has reduced the funding needed from the Town from the $250,000 to $200,000. That’s a $50,000 savings!

What does this mean?


To see if the Town of South Berwick will vote to appropriate up to $200,000 from the Undesignated Fund to the Great Works Regional Land Trust to support public access to the Salmon Falls Tidal Water property on Old Fields Road. The Town’s funds will be used for stewardship startup costs related to the Salmon Falls Tidal Waters project to include developing a management plan, engineer and construct a parking area, trails, viewing areas, signage, and informational and educational kiosks. The Town Council will review and authorize for such costs submitted by the Great Works Regional Land Trust, within the discretion of the council. This Warrant Article replaces the fall 2022 decision by voters to approve $250,000 in Undesignated Funds to purchase lands for this project.”

– As published in the 2023 Annual Town Report, “Town of South Berwick Warrant 2024/2025” (p. 47)
This vote means that families and individuals with mobility restrictions can easily access the land and makes it possible for GWRLT to minimize human impact on the land and waters. It’s also in keeping with the recent survey to support the Town’s comprehensive plan—most South Berwick citizens want to preserve open space and wildlife areas and approve using town funds to do so.

A no vote would have meant that South Berwick would rescind financial support of this project, even though 78% of voters agreed there should be. Creating public access without this support faces two big hurdles: 1) as with all construction, the costs of installing safe, sustainable access—e.g., parking lots and trails—have skyrocketed; and 2) there are few grant programs that support this type of work.

In addition to thanking South Berwick voters’ resolve in supporting GWRLT, we greatly appreciates the Council’s and Town Manager’s efforts to bring this question back to the people for approval.

Key Attributes: 63 acres of forested uplands with rolling topography and views over the river | 9 acres of salt marsh | 7 acres of tidal mudflats | ¼ mile of frontage along the Salmon Falls River | 2.5 acres of wildlife meadow | 19th century stone walls delineating former pastureland boundaries | A 200-year-old white oak tree | Mature pines and mast trees | Perching and nesting habitat for Bald Eagles and other raptors.

Those more familiar with the Salmon Falls Estuary know that a canoe trip with the incoming tide from the nearby boat launch to head tide will transport the paddler hundreds of years into our past. The value of these largely preserved tidal waters and the surrounding land to our wildlife and water quality is immense.


Bauneg Beg Mountain Recreation Area (BBMRA) establishes a public recreation and wildlife area encompassing the high peak of Bauneg Beg Mountain in North Berwick, Maine.

Including the summit of Bauneg Beg Mountain (873 feet), BBMRA will protect the surrounding 75 acres of second-generation growth Maple, Beech, Pine and Hemlock. There are prominent rock outcroppings and ledges throughout that will meander along the planned trail. The summit is only partially forested and allows for views to the southeast through the southwest, including the Atlantic Ocean. This area not only conserves more contiguous habitat and critical watershed health for the surrounding area, just south of the existing Bang Beg Mountain Conservation Area, but will greatly expand opportunities for sustainable recreation. As an area of high conservation and social value to the region, BBMRA presents a unique opportunity to protect a vital landmark of the region in perpetuity.

Download the project flyer

Key Attributes:  75 acres | Encompasses the highest peak in our six-town service area at 873’ | Only summit in the area without a communications tower | 35-miles view toward the south | Home to the threatened small-whorled pogonia orchid | Prominent rock features | Designated Parking Area | Hiking, biking, birdwatching, photography, hunting, picnics, snowshoeing, and XC skiing.

The State has recognized the ecological values of these hillsides by making them one of the focal areas of the State Wildlife Action Plan. Rare orchids, deer wintering habitat, migrating birds and other species of concern require Bauneg Beg’s habitat. Local conservation success helps create an essential oasis for wildlife in a rapidly growing region. Forests and fields are adaptable functions of land uses, but mountaintops and shoreline are finite and fragile.

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“The preservation of Bauneg Beg Mountain makes me so happy because it is one of the spots that sparked my own personal thirst for adventure. Without the experience of biking and hiking on old tote roads, trails, and ultimately bushwhacking to the top nearly 40 years ago, I might never have fallen so in love with being outside. I hope that every student in our schools gets a chance to visit the top and see that there is so much more to experience, always knowing the mountain will be there when they come home.”

— Beau Lambert, North Berwick Resident and Executive Director of First Push Syndicate

What’s next after Woods to Waters?

With these two projects scheduled to close this calendar year, we have plenty of work on our plate. However, our work does not stop there. GWRLT is currently working on over ten additional conservation projects involving over 400 acres of land, in addition to our commitment to stewarding the land and providing accessible community programs. Building upon our past success and tremendous community support, we are seeking public and private funders to help us continue our mission to save these resources—for everyone, forever!

Woods to Waters Case Statement     Support Woods to Waters 2023

Now more than ever, Great Works Regional Land Trust is counting on your support to complete these conservation projects for our community, our children, and our future—for everyone, forever.

Make your contribution today!

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Kids attempt to traverse a log next to a cliff in the forest at the Kenyon Hill preserve in South Berwick, Maine.
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