WINTHROP — Mt. Vernon residents George and Linda Smith have helped Kennebec Land Trust (KLT) reach the 6,248 acres conserved mark with their donation of the 125-acre Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area Forest in Mt. Vernon on March 21.
Located off of Route 41, the Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area will be managed to protect wildlife habitat and water quality, for low impact outdoor recreation and as a sustainable forestry demonstration site.
The eastern boundary of the property is close to the largely undeveloped Hopkins Stream corridor. The 125-acre hilly property conserves a 50-acre wetland with a large vernal pool, a well-managed mixed hardwood-conifer forest and a deer wintering area. The interior of the property and parts of Hopkins Stream are identified as resource protection areas in Mt. Vernon’s Comprehensive Plan. The extensive undeveloped uplands and wetlands along the Hopkins stream corridor provide wildlife habitat for ducks and wading birds.
The Smiths know that George’s dad, Ezra Smith, who died in 2014, would have been honored to know that their land was donated to the Kennebec Land Trust in his name. George recently noted, “Linda and I have enjoyed KLT’s trails and programs, and we chose them especially because of their commitment to teaching kids about conservation. Our woodlot will be used to teach kids about wildlife and wildlife habitat, and we’re very excited about that.”
Wetland, wildlife habitat and forest management interpretive signs will be placed at locations along a new trail, which will feature the property’s interior wetland, headwater streams and uplands. A small parking area on Route 41 will provide safe access to the property for school groups, hikers and hunters. The Ezra Smith Conservation Area (ESCA) will be open to the public for year-round outdoor recreation, including hiking, nature observation, fishing and hunting.
A property dedication will be held on Oct. 13. KLT’s staff, summer interns and volunteers will develop the trail this summer.
Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area