Karen Bolduc shows planners the land where the coal burned spoon sanctuary will be built. Samuel Wheeler/Bethel Citizen

GREENWOOD — At Monday’s planning board meeting, members heard from Karen and John Bolduc on their Coal Burned Spoon Sanctuary project, which was first announced last fall when the couple closed on 470 acres of property next to Mt. Abram. The sanctuary will have 12 tree houses and 12 cabins, with high-end culinary flair.

At the meeting the current Auburn residents gave planners a breakdown of their plans over the course of the next year.

“Our plan is to do a food-focused, back country eco-glamping destination,” Karen said.

A combination of the words “glamorous” and “camping,” glamping provides people with a sense of camping, but with more luxurious amenities.

“Glamping is all about getting people out into the outdoors, but with the rough edges of camping smoothed over,” Karen said of the term. “The goal is to try and meet folks in the middle. We want to give them some of the comforts they are used to at home.”

Bolduc added that glamping is a growing industry and that it’s been a increasing popular activity in the U.S.

They are dividing this year’s plan into four quarters (three months each), with the first six months dedicated to securing funding, obtaining permits and recruiting builders and other workers alike. The third and fourth quarters will focus on employee recruitment and getting underway with construction. They hope to have phase one of their project, which is building the first dozen units, finished by the end of the first quarter in 2021.

They included pictures of other glamping sites to give people an idea of what the sanctuary is going to look like.

They plan to serve meal kits, which will consist of all Maine grown food and produce.

The sanctuary will be built on the site where Calpine had proposed to build its wind turbines in 2018. The property sits on Mt. Abram, Tibbetts Mountain and Elwell Mountain. Most of the land is currently undeveloped, Karen Bolduc said.

The couple searched for an ideal building site for more than a year before choosing Greenwood as a location.

“Greenwood is a quiet, beautiful place. It is outdoor recreating and it seemed like the perfect fit for us,” Karen said.

The Bolducs have found one builder interested in working on the project, but said that they will likely need more than one to complete the sanctuary.

Access for non-motorized activities (hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, etc.) will remain open. Karen said they have spoken to the snowmobile club about possibly rerouting a section of trail that passes through their site. Karen said that it should not be a “major” reroute and that they plan to work with the snowmobile club.

The couple have spoken to the Fire Department about determining an emergency access plan.

Economically they hope that it will create four to six full-time jobs and more than 20 project-based jobs. They also plan to support local farms and businesses.

The Bolducs plan to move to Greenwood this summer.

 


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