The Kennebec Land Trust has permanently protected the 55-acre Weston Woods Preserve on Little Cobbossee Lake in East Winthrop. Courtesy Norm Rodrige

WINTHROP — After over a year of planning and fundraising, the Kennebec Land Trust (KLT) has announced that it has permanently protected the 55-acre Weston Woods Preserve on Little Cobbossee Lake in East Winthrop.

Conserving the land, which is adjacent to the trust’s 90-acre Little Cobbossee Oatway Preserve, advances KLT’s mission of protecting ecosystems and providing open space for the region’s communities.

The acquisition was made possible with a donation from Bob and Jim Weston, a grant from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program (MNRCP), and KLT and community members. Weston Woods includes 1,315 feet of undeveloped shoreline; forested, scrub-shrub and emergent wetlands; 1,500 feet of perennial streams; and land designated as Inland Waterfowl and Wading Bird Habitat. Two rare plants have been identified on the property: Columbian water-meal (Wolffia columbiana) and pointed water-meal (Wolffia brasilensis).

KLT will manage the preserve to protect wetlands, water quality and wildlife habitat, as well as for low-impact recreation, including hiking, hunting, snowmobiling and nature observation. In 2021, KLT’s stewardship staff and summer interns will create a new trail to link Weston Woods with the west shore of the Oatway Preserve. A snowmobile trail that crosses the northern portion of the property will continue to be open and maintained by the Hillandalers Club. An August 2021 property and trail dedication is planned.

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