Join Judy Outside: Local Hotspots

ArrayJanuary 23, 2020 at 1:59 pm

By Commissioner Judy Camuso

Working as a Wildlife Biologist in the Gray office for 7 years, I visited many properties in the Region, and got to know some of them very well.  One of my responsibilities was to track winter severity for deer on MDIFW’s property in York.  This required I visit the site and take detailed measurements on snow depth, compaction and profile in several different habitat types as well as look for and measure wildlife tracks and sinking depths.

At first this task seemed a bit tedious to me; the same things week after week.  Toward the end of the first winter I was amazed at how familiar I had become with our property. How I could tell where I was, by the distinctive features on the landscape, or how I knew where I could expect to see tracks of a particular species. 

When you spend this much time on a property, you really get to know it.  It was so interesting to me one day in late March when I was crossing one of the many brooks and I could see how much more water was flowing – that told me spring was on the way.  No matter how much snow we might get in the next few weeks, it wouldn’t last.  I love having that level of familiarity with a property. 

One of the things I love about where I live is the great access to the outdoors.  Winslow Park, and Florida Lake in Freeport, and Old Town Hall Park in Yarmouth are among my favorites.  I also like to explore new places when I get the chance, and as part of this blog series I’ll try to post about some of the new places I explore as I travel around the state. 

A few weeks ago, I visited a property that is new to me; Woodward Point Preserve in Brunswick.  This property is owned by Maine Coast Heritage Trust and co-managed with the Brunswick/Topsham Land Trust.  The property was secured with funding from a combination of sources; USFWS’s Coastal Wetland Program, the Land’s for Maine’s Future Program, the Town of Brunswick, and many private donations.  It’s about 80 acres right on the New Meadows River with fields, forests, beautiful views of the water, a shell midden, and great trails.  It’s one of the largest undeveloped parcels in northern Casco Bay. 

When I was there on a sunny Sunday afternoon, there were lots of other visitors; the parking lot can accommodate 12-15 vehicles and it was almost full!  Some people were cross-country skiing, some snowshoeing and others just walking with the occasional post holing (not my favorite!). It was wonderful to see so many people out on a blustery winter day.  There were lots of ducks in the river, and I imagine it’s loaded with songbirds in the spring. 

There is a lot there and and a lot to see, and I will for sure add this to my list of local hotspots! Looking for a new hotspot? You can always try it has a great search feature that will list properties and trails right near where you live.

Where is your favorite local hotspot?  Let me know and maybe I’ll see you there!