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228-Acre Partridge Cove Property Conserved by FBC

March 25, 2024

Frenchman Bay Conservancy has closed on the purchase of the 228-acre Partridge Cove property in Lamoine, the site of the highly contested ‘glamp’-ground.

The property will be permanently conserved, reflecting the Town of Lamoine’s support for open space, outdoor recreation, and conservation efforts that promote wildlife habitat and wildlife corridors through the town.

LAMOINE, ME— Frenchman Bay Conservancy (FBC) closed on the purchase of the 228-acre Partridge Cove property in Lamoine, permanently protecting important shoreline and wetland habitat. The property, previously cited to become a ‘glamp’-ground, will now be available for recreation to residents and visitors alike – a much lower impact to the rural Maine community and natural ecosystems.

“This land protection effort was an opportunity to support the self-determination of the residents of the Town of Lamoine, and their decision to protect open space and maintain the character of their community,” shares Aaron Dority, FBC Executive Director. “Conserving this property is a win-win because it creates additional recreational opportunities desired by the town while also protecting the vulnerable habitats that are critical for maintaining climate resilient ecosystems.”

The property, part of a larger 677-acre forest block, also protects a little over a third of a mile of shoreline along Partridge Cove, and was on FBC’s radar long before the ‘glamp’-ground conversation started due to the location’s high conservation value. Partridge Cove is unique because it’s a nearly undeveloped water body connected to Frenchman Bay – one of FBC’s conservation priority areas. Other nearby coves have already been substantially developed along the shoreline, resulting in habitat fragmentation and decreasing the value of nearby wading bird and waterfowl habitat.

After the town voted for a moratorium on development, FBC was able to revisit conservation options for the property. “We’re thankful to the sellers for their willingness to work with Frenchman Bay Conservancy to permanently protect their property so that it can provide a new public access preserve in Lamoine,” shares Erin Witham, FBC Land Protection Manager.

FBC will install a gravel parking lot on the property in order to provide public access, and plans to meet with neighbors and the appropriate Lamoine committees to discuss future use of the property, including trail design. 

“FBC has done great work to advance the cause of natural resource conservation in Lamoine,” observed Larissa Thomas, Chair of the Lamoine Conservation Commission. Thomas said that protecting the Partridge Cove property, “safeguards important wildlife habitat and provides additional open space and shore access in town, which benefits everyone.” Thomas went on to note that FBC has been instrumental in preserving Lamoine’s natural areas, with Marlboro Beach, Whitcomb Woods, and now Partridge Cove. “It is gratifying to see that the groundswell of opposition to the proposed glampground has yielded a significant land conservation achievement, thanks to FBC,” Thomas concluded.

Funding for this acquisition was made possible through FBC’s A Watershed Moment for Frenchman Bay: From the Forest to the Sea comprehensive campaign. FBC is now fundraising for the stewardship costs associated with the property – an estimated $146,500 – that will go towards maintaining and improving access and conservation value of the property. Right now, immediate improvements are needed to allow public access, including replacing a culvert that was severely impacted by the recent winter storms. To contribute to the campaign, visit FrenchmanBay.Org/WatershedMoment.

For questions or further information, please contact Erin Witham, FBC Land Protection Manager, at erin@frenchmanbay.org; (207) 422-2328.