History

Since its founding in 1973, the Damariscotta River Association has developed from a small advocacy organization with a clear and important cause – the protection of a gem in Midcoast Maine from inappropriate development – into a highly effective membership organization with a record of achievement.

 

Highlights

1973
The Damariscotta River Association incorporates. Initiates inventory of Damariscotta River natural assets, monitoring of watershed resources, and education and information activities.

1987
DRA becomes a conservation land trust.

1988
Purchases the first Salt Bay Preserve property.

1988
Accepts donation of Hodgson’s Island from Ann Stratton, renaming it Stratton Island or Menigawum. By any name it is a gorgeous 26-acre island with nesting eagles and at times osprey as well.

1989
Encourages and provides key financial support for the State of Maine’s purchase of 495 acres of Dodge Point, as the central local partner in Maine’s first state bond-funded acquisition under the brand new Land for Maine’s Future Program (LMF).

1995
Acquires the Great Salt Bay Farm & Heritage Center, which we have since refurbished as a nature and education center. In addition to providing space for our offices and formal educational programs, the farm is used daily by the community for sledding, skiing, wildlife observation, and walking.

2001
Leads successful effort to create the Crooked Farm Preserve in Pemaquid, managed in partnership with a neighboring land trust, Pemaquid Watershed Association (PWA), which holds title to the land.

2002
Promotes the successful creation of the Great Salt Bay Marine Shellfish Preserve.

2003
Accepts donation of the 165-acre Baker Forest on River Road in Newcastle from Robert and Margaret Baker.

2004
Initiates Native American Village Program (>>Wabanaki Living Skills and Culture Program) at its Great Salt Bay Farm property, a program that now involves more than 450 students each year from local schools.

2006
Accepts donation of Big Huckleberry Island from the Biscoe-Fallon Family.

2011
Establishes the DRA Round Top Community Ice Rink, which is now enjoyed by hundreds of community members each year, especially after school and on weekends.

2012
Receives a gift of land in South Bristol, Garber Overlook, from brother and sister Michael and Beth Garber, filling in a “hole in the donut” of connected conservation lands on Jones Cove.

2013
Partners with Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) to secure MFT’s purchase of Phillips Farm in Damariscotta. MFT will sell the land to a farmer and DRA will hold an agricultural conservation easement on the property.

2014
Adds 93 acres to Dodge Point through purchase of the land of Alida Busby in partnership with the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program. The property is known as the Davidson Preserve.