BROOKSVILLE — Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), a statewide land conservation organization, has announced that it has purchased Harbor Island in Brooksville, thanks to the support of the Buck’s Harbor community.
The 22-acre heart-shaped island is in the center of Buck’s Harbor on Eggemoggin Reach and is home to a modest cabin on the south shore.
“We are thrilled to have secured a conservation outcome for this island in spite of the odds,” said Ciona Ulbrich, MCHT’s senior land protection project manager for the region. “Harbor has been for sale with LandVest for a couple of years, which made its future a real unknown. Thankfully, many who love the island stepped forward and contributed to the first phase of this conservation effort.”
In a matter of just a few weeks, more than $1.5 million in grants and private donations were pledged and interim financing was secured toward the $2.35 million purchase price. MCHT is now working to design a final conservation outcome, hopefully within six months.
Harbor Island has been owned for nearly a century by the Kurt/Waller families, since Franklin T. Kurt and Charles E. Gibson bought it in 1927 to save it from being logged for pulp.
The two local land trusts, the Blue Hill Heritage Trust and the Conservation Trust of Brooksville, Castine and Penobscot, also have had Harbor Island on their priority list for protection, due to the possibility that it could be more extensively developed and negatively affect the character of the region.
MCHT is now reaching out to the town of Brooksville and the local community to gather input about conservation options for the property, including various forms of public access.
To learn more about this conservation effort, contact Ulbrich at 244-5100.