Plummer Point now whole

Plummer Point now whole

Purchase completed in November 2022

Thirty years after Damariscotta River Association acquired the 71-acre Plummer Point Preserve in South Bristol, the purchase of the point’s 14-acre tip now unifies the entire peninsula under Coastal Rivers’ care.

map of the Seal Cove area in South Bristol showing the new conserved area on Plummer PointIf you have visited Plummer Point Preserve, you know what makes it special. Winding trails, views of Seal and Long Cove, plentiful wildlife, and over a mile of shoreline along the Damariscotta River have drawn hikers for decades. The recent purchase brings the entire conserved area of the peninsula to just over 100 acres. This includes the newly acquired tip, the existing preserve, and an adjacent conservation easement.

We’re especially excited about this project because of its importance to the local ecology and to the community. Conserving Plummer Point protects the entrance to Seal Cove, which is home to a variety of wading and migratory birds, fish, clams, and seals.

The mature coastal spruce forest interior is similarly important. The forested tips of peninsulas provide key habitat for songbirds to rest along their migratory routes. Combined with other conserved properties nearby, the total protected land area can also support larger mammals such as fisher and bobcat. Moose have even been sighted in the area.

blue heron on the wing over a rocky beach

Blue heron at Plummer Point Preserve (photo by Coastal Rivers volunteer Walt Barrows)

Expanding the preserve also means new opportunities for recreational and educational use. Given its trail network and deep-water dock, Plummer Point allows easy access to the shoreline and an up-close location to view seals from the land. The preserve also offers bus access and cabins to shelter inside, making it an ideal venue to host school groups.

school group admiring the wolf pine at Plummer Point

Students from South Bristol School on a field trip to Plummer Point Preserve

Director of Education Sarah Gladu has big plans for education programs at Plummer Point. “The preserve offers a lot in terms of natural resources, geology, and rich human history, while still remaining quite accessible,” she notes. Sarah hosted a group of Lincoln Academy students on the property in December, and can’t wait to bring more school groups and summer day campers soon.

The purchase of Plummer Point’s tip was made possible by the support and generosity of community members. More than 40 individuals and families contributed to a fundraising campaign, while members of the family that formerly owned the peninsula’s tip donated their portion of the property value towards fundraising efforts. With a project cost of $1,400,000, we are grateful to all those who contributed to the land acquisition campaign and welcome any additional contributions to the campaign, which would be earmarked for future improvements.

We would also like to thank the Ulin and Richardson families for their loving stewardship of the property across several generations.

Coastal Rivers is evaluating future plans for Plummer Point, which include extending the trail system, reinforcing the pier, and removing one or more structures.

vista from the trail at Plummer Point Preserve

Climate Strategy and Conservation Fellow Tahlia Mullen is a native of South Bristol and a graduate of Lincoln Academy. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2022 with a degree in Government and Environmental Studies, and is taking a gap year before attending graduate school.

Aerial photo of the tip of Plummer Point by Michael Austin Kane.