Visitors enjoying a stroll along Bean Island. Photo Credit: Lisa Heyward
Dear <<First Name>>,
Frenchman Bay Conservancy (FBC) is ringing in the New Year with a new preserve, Bean Island! Bean Island is a 27-acre wooded island, a little over a mile west of Bean Point in Sorrento, Maine. Bean Island was donated to Frenchman Bay Conservancy by Lisa Heyward of Sorrento on January 7th. A dedicated and passionate conservationist, Heyward is a long-time member and board member of FBC. “My great grandmother purchased Bean Island from two families then passed it along to her daughter, my grandmother, who passed it along to me. We have all loved this small island that sits centerpiece in our view and that of so many Sorrento and Hancock homes. We have also enjoyed that many generations of Sorrento and Hancock families have visited and appreciated the island. I expect that FBC will continue to encourage enthusiastic, responsible public use of Bean Island,” said Lisa Heyward.
In the early 1900s, Bean Island was used by the family for grazing sheep and was primarily open field. Historically, many of the islands in the Gulf of Maine were logged and their timber used for building or firewood. Islands cleared of trees became pastures and offered the opportunity for grazing livestock safeguarded from predators.
In 1975, Lisa's grandmother, opposed to the idea proposed by a grandchild of subdividing and developing as many lots as possible on the island, put it under conservation easement with Acadia National Park. The easement allows for construction of a residential structure and non-permanent dock. FBC’s ownership ensures that the island will remain undeveloped and available for public use for generations to come. "The endowment of Bean Island to Frenchman Bay Conservancy (FBC) is a gift to every citizen of our communities and to the visitors of Downeast Maine. The legacy of Lisa Heyward and her family will forever be preserved by this beautiful place. It is a responsibility that FBC will dutifully uphold through conservation and stewardship," said FBC President, Randy Ewins.
FBC is developing a preserve's management plan, which will be finalized prior to the grand opening event on August 7, 2016 to coincide with our annual meeting. For more information on Bean Island and other preserves, feel free to call us at 207-422-2328. More information about Bean Island and its grand opening will be posted on FBC's Facebook page and website.
Here's to a healthy and happy 2016!
Community Outreach Coordinator