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The Stone Barn Farm Project

In December 2019, MCHT acquired the buildings and surrounding 128 acres to create a unique public preserve. What happens next?

For over a century, Bar Harbor’s iconic Stone Barn has been a welcome sight as travelers cross Mount Desert Island on the Crooked Road. Thanks to generous donors, Maine Coast Heritage Trust was able to acquire the property in 2019, and now the land will always be open as a public preserve. 

“This place means a lot to the Mount Desert Island community, and we’re grateful to the many who made generous gifts to make this project possible,” says MDI project manager Misha Mytar. “I’m so happy to know this place will be here and open to the community for the long haul.”

Since acquiring the property, MCHT stewardship manager Douglas McMullin has been busy putting up signs, improving trails, and laying the groundwork for much needed structural improvements at the preserve. Volunteers have planted sunflowers in homage to previous owners Harry and Cindy Owen, whose care for the land and vision for its protection made this project possible.

Fundraising efforts continue to support stewardship and programming

The land is now protected and open to the public, but there’s still a lot of work to do—and over $350,000 to raise—to make the land more accessible to the public, and to make the Stone Barn Farm Preserve an even greater community asset. MCHT stewardship staff continues to assess the property’s needs and calculate the cost to care for the land and buildings for the long haul.

MCHT is now working to improve parking at the preserve. The addition of a parking lot on an adjacent property, largely hidden from view from the road, will allow more people to enjoy the preserve, and create lovely and safe entryway to the preserve’s 128 acres.

Additional stewardship needs include restoration of the historic barn, which was built around 1907 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. “We want to be sure the Stone Barn and other historic buildings are safe and can be opened to the public, while retaining their traditional character,” says Douglas. He has already led efforts to stabilize the carriage house and has plans to replace its roof later in 2020.

Give Today AND Your Gift will be matched!

A new community gathering place

In addition to structural improvements, MCHT staff are excited by the potential for programming at the preserve.

“We’re so happy that people are coming out on their own and using this preserve,” says Douglas, “but this property’s unique features—including its location, buildings, and open land—make it ripe for community programming. I’m excited about the possibilities for engaging local kids and families and other local folks in new and creative ways.”

In addition to community gardens, Douglas and Misha can imagine a host of other activities the Stone Barn Farm would be perfect for—including seasonal gatherings, night-sky viewings, nature walks, educational field trips, and more.

Want to take a tour with Douglas? Check out the video below!

Give to the Stone Barn Farm Preserve

Every donation counts and will be matched dollar for dollar. We’ll put your gift right to work to care for the Stone Barn Farm Preserve—including its beloved buildings—and to make this place a one-of-a-kind community asset.

Thank you for making a gift today!

Give Today AND Your Gift will be matched!

Making a gift by check is always an option. Make checks payable to Maine Coast Heritage Trust and write “Stone Barn Farm” in the subject line. Please send to this address: Maine Coast Heritage Trust, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 201, Topsham, ME 04086. Thank you!

Questions?

Regarding ongoing fundraising for stewardship and programming contact:

Misha Mytar
Land Protection Project Manager
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
P.O. Box 669
Mount Desert, ME 04660
(207) 244 – 5100

Regarding management of the preserve contact:

Douglas McMullin
Regional Stewardship Manager
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
P.O. Box 669
Mount Desert, ME 04660
(207) 244 – 5100

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