TREMONT — A donation of land to Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) will ensure continued public access to a boat launch on Seal Cove Pond.
Virginia Libhart and her family last month transferred ownership of a one-third-acre waterfront parcel off the Tremont Road at the outlet to the pond to MCHT.
“It’s a small piece but an important piece,” said MCHT Project Manager Misha Mytar. “Access to the water is increasingly rare.”
The Libhart family has allowed the public to use the property, and it is a popular spot for launching canoes, kayaks and small boats.
“Ginny [Libhart] and her family reached out to us about that piece,” Mytar said.
The land conservation organization was delighted. During their process of identifying various properties to protect on Mount Desert Island, Mytar said, “this place kept coming up.”
The property and a small home across the road were in the Libhart family for generations, said Virginia and Wayne Libhart’s son Peter Libhart. When his parents sold the property, they retained the portion on the pond with the idea of someday deeding it over for the public use they allowed all along. Wayne Libhart died in 2009.
“My father always wanted it to be open to the public,” Libhart said.
Libhart noted that there is public access from the Acadia National Park land on Seal Cove Pond, but that ends when the park closes the Seal Cove Road during the off-season.
“This gives year-round public access to the pond,” he said.
Libhart said he has fond memories of summers spent on the pond with his family.
“We always had a little dock there and a boat with a motor,” he said. He and his sisters would go out in the boat to some of the swimming holes or to do some waterskiing. Libhart and his sisters also set up a roadside business selling pond lilies they had picked and lemonade.
According to Mytar, there are no major plans for the property during the first year. A long-range management plan is to be developed. There is a small vacant shed on the parcel that is in disrepair that most likely will be torn down.
Libhart said he hopes the respectful public use of the property under the family’s ownership continues.