The Nature Conservancy has transferred ownership of St. Clair Preserve in Northport to the Coastal Mountains Land Trust and will mark the change with an open house at the preserve Saturday, Oct. 24, at 10 a.m.

Anyone interested in attending, or who has questions, may contact the land trust office at info@coastalmountains.org or 236-7091.

The 305 acres transferred in September include the shoreline on both the northeastern and southwestern sides of Knight Pond with significant wetlands, a cedar bog, and extensive spruce-fir forests as well as land extending up to the mid-slope of nearby Ducktrap Mountain.

"Coastal Mountains Land Trust is honored to take charge of the stewardship of this ecologically significant land," the land trust said in a press release.

The preserve is high in conservation value for many reasons. It sits in the midst of a large area of undeveloped land adjacent to Camden Hills State Park, the Ducktrap Wildlife Preserve, and a number of conservation easements held by Coastal Mountains Land Trust. It provides habitat for Atlantic white cedar, a formerly common species in the northeastern United States. Other threatened species include the New England bluet, a damselfly listed as a species of greatest concern in Maine’s Wildlife Action Plan.

Establishment of the St. Clair Preserve dates back to 1962 when the original 252 acres of the preserve located on the northeast side of the pond were donated by Cary Bok. Bok apparently named the preserve after the caretaker of the property, Eugene St. Clair. Subsequently, a second 53-acre tract of land on the southwestern shore of Knight Pond was added to the preserve through a donation made by the founders of the Ducktrap Wildlife Preserve Inc., Hans and Brigitta Gautschi.

The best way to experience the preserve is by canoe or kayak launched from the town of Northport’s boat ramp at the southern end of Knight Pond at the end of Knight’s Pond Road.

Coastal Mountains Land Trust has worked since 1986 to permanently conserve land to benefit the natural and human communities of the western Penobscot Bay. The land trust has protected over 10,000 acres to date.