Former Sidney resident Leann Diehl has donated seven acres of hayfields at the corner of Dinsmore and Goff roads to the Kennebec Land Trust. The land extends the group’s neighboring 35-acre Reynolds Forest conservation and recreation area. Courtesy of Kennebec Land Trust

SIDNEY — The Kennebec Land Trust has acquired 7 acres of hayfields in Sidney, effectively preventing the area from being developed.

The donation by Leann Diehl, a former resident of the town, extends the conservation group’s neighboring 35-acre Reynolds Forest property, according to the nonprofit.

Courtesy of Kennebec Land Trust

“As soon as the Kennebec Land Trust secured the Reynolds Forest, I knew I wanted to add my adjacent seven-acre open land to the preserve,” Diehl said in a statement issued by the land trust. “The Reynolds Forest brought our family much joy. We are extremely grateful to KLT for its efforts to keep wild places wild, and we hope visitors will enjoy exploring this new addition to Reynolds Forest.”

Reynolds Forest offers a range of recreational opportunities, including hiking along about a half-mile of trails, cross-country skiing, fishing and birding.

The site features waterfalls along Goff Brook and the foundation of a cellar from a former saw or grist mill established there in the 18th century. It can be accessed from a trailhead near 2736 West River Road, with visitors asked to park along the road.

“KLT manages this land to protect wildlife habitat and water quality, as well as for low-impact outdoor recreation,” the organization wrote in its statement.

The newly added fields at the corner of Dinsmore and Goff roads will be hayed by a Sidney dairy farmer, according to the land trust. The farmer will also hay a field on the existing Reynolds Forest property.

The 7-acre addition will be dedicated in a ceremony that includes a hike on Wednesday, July 19, at 5:30 p.m.

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