Cape Elizabeth farm owner donates land for public use

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CAPE ELIZABETH — The farmland where resident Peter Eastman spent his summers will now be permanently preserved for recreational, agricultural and educational purposes.

Eastman granted a conservation easement on the property to the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust this week to ensure protection of the land in perpetuity.

“I’ve been thinking about conservation easements for about 30 to 40 years,” Eastman said. “I would hate to see this land developed, and I can’t take it with me, so this was the right thing to do.”

Eastman, 82, is a resident of Woodland Road. He said his parents bought the 25 acres that make up Turkey Hill Farm in the 1920s and they spent their summers there. The farmhouse is about 200 years old, and the farmland is comprised of woods and open fields.

The farm at 120 Old Ocean House Road is home to the youth development programs of Cultivating Community and hosts the Twilight Supper series and the 20-Mile Meal, where area chefs use local meat and produce to prepare a feast.

“The programs that take place on the farm bring out a bunch of nice kids,” Eastman said. “The programs are a great use for the land.”

In addition to the educational activities that will continue on the farm, Eastman said he has been working with CELT and the town planner to design a trail corridor through the property that will connect to the town’s Greenbelt Trail.

“When I started getting phone calls from developers and private parties who were interested in the land, I knew it was time to act,” he said. “You could fit 11 houses on this parcel, but I don’t want to see that.”

In a press release this week, CELT Executive Director Chris Franklin said the educational activities “will continue alongside CELT’s role of protecting and stewarding Turkey Hill Farm’s natural resources.”

CELT has protected more than 580 acres in the last 25 years.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or