Cape Elizabeth Land Trust to add 52 acres to Robinson Woods

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Cape Elizabeth Land Trust has reached agreement with Robinson Family LLC to purchase nearly 52 acres of land.

The purchase of the land adjacent to Robinson Woods on Shore Road will ensure its fields and trails are preserved and remain open to the public.

A final price has not been set, outgoing CELT President Anne Carney said Wednesday, although the trust also received preliminary approval for $250,000 in grant funding for the acquisition from the Land for Maine’s Future program. The program is the state’s primary funding vehicle for conserving land for natural and recreational value.

Founded in 1985, nonprofit CELT permanently protects more than 680 acres of land in town.

Robinson Woods includes approximately 145 acres and has more than 3 miles of trails that are open year-round for hiking, dog-walking, mountain biking, Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing. According to a news release, CELT volunteers conducted a study to count visitors and found an average of 950 visitors enjoy the woods during a typical summer week.

The trust purchased the first 80-acre parcel of Robinson woods in 2003 and in 2012 added 63 acres for $1.2 million.

Carney said Nov. 29 that the Robinson family approached the trust earlier this year about the possibility of expanding the preserve.

At nearly 200 acres, the extended preserve will create the largest area of conserved land in Cape Elizabeth. It will also protect Robinson Woods from housing developments being built next to the property.

The expansion includes land along the southern end of the existing preserve, connecting to the Olde Colony Lane and Beach Bluff neighborhoods.

Carney said the Cape project moved quickly because of the opportunity to participate in the LMF program.

“It was a wonderful team effort to put together the elements of the purchase agreement and the Land for Maine’s Future application,” she said. “To me, that’s the most remarkable aspect of this acquisition … the way the landowner, CELT staff and volunteers, Land for Maine’s Future, the town, and members of the community have and will continue to work together to preserve these beautiful 52 acres of forest, fields, habitat, pond’s edge and trails.”

Jocelyn Van Saun can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or Follow her on Twitter @JocelynVanSaun.

The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust has signed an agreement to acquire and preserve a 52-acre parcel of land adjoining the existing 145-acre Robinson Woods.