Cape Elizabeth preserve fundraising enters final phase

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Dollar by dollar, the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust is closing in on the funding needed to buy 63 acres of woods off Shore Road.

Chris Franklin, the trust executive director, this week said the final $100,000 needed to raise $1.2 million for Robinson Woods II will be helped by matching donations from Cape Elizabeth resident and trust supporter Paul Coulombe.

The matching grants are at the heart of the efforts to raise the last of the needed funding.

“Paul has been a great friend of the organization, and he immediately recognized the importance his gift would have by encouraging others to support this campaign.” Franklin said in a news release.

Once obtained, Robinson Woods II would combined with 80 acres of adjoining woodlands purchased by the trust in 2003 and used for biking, hiking, birding and educational purposes.

Franklin said the new parcel is a habitat for waterfowl and wading birds and has about a mile of trails that are part of the town Greenbelt network.

The land trust has held an option to buy the additional parcel since last spring.

Last summer, councilors allocated $150,000 from municipal land acquisition funds and $200,000 in bonds to assist the trust purchase. The $200,000 is part of about $240,000 saved when municipal bonds from 2001 were refinanced at a lower interest rate.

A CELT application for money from the state Land for Maine’s Future fund was denied last summer.

Franklin said the current available total of $1.1 million has been raised with the municipal commitment and “$175,000 from the trust board of directors and organizational land reserves, $312,000 in private foundation grants and $246,000 in individual donations.”

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.