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Land trust closes deal for Scarborough woodlands

News

Land trust closes deal for Scarborough woodlands

SCARBOROUGH — More than 150 acres of woods, fields and wetlands are now under the stewardship of the Scarborough Land Trust.

Kathy Mills, executive director of the trust, said the purchase of 156 acres of land from Harvey Warren was completed last Friday after the trust met its $365,000 fundraising goal for the purchase and stewardship costs.

The acreage, known as "Warren Woods," is in the center of town, roughly bounded by Payne and Gorham roads and the Nonesuch River. The property includes frontage on the Nonesuch River, the largest freshwater source of the Scarborough Marsh.

Six acres of the land will be turned over to the town for future use as a recreation area off Payne Road. The Town Council approved that agreement on Dec. 19.

Almost $229,000 of the purchase price came primarily from the town land bond fund.

Trust President Paul Austin said more than $136,000 was raised privately, with contributions from the Davis Conservation Foundation, Phineas W. Sprague Memorial Foundation, Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, Friends of Scarborough Marsh and more than 80 individual donors.

Austin said plans to develop trails will be made beginning next year.

She said biologists surveying the property discovered a rare pitch pine bog and habitats for carnivorous sundew plants, wild orchids and varied wildlife species.

"There's a lot of property planning and stewardship work to be done. We're thrilled to have protected this gem of a property," Austin said.

Warren Woods is named in honor of Harvey Warren's late wife, long-time trust director Elaine Stimson Warren. The Warrens' daughter, Becky Seel, was a founding trust director.

"My father is very happy to be able to honor the memory of my mother by selling this parcel to the Scarborough Land Trust," Seel said. "This land has been a very special part of my parents' lives since they bought it in 1966."

Since 1977, the land trust has conserved more than 1,200 acres of land, including Fuller and Broadturn farms on Broadturn Road and Libby River Farm off Spurwink and Black Point roads.

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