Friday, July 29, 2022

East Windham Conservation Project expands, offers new matching challenge

The Town of Windham and the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust have partnered to create a conservation and outdoor recreation destination called the East Windham Conservation Project and this past week, the project expanded to 750 acres, with one more adjacent landowner agreeing to conserve their land as part of this project, growing the project by 85 acres.

A map is shown of the new East Windham
Conservation Project which includes more 
than 700 acres of forested land and 10-plus
miles of multi-use recreational trails.
“We are pleased that four landowners are working with us to conserve their lands that make up the East Windham Conservation Project,” said Jarrod Maxfield, Windham Town Council chair. “As Windham continues to grow, we are proud to partner with the Land Trust to provide a significant open space and outdoor recreation project that residents have made clear, through the Open Space Plan, is a community priority.”

Like Bradbury State Park, this project will provide more than 700 acres of forested land, 10-plus miles of multi-use recreation trails and exceptional scenic vistas. The scenic views on this project will overlook the White Mountains and quiet Little Duck Pond.

In addition, this project will have a one-mile universal access trail that will allow people of all abilities to exercise and experience the fantastic views at the scenic vistas.

According to Rachelle Curran Apse, Presumpscot Regional Land Trust Executive Director, this project will also become part of a conservation corridor stretching through Windham into Falmouth, protecting the water quality of the surrounding streams, Forest Lake and Highland Lake, and connecting to 20 miles of existing trails.

The East Windham Conservation Project is nearly a reality because 80 percent of the project’s funding has been raised primarily through $1 million from the Land for Maine’s Future state grant program and $1.8 million from a Town of Windham conservation bond, paid for with open space impact fees.

A federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grant for $500,000 is pending.

The land trust is leading the private fundraising effort and needs to raise $400,000 in private fundraising this summer for the conservation easement, trail building, recreational amenities, and long-term stewardship of the land, which is needed for this project land to be conserved this fall.

Gorham Savings Bank has just announced that they are providing a $50,000 matching challenge. Every gift made by individuals and families to the Land Trust for this project will be matched this summer until the matching challenge has been met.

“Gorham Savings Bank is proud to support this initiative, which will provide exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities to the Greater Portland community for generations to come,” said Steve deCastro, President and CEO of Gorham Savings Bank. “And we hope our matching funds will inspire others to donate and help the Land Trust in achieving its fundraising goal.”

Curran Apse said the land trust is grateful for the donation and thanked Gorham Savings Bank in helping the community to fund this important and significant project.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a conservation and outdoor recreation project the size of Bradbury State Park in Windham,” she said. “We are now looking to individuals and families throughout Windham to donate to this project and make this vision a reality.”

To learn more and support the East Windham Conservation Project go to: <

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