A $47,000 anonymous gift has helped the Royal River Conservation Trust meet its fundraising goal to preserve land around Pisgah Hill in New Gloucester.

The gift, made by a local family, will enable the land trust to acquire about half of the 240 acres in a project to conserve wildlife habitat and create a hiking path to the top of the hill, the second-highest elevation in New Gloucester. The trail would link to the Bradbury Mountain and Pineland trails.

“These parcels were key to giving us access to get to the top,” said Henry Nichols, the land trust’s executive director.

Mark Powers, head of the Pisgah Hill Campaign Committee, said the project is important because it protects a large tract of open space. “That is what is disappearing very quickly in Cumberland County,” he said.

The hill is similar to Bradbury Mountain in Pownal, with a rocky summit and views of Mount Washington and the Atlantic Ocean. An abandoned quarry at the top of Pisgah Hill was the source of much of the granite that was used in the construction of New Gloucester’s historic buildings.

The Land for Maine’s Future Program has pledged $260,000 for the project, which will require about $450,000 to accomplish.

The Royal River Conservation Trust is a nonprofit group that works to protect land for water quality, wildlife, recreation, farming and forest in Auburn, Brunswick, Cumberland, Durham, Gray, Freeport, New Gloucester, North Yarmouth, Poland, Pownal, Raymond and Yarmouth.

 

Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at: [email protected]