January 22

Scarborough Land Trust will buy former cattle farm

The Benjamin Farm property abuts the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.

By Gillian Graham ggraham@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The Scarborough Land Trust announced Wednesday that it will buy a 126-acre former farm in a densely populated section of town.

The Benjamin Farm property is one of the last large open spaces in the Pleasant Hill Road area of Scarborough. The land trust will buy the property for $2.5 million.

The land trust has until December to complete the purchase. It plans to submit an application to the town’s Land Bond fund and plans to launch a public campaign for financial support.

Benjamin Farm, which includes open fields, woods and wetlands, is just over a mile from Higgins Beach and borders the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. The farm is owned by the children of Jerrerd Benjamin, who died in 2006. Benjamin farmed the property for more than 50 years and raised beef cattle.

“Benjamin Farm is the property everyone asks us about and it has long been our top priority,” said Paul Austin, the land trust’s president, in a prepared statement. “We worked with Mr. Benjamin in the late 1990s and have been working with the family ever since he died. This is a spectacular, one-of-a-kind property.”

Austin said the land has the potential for trails, offers scenic views and still has potential for agricultural use.

“We are so pleased that my father’s dream to conserve this property will now come true,” said Kathy Perrault, Benjamin’s daughter.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

ggraham@pressherald.com

Twitter: @grahamgillian

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