PORTLAND — The city may pony up $75,000 to purchase Canco Woods, saving an ad hoc neighborhood park from development.

A 12.9-acre parcel of land between Canco Road and Torrey Street was put under contract to be sold to a developer earlier this year, prompting area residents to mount a public campaign to preserve the land.

Over the years, area residents have built bridges that cross wetlands and a stream. The trails connect to others in the Portland Trails network.

The pending sale fell through and the Trust for Public Lands, a national nonprofit group with an office on Danforth Street, entered into an agreement to buy the land for $350,000 from the Union Power Water Co., which is affiliated Central Maine Power Co.

The trust gave area residents, who formed the Friends of Canco Woods, six months to raise the $400,000 needed to close on the sale, with the extra $50,000 going toward maintaining the property.

According to a memo to the City Council, residents have received $200,000 in pledges. They have until the end of November to raise the rest.

The memo says the trust has applied for $90,000 in grants toward the purchase.

Tonight, the City Council will consider a proposal to spend $75,000 from the city’s land bank fund to purchase the land. The council will not vote on the proposal until its next meeting.

The memo states that the trust is expected to close on the sale on Dec. 14 and immediately convey the property to the city, which will in turn convey a conservation easement to the Portland Trails.


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