I am grateful for the recent article that reported on a local effort to conserve the northern half of Clapboard Island for public access. The purchase and conservation of a significant portion of this beautiful island just off Falmouth’s shoreline represents a unique opportunity. For the first time in 100 years, this parcel was placed on the market and a group of local citizens, the Falmouth Land Trust, and Maine Coast Heritage Trust are working together to purchase and conserve approximately 15 acres of the island. The parcel includes several pebble beaches and trails that would be made available for low-impact daytime recreation like hiking, picnicking and swimming. If successful, the effort will also preserve a small undeveloped lot on Madokawando Landing.

This effort will only succeed with the support of the community. A strong fundraising effort has gathered nearly $200,000 in pledges and continues to reach out to the public. Additional funding will come from the sale of an island cottage. In order to achieve the funding required, a request for open space funding will be made to the Falmouth Town Council. A presentation to the council is scheduled by Jan. 13, when details of the purchase, conservation and stewardship plan for the island parcel will be discussed.

I urge interested citizens to attend the presentation and support this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity provide public access to one of the jewels of Casco Bay.

Hugh Smith

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