CAPE ELIZABETH — The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust will receive $250,000 from the publicly funded Land for Maine’s Future Program to help purchase 52 acres of woods, fields and trails next to the Robinson Woods Preserve, trust officials said Wednesday.

The trust has signed an agreement with Robinson Family LLC to buy the Shore Road parcel for $845,000, said Cindy Krum, executive director of the trust. The trust received a letter confirming the Land for Maine’s Future funding on Wednesday, she said.

The property runs along the southern edge of the existing preserve, between Olde Colony Lane and Beach Bluff Terrace, just down the road from Fort Williams Park and Portland Head Light. The trust must raise an additional $595,000 to complete a purchase that will ensure public access to the 52 acres and preserve sensitive wildlife habitat forever.

“We plan to work with the town and other community members to preserve these special forests, fields, wildlife habitat and pond’s edge that make this such a priceless acquisition,” said Anne Carney, the trust’s outgoing president.

The current owners have allowed the public to walk and bike on the property, Carney said, but permanent protection is the only way to ensure future recreational access and strong wildlife protections.

At 145 acres, the adjacent Robinson Woods has more than 3 miles of trails and typically draws nearly 1,000 visitors weekly in summer months, the trust said. The preserve is open year-round to area residents and visitors for hiking, mountain biking, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing.

The pending 52-acre acquisition will create the largest area of conserved land in Cape Elizabeth and leave views in Robinson Woods unobstructed by housing that could be built near its pond if the property were developed.

Founded in 1985, the trust has permanently protected more than 680 acres in Cape Elizabeth. The Land for Maine’s Future Program has helped to protect over 600,000 acres across the state in the last 30 years – most of it open to the public for hiking, fishing, swimming, boating and other activities.

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: KelleyBouchard

filed under: