Kevin McKeon and Mousam Way Land Trust President Gordon Johnston stand in a clearing on the Blanchard Project property in Springvale, which the land trust plans to acquire, in this 2016 file photo. The land trust has created a survey, asking people what  they think should be the focus of the land trust's efforts. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune file photo

Kevin McKeon and Mousam Way Land Trust President Gordon Johnston stand in a clearing on the Blanchard Project property in Springvale, which the land trust plans to acquire, in this 2016 file photo. The land trust has created a survey, asking people what they think should be the focus of the land trust’s efforts. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune file photo

SANFORD  — What do community members feel is the most important task in the  Sanford Springvale Mousam Way Land Trust’s repertoire? What should the trust emphasize — what do people feel matters most or least?

The land trust’s board of directors wants to know local residents opinions, and have set up an online survey to gauge what people believe is important. 

The survey, available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/JM3RSNF, takes only a few minutes to complete, said land trust President Gordon “Bud” Johnston.  

“Your input will be greatly appreciated and considered as we evaluate our goals for the next five years,” said Johnston. “Over the past 19 years our emphasis has been on public access to most of our reserves and education through presentations, tours and field trips.”

Among other  questions, the survey asks participants to rate what they feel is most important or least important, or what they are neutral on, like preserving land and resources for the future, trails and areas for outdoor recreation, outdoor learning and wildlife watching, educating students about the environment, and more.

“We’re interested in knowing what people thoughts are,” said land trust member Lawrence Furbish, who crafted the survey with his wife Barbara Sutliffe. “There are a lot of ways we could spent our time and energy, so it would be interesting to know what people would like.”

Johnston pointed out that more than 1,000 Sanford students and teachers have participated in a variety of land trust learning events — among them a 2012 planting of a hybridization of the American chestnut and Chinese chestnut seedlings. The American chestnut tree once grew from southern Maine to Florida, until it succumbed to a lethal fungus known as the chestnut blight during the first half of the 20th century. 

As well, he said, fundraising for the purchase of a significant tract of land — known as the Blanchard Project —  is almost complete, and plans are being made for the creation of an outdoor classroom, an ecology trail and habitat renovations on the parcel. “The survey will provide ideas for the nature of activities that might occur on this land,” he said.

Johnston said results of the survey will be published on the land trust’s website at: mousamwaylandtrust.org.

According to the Maine Land trust Network, the Mousam Way Land trust owns 627 acres in 11 parcels and holds 53 acres in two parcels in conservation easements.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]


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