The town of Scarborough has invested $5 million for land conservation over the course of the past 20 years. More than $4 million of additional money was raised to match and amplify the town’s commitment. Together, this has resulted in over 1,000 acres in Scarborough being conserved forever.

For the first time since 2000, the land bond funds have been depleted. That’s why the Scarborough Land Trust proposed a ballot measure to replenish the fund. Our proposal for up to $2.5 million for conservation was recently approved by the Town Council, sending it to voters on Nov. 5.

Contrary to what was reported in both the Scarborough Leader and The Southern Forecaster on Sept. 6, this is not a “land trust fund.” The funds are held and controlled by the Town Council to be dispersed for carefully vetted conservation projects to any of a number of qualified organizations, including the Scarborough Land Trust.

Scarborough is one of the fastest-growing towns in southern Maine. When critical parcels of land come on the market, the town must have the ability to act quickly to protect them. The Scarborough Land Trust has a very good working relationship with the town and this has proven to be a very effective way to protect open spaces, public recreation areas, ecological features and historic characteristics of our town. Having the land bond replenished will mean that funds will be available to be put towards worthy projects approved by the council.

On behalf of the Scarborough Land Trust board of directors, I encourage all voters to green the fund by voting yes on 3 on Nov. 5.

Rick Shinay

President, Scarborough Land Trust