Contributed photo via Harpswell Heritage Land Trust

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust has raised $350,000 to purchase and preserve two properties at the mouth of Strawberry Creek.

A news release from trust states: “These properties make up a key part of the signature view seen across Mountain Road from Harpswell Town Hall and are important to Harpswell’s marine economy.”

The trust will purchase 3.3 acres on the east side of the creek mouth, including a tidal island. This land will protect 12 acres of associated intertidal mudflats and rockweed beds, according to the trust.

“Keeping these parcels undeveloped will help protect clean marine waters that are key to the local fishing economy, wildlife and Harpswell’s way of life,” the release states.

“Not only does acquisition of these Strawberry Creek parcels by the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust protect a critically important part of our marine environment, but it also preserves one of the most iconic views in Harpswell,” said Kristi Eiane, Harpswell’s Town Administrator. “We are all beneficiaries.”

The properties’ owners agreed to sell to the trust if the nonprofit could raise $350,000 by early 2021. More than 300 local people contributed to the effort.

“We are blown away by the community support for this project,” said Reed Coles, HHLT’s Executive Director. “This quick success is a tribute to the fondness people in Harpswell have for that iconic view and the importance they place on the health of our marine environment.”

One donor offered a matching gift, which resulted in an additional $70,000 for the trust’s endowment.

The trust also received funding for the project from the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Program, the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Bath Savings Institution, the Davis Conservation Foundation and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

For more information, visit www.hhltmaine.org.

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