A land trust said it has taken steps to preserve two critical properties on Chebeague Island.

The Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust said it purchased a 24-acre tract of forest in the center of the island, known as Littlefield Woods, and also accepted the donation of Sanford’s Pond, a skating pond, and some land surrounding it, on the island.

The land trust said Littlefield Woods was a top priority for protection because it is part of the largest remaining forestland on the island and contains wildlife habitat, a system of popular trails and wetlands. In addition, the land trust said, the forest helps sustain the island’s sole source aquifer.

“Knowing that Littlefield Woods will be protected for future generations is so exciting to me,” Chebeague resident Beverly Johnson said. She visits the woods frequently, and takes students from the Chebeague Island School there to study the ecology of the woods.

“It is a true treasure that will benefit the island in more ways than we can even imagine right now, ” Johnson said.

The woods connect to the Durgin Trail, which was protected by a trail easement acquired by CCLT in 2017.

The land trust’s purchase of the property was completed on March 3, and the trust said the sales price was below market value due to the cooperation of the previous owners, Leila and Suhail Bishara. Leila Bishara’s father, Blanchard Bates, was one of the founders of CCLT.

The skating pond was donated on March 15 by Jackie Trask. Trask’s mother, Mabel Doughty, was also a founder of the land trust and her father, Sanford Doughty, created and maintained the pond.

Jackie Trask also donated a half-acre of land and a strip of property to provide access to the shore at Bennett’s Cove.

The land trust said that, in addition to skating in the winter, the pond and its shore can be used as an environmental education site in the summer.

Comments are not available on this story.