Courtesy Photo

SCARBOROUGH — The Scarborough Land Trust has recently purchased land to expand Warren Woods Preserve.  

In December 2021, the Scarborough Land Trust completed the purchase of 55 acres of two parcels which neighbor the 156-acre Warren Woods Preserve. The purchase is aimed to expand the preserve and protect the stretch of Nonesuch River. The parcel would protect 1,400 feet of the Nonesuch River, forested wetlands, and forest.  

According to a statement made by Scarborough Land Trust Board President Rick Shinay, Warren Woods is a treasured area of the town.  

“It’s an ‘island’ of diverse habitat and wildlife surrounded by development. When an opportunity to grow the island presented itself, we knew it was a gift and that we had to act quickly,” Shinay said.  

The expansion will connect the Warren Woods Preserve to a Land Trust property on the east side of Gorham Road. This will allow a connection for wildlife species such as deer, fox, and otters as well as a diverse array of plant species that are only found in pitch pine bogs. The purchase will allow SLT to expand the existing trail and will provide additional lands to open for hunting and fishing.  

In August, SLT received a $10,000 donation from Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s that helped jump start the campaign to purchase the parcel of land. The funds from the donation were used to purchase a 16.5 acre property called Libby Parcel, located on Gorham Road, which contains 1,400 feet of the Nonsuch River.


With community support, SLT was able to put down half of the purchase price. Individual supporters and four anonymous donors contributed $175,000. According to a statement made by Andrew Mackie, executive director of SLT, The Friends of Scarborough Marsh, Fields Pond Foundation and SLT were able to raise 60 percent of the total price in only three weeks. The rest of the money came from the reserve funds which is the primary funding source for SLT’s operations.  

“It’s always a good day when we’re able to preserve ecologically-significant and fast-disappearing open land — especially when it’s close to other protected property,” Mackie said. “What was particularly gratifying about this acquisition was our ability to meet a remarkably tight timeline to get the job done. Generous community support allowed SLT to put down over half of the purchase price, and we borrowed the rest from our reserve funds — the primary funding source for our operations and stewardship of conserved lands. Our goal is to replenish the funds within the next 12 months to ensure the ongoing health of the properties we have protected. That’s going to require significant community support.”  

SLT is working on the properties to help increase public access, outdoor recreational opportunities, connect existing conservation lands, secure wildlife habitat, conserve river frontage, and help protect town waters and the Scarborough Marsh.  

Since its founding in 1977, the Scarborough Land Trust has acquired 27 properties with more than 1,450 acres of natural and agricultural land that it conserves and protects. The nonprofit also manages eight properties that are open to the public and have several trail systems. Other properties are maintained for wildlife habitat and watershed protection.  

The preserve, for those wishing to visit it, is located at 363 Payne Road, Scarborough. To learn more about the events going on or the expansion or to donate, go to the Scarborough Land Trust website at 


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