The Downs Donates 25 Acres to Scarborough Land Trust, Expands Public Access/Courtesy Photo

SCARBOROUGH — The Downs development team is donating land to Scarborough Land Trust to expands public access.  

Crossroads Holdings LLC, the real estate development team leading the Scarborough Downs redevelopment project, announced on May 12 that they will donate 25 acres at the Downs to the Scarborough Land Trust. The donation will expand the Warren Woods Preserve on Payne Road to over 250 acres of protected conservation land.  

“Our primary goal for donating this land is to create connectedness and access between The Downs and the entire community, and it has been part of the master plan from the beginning,” said Downs spokeswoman Diana Nelson. “What we are building at The Downs is for everyone to visit and feel part of, not just for the people who live and work in this new part of Scarborough. It has always been a really important part of our master plan to preserve conservation land — we are preserving roughly 40 percent of the overall acreage at The Downs as either conservation or maintained open, green space and this land donation fit right in.”

The Downs is donating 25 acres to the Scarborough Land Trust to expand the Warren Woods preserve. Drew Johnson / The Forecaster

“Scarborough Land Trust is a wonderful steward of our town’s natural resources,” she said, “and they have the expertise needed to build out the trails and visitor experience, so it just makes a lot of sense for them to manage, maintain and conserve this space. Additionally, Scarborough has a really great existing trail system that includes dozens of miles within the Scarborough Land Trust and even more trail miles on the Eastern Trail.”  

According to the release, in 2021 and 2022 the Scarborough Land Trust expanded Warren Woods Preserve by 71.5 acres through two other investments. SLT has been working this past winter to expand the land under its protection throughout the town.  

The donated land is located on the west side of The Downs project and is part of the developers’ plan to create a new town center at the Downs. The Downs includes a variety of residential, commercial, and recreational uses. They are also developing a business innovation district, a downtown district, recreational parks, and trails. Developers plan to connect the train in Warren Woods to promote public access to both The Downs and Warren Woods.  

“We want The Downs to be walkable, and accessible, and whenever possible we want our trails to link up with the existing trails,” Nelson said. “The bigger picture for this is that we want residents and visitors to be able to access The Downs through a variety of transportation modes beyond just car traffic. We are constructing 8 miles of our own trails and sidewalks, creating public transit routes from The Downs to a variety of key cities, and hopefully, someday we will develop paths from The Downs that connect to the municipal and school campus.”

According to the release the land transfer is expected to be completed by June. 

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