An informational meeting is being held in Falmouth June 29 to discuss a comprehensive assessment of Mackworth Island State Park and the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf. Rachel Vitello / The Forecaster

The findings of an assessment of the buildings, utilities, parking and transportation and environmental impacts on Mackworth Island will be released next month, including several scenarios for future land uses.

Mackworth Island, linked to Falmouth by a causeway, is home to Mackworth Island State Park and the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Governor Baxter School for the Deaf. The island, the park and the school were all included in the assessment.

An aerial view of the Baxter School for the Deaf on Mackworth Island. The school was involved in a recent assessment of the island. Contributed / Gov. Baxter School for the Deaf

“The upcoming public meeting is the next step in the process,” Anya Trudy, chief of Legislative and Strategic Operations for the state Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

“Recognizing that Mackworth Island is a favorite natural retreat for many, the state is seeking valuable feedback and input from the public, especially from Falmouth residents and frequent visitors to the island,” she said.

Mackworth Island is popular for its walking and biking trails, birdwatching and scenic views of Casco Bay.

Trudy declined to provide specific findings of the assessment prior to the town meeting. Harriman Associates, an architecture and engineering firm that assessed the island, referred all questions to Department of Administrative and Financial Services.


The Town of Falmouth, Center/Governor Baxter School, the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry were involved in the study.

Falmouth Town Manager Nathan Poore said he sees his role as a liaison “to any resources or history that has involved the town of Falmouth.” He is offering assistance “to ensure that there is a robust public process that welcomes public input and information dissemination.”

Karen Hopkins, executive director of the center and school on the island, said they were “thrilled” to be part of the assessment process.

“We are honored that the state is recognizing the history of the island and how it’s home to the deaf community and our school,” she said.

Harriman Associates will present its findings and answer questions from 6 to 8 p.m. June 29 at Falmouth Town Hall, 271 Falmouth Road. The Zoom link to participate can be found at

Gov. Percival Baxter deeded Mackworth Island to the state of Maine in 1943, with several restrictions that dictate how the island may be used, including maintaining the island as a “sanctuary for birds” and other animals. It also was never to be used “for penal or corrective institutions.”

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