Lee Sprague, left, holds the Scarborough Land Trust Conservationist of the Year Award, presented by board President Betts Armstrong at a ceremony last week. Contributed / Scarborough Land Trust

The Scarborough Land Trust honored Lee Sprague with its second-ever Conservationist of the Year Award at a ceremony last week.

“It was such a surprise, I had no idea that was coming,” Sprague told The Forecaster Wednesday.

Sprague and her late husband George began supporting the land trust in the 1990s and their efforts have aided in key land trust acquisitions, including Warren Woods, Broadturn Farm, Fuller Farm, Pleasant Hill Preserve and Blue Point Preserve.

The Spragues were instrumental in the trust acquiring the 125-acre Libby River Preserve, which which was the trust’s first-ever purchase in 1996, SLT Executive Director Andrew Mackie said. A trail in Libby River Preserve is named in honor of the couple’s daughter Lucy.

In 2007, the Spragues helped jump-start the trust’s Charisma Land Acquisition Fund.

In presenting the award Aug. 24, SLT Board President Betts Armstrong described Lee Sprague as “a true conservation champion” and said, “SLT and the Scarborough community are fortunate to have Lee as a neighbor, friend and passionate conservation advocate.”


George Sprague was a state representative in Massachusetts and, in 1969, created the first wetlands conservation act in the United States. The land trust credits his wife for encouraging him to do so.

“My theory is we lived for 25 years in a wonderful, small town outside of Framingham, Massachusetts, that had a lot of open land,” Sprague said. “We were taught to preserve it.”

Sprague has been a seasonal Scarborough resident for over 50 years.

“Scarborough was growing at such a fast pace and when big pieces of land come on (the market), particularly over by the salt marshes,” she and her husband were determined to conserve at least some of it “so that it wouldn’t be built on,” she said.

Sprague praises the land trust for their purchases and stewardship of conserved land in Scarborough and encourages community members to support them – something she intends to continue doing herself.

“Wherever I am, I try to support some conservation projects,” she said. “I guess it’s sort of built into me.”

For more information on the Scarborough Land Trust, visit scarboroughlandtrust.org.

Comments are not available on this story.