An area of land the SLT is proposing to acquire. Courtesy photo/town of Scarborough

The Scarborough Town Council unanimously approved allocating funds for the acquisition of approximately 18 acres of forested land along Hanson Road on Dec. 20. Though it’s not a large parcel, the property is important because it will connect conserved areas in Scarborough and Buxton The allocated amount, not to exceed $210,000, is to be drawn from the Land Acquisition Reserve Fund. This decision follows a recommendation from the Parks and Conservation Land Board and aims to support the Scarborough Land Trust in its conservation efforts.

The Scarborough Land Trust (SLT) is a nonprofit organization committed to preserving land with unique natural resources, scenic vistas, and historical significance. SLT seeks to conserve the parcel located at 50 Hanson Road, known as the Silver Brook Preserve. Silver Brook Preserve will connect about 733 acres of contiguous and diverse conserved lands in Scarborough and Buxton including Broadturn Farm. The Parks and Conservation Land Board recommended the purchase.

The total project cost is $273,346, with the Town’s contribution covering 77% of the expenses The remaining funds will be raised through community efforts, including a $3,000 grant awarded by Bass Pro/Cabela.

Suzanne A. Foley-Ferguson, chair of the Scarborough Parks and Conservation Land Board, conveyed the board’s support in a letter to the Town Council. She said the acquisition was important. “This purchase of 18 additional acres will add to the momentum of conservation in that area. Large land blocks support the Town’s goals of increasing access to land for recreation in the form of trails and connections, as well as protecting habitats for the greatest number of species.”

The Silver Brook Preserve comprises a diverse landscape of upland forest, wetlands, and streams, providing a habitat for various wildlife species, including deer, turkey, fox, and the endangered Little Brown Bat. The property has 1,216 feet of frontage along the Silver Brook, a crucial water body supporting a population of wild Brook Trout and other aquatic species.

Foley-Ferguson said, “The ‘wow’ factor of this property’s connectivity is perhaps the most important factor to positively affect wildlife outcomes. That is because certain species require multiple habitats, for eating, roosting, and reproducing. As an example, the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugous), endangered in Maine, can travel 100 miles from home base. Having found it located on the Broadturn Farm, it is likely that the bat travels throughout Scarborough, but in particular, uses this area for some or all of its needs.”


Councilor Karin Shupe said, “I know this is only 18 acres, but I love the letter, that it’s like the ‘wow’ factor of it. I mean, the connectivity of this is huge, and so, again, we’ve got 18 acres, going towards our 30 x 30 and we’re building towards connectivity as well. So, this is great.”

Councilor Chair Nick McGee agreed, “You’re right, the connectivity being able to go from one portion of the town down to another one, it’s a huge bridge for some of our public land access, so, I’m very happy to support this.”

“I’m a fan of this,” Councilor Don Hamill said

The Scarborough Land Trust plans to utilize the acquired property for recreational activities such as hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife observation, hunting, and fishing. Additionally, educational programs will be implemented to raise awareness of Silver Brook’s value and the property’s role in climate change mitigation.


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