The town of Scarborough’s Land Acquisition Reserve Fund has played an important role in conservation of town parks and public access land over the past 24 years. In that time, reserve funds have contributed to 16 projects, many of which are Scarborough Land Trust properties which are conserved and have public access. Land trust preserves most popular with residents include Pleasant Hill, Warren Woods, Fuller Farm, Broadturn Farm, Blue Point, and Silverbrook – all collaborative projects where Scarborough Land Trust leveraged town funding and matched or exceeded the land bond funding. The land trust also provides the funding and human resources to establish and maintain trails for public recreation year-round.

With the fast pace of growth and development in our town a top concern in recent community surveys, conserving undeveloped land for residents and wildlife is more important than ever. Now, the land fund has been depleted and needs replenishment. The town’s Parks and Conservation Land Board has recommended that the Town Council include a $6 million land bond referendum on the Election Day ballot. With the fund depleted, it is important to give residents a vote in the process. Scarborough voters have overwhelmingly passed four previous bond referendums.

Importantly, the proposed replenishment is not an immediate $6M impact to the town’s financials. The fund operates like an equity line of credit that can be deployed and bonded only after an individual project is deemed worthy through a multi-step evaluation process by PCLB and the Town Council with multiple opportunities for public input.

On July 17, we urge the Town Council to vote in agreement with PCLB’s recommendation and give residents the opportunity to cast their votes on the measure this November.

Betts Armstrong
President of Scarborough Land Trust

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