Nonprofit Trusts Team Up to Launch Fundraising Campaign for Fuller Farm (ME)
Scarborough, Maine: Today, the Scarborough Land Conservation Trust and the Trust for Public Land officially launched an effort to raise approximately $650,000 in private and public funds to protect the 150-acre Fuller Farm property in Scarborough. Fuller Farm’s scenic fields and woodlands lie along the Broad Turn Road and the Nonesuch River, Scarborough’s largest river, making the parcel a natural conservation priority.
Last week, the Scarborough Land Conservation Trust (SLCT) borrowed $545,000 to purchase the property from the estate of Evelyn Jensen. SLCT must now pay off its loans to ensure that the property is permanently conserved. The majority of the loan-$500,000-was provided by the Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization. The remaining $45,000 came from Alan Prosser, a Portland resident who contacted the land trust after reading in the Portland Press Herald that the farm was likely to be developed. Mr. Prosser’s last minute $45,000 loan enabled the land trust to close the gap and purchase the property.
Laurene Swaney, president of the Scarborough Land Conservation Trust, stated, “The hard work really starts today as we now need to raise roughly $650,000 to repay our loans and cover the project’s costs. This is a huge challenge for the land trust, but we are very grateful to the Trust for Public Land and Alan Prosser for giving us this opportunity. We feel like we have pulled off a miracle in that the property was slated for subdivision and development. Fuller Farm has long been a conservation priority because of its recreational, scenic, and wildlife habitat value. In addition, its 4,000 feet of frontage on the Nonesuch River make it an especially important parcel for protecting water quality and providing access to the river.”
“Scarborough is one of Maine’s fastest growing communities, and the protection of Fuller Farm will be an important step in helping to preserve some of the town’s rural character and natural beauty,” remarked Jeremy Wintersteen, field representative with the Trust for Public Land. “TPL is committed to working with the Scarborough Land Conservation Trust to raise the funds needed to make this project a success.”
Located in western Scarborough, Fuller Farm lies adjacent to several other conservation properties owned by SLCT and the Saco Valley Land Trust as well as municipal land owned by the Town of Scarborough. SLCT plans to manage Fuller Farm for conservation, public access, and wildlife habitat and intends to keep the hay fields in agricultural production.
SLCT and TPL will be working over the coming months to raise funds for the Fuller Farm project from three sources: private supporters, the Land for Maine’s Future Program, and the Town of Scarborough. The private fundraising goal is approximately $250,000 to help cover land acquisition and stewardship costs, as well as expenses associated with completing the project.
In November, Maine voters passed a $50 million reauthorization of the Land for Maine’s Future Program, which has conserved land throughout the state. This program will be accepting local and regional applications for funding later this year, and SLCT and TPL plan to submit an application for Fuller Farm.
Representatives from TPL and SLCT have also met with the Scarborough Town Council and town officials about Fuller Farm. According to Jeff Messer, Town Council Chair, “As a Councilor, I’m very pleased that SLCT was able to purchase Fuller Farm. Open space and, in particular, a greenbelt along the Nonesuch River are high priorities. I look forward to discussing a contribution from the Town during the Finance Committee proceedings that will be coming up over the next month or so.”
The Scarborough Land Conservation Trust is a nonprofit land trust with a mission of conserving important lands in Scarborough. To date, SLCT has protected 12 properties totaling 524 acres and manages approximately 4 miles of the Old Eastern Trail. For more information, please call the Scarborough Land Conservation Trust at 883-4909 or visit them on the Web at www.scarboroughmaine.com.
The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1 million acres nationwide, including more than 10,000 acres in Maine. For more information, please call TPL’s Portland office at 772-7424 or visit them on the Web at www.tpl.org.
Donations for Fuller Farm should be made out to the Scarborough Land Conservation Trust and mailed to P.O. Box 1237, Scarborough, ME 04070.