On Saturday, April 5, 2014, North Berwick voters voted to support conservation of key farmlands in their town. The Budget Committee and Board of Selectmen recommended that the town assist Great Works Regional Land Trust in conserving Parker and Hilton Farms in North Berwick. Open Space funds of $20,000 will be the last money in to complete the purchase of easements for these farms. They both contain prime farmland soils, which the owners would like to protect from future development (read about other funding awards below):
Parker Farm, 100 acres on Maple St. owned by Charles and Marjorie Parker
Hilton Farm, 26 acres on Maple St. owned by Ella Hilton
Dave Parker photo: Parker Farm Field
From the Winter/Spring 2014 issue of Great Works:
As part of its continuing focus on farmland conservation, Great Works Regional Land Trust is pleased to announce the award of a Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service. Up to $725,000 in matching funds will be available for several farm conservation projects by Great Works.
Part of the award will support Great Works' efforts to purchase conservation easements and conserve three farms totaling over 250 acres: two in North Berwick and one in Wells. Another grant of $10,000 from the Davis Conservation Fund will contribute matching funds to the North Berwick projects.
The two North Berwick farms are situated along a historic corridor of rich farmland threaded with high quality streams. Their conservation will ensure open farmland for local foods and haying as well as public access for walking, hunting, and fishing (in designated areas).
Great Works is working cooperatively with the town of North Berwick and prospective donors to raise the total matching funds required by the FRPP grant for the North Berwick projects. Linda Trombley, a GWRLT member and North Berwick resident, and Keith Fletcher of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a former GWRLT Board member who resides in Wells, are leading community outreach and fundraising. To assist them, please contact the office at (207) 646-3604.
Great Works maintains and active farmland conservation fund, established in 2004, to ensure the ability to act in a timely fashion on preservation of historic farmland and irreplaceable farm soils. Such projects are often associated with open space, clean water and woodlands. Thank you to previous donors to the GWRLT Farmland Fund.