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Success! The Strawberry Creek Project will go forward!

Strawberry Creek (Jeff Wood photo)

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) is pleased to announce that it has successfully raised $350,000 to purchase and preserve two properties at the mouth of Strawberry Creek. These properties make up a key part of the signature view seen across Mountain Road from Harpswell Town Hall and are important to Harpswell’s marine economy.

HHLT will purchase a total of 3.3 acres on the east side of the creek mouth, including a tidal island. This land will protect 12 acres of associated intertidal mudflats and rockweed beds. Keeping these parcels undeveloped will help protect clean marine waters that are key to the local fishing economy, wildlife and Harpswell’s way of life.

“Not only does acquisition of these Strawberry Creek parcels by the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust protect a critically important part of our marine environment, but it also preserves one of the most iconic views in Harpswell,” said Kristi Eiane, Harpswell’s Town Administrator. “We are all beneficiaries.”

Earlier this year, HHLT noticed that two properties at the mouth of Strawberry Creek were on the market and reached out to the owners to express interest in conserving them. The owners agreed to sell the properties to HHLT if the nonprofit land trust could raise $350,000 by early 2021. Initially the goal seemed difficult to accomplish, given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But just six months after the first donation came in, more than 300 local people contributed to the effort.

“We are blown away by the community support for this project,” said Reed Coles, HHLT’s Executive Director. “This quick success is a tribute to the fondness people in Harpswell have for that iconic view and the importance they place on the health of our marine environment.”

One generous donor offered a matching gift, which resulted in an additional $70,000 for HHLT’s endowment.

HHLT also received funding for the project from the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Program, the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Bath Savings Institution, the Davis Conservation Foundation and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

“Bravo to HHLT’s commitment to open space and the preservation of the coastal environment,” said one donor.

Thank you to everyone who contributed!

Click here for more about the project.

December 2020