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Three Rivers Land Trust Successfully Conserves 546 Acres in Sanford

Three Rivers Land Trust is pleased to announce the successful acquisition of its latest preserve: the Sanford Community Forest. The public fundraising campaign was announced in early 2021, and through successful grants and extraordinary generosity from local donors, Three Rivers was able to purchase nearly 550-acre property in late September. To celebrate this momentous win for the future of the community, Three Rivers will host a walk at the property on Sunday, October 23, 2021, beginning at 1:30 PM. See details at the end of this article.

The Sanford Community Forest is a large undeveloped landscape of forests and open wetland located just three miles from downtown Sanford. The well-known Sanford Rail Trail forms part of the property’s northern boundary, and the

Mousam Way Land Trust owns the McKeon Environmental Reserve just to the north, which is already open to the public. Mousam Way Land Trust partnered with

Three Rivers to help raise awareness of the project during the fundraising phase, and the two land trusts will continue collaborating as the Community Forest is brought under Three Rivers’ management.

Once a public parking area is established, the preserve will be officially open to the public in early 2022 for hiking, dog walking, mountain biking, nature observation, and hunting. The rough 3.6-mile path from previous forestry operations will start to be improved next year to serve as a recreation trail. Educators and community groups are encouraged to contact the land trust about using the preserve with their students or members. Some hardy adventurers already access the property by parking at the McKeon Environmental Reserve on Blanchard Rd., and others use the limited rough parking available along Oak Street. One can also bike or walk in along the Sanford Rail Trail to access the property. Note that no ATVs are permitted on the Community Forest property, though they can be used on the Rail Trail. Visitors should be aware that trail markings are limited at this time, and blaze orange colors are strongly recommended during hunting season. Those wishing to hunt at the preserve should reach out to the land trust to understand current guidelines. Contact or 207-358-9695.