In December of 2020, the City of Sanford connected a 390 acre solar project to the grid. This 50 MegaWatt system offsets an estimated ½ million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, was the largest solar project in Maine, and the largest solar project at an airport in the world. To satisfy the negatively affected natural communities and habitats, mitigation was required. This mitigation resulted in the purchasing of various parcels of land somewhat equivalent to those disturbed, transferred to the City, and a Conservation Easement attached. This Easement, The Murray Easement, was deeded to the Trust for perpetual oversight along with another 43.62 acre parcel, located in the Jagger Mill area in South Sanford, called The Lower Mousam Wetland Easement.
The use on the property has many restrictions, but limited recreational activities are allowed within the scope of the Easement. Footpaths are being designed with those rules in mind, and there is an existing path as noted on the map. It is currently unmarked, but begins as easy to follow, getting increasingly difficult towards the end. There is a footpath on the Native Plant Trust’s Rhododendron Sanctuary, but access is currently inaccessible through a private lot.
This 107.62 acre parcel contains an old barn facing Harry Howes Road; an ancient, stone-walled, raised cemetery a short distance inland from the barn holding the Hobbs family; and a large beaver dam at the old Hobbs Mill impounding a 40+ woodland pond, forming the headwaters of Great Works watershed. The beaver dam can be seen from the trail crossing at the stream outlet.
After completion of trail grooming and signage, we hope to connect with trail systems to the northwest at the Native Plant Trust’s Rhododendron Sanctuary, 3 River Land Trust’s Community Forest, the Sanford Rail Trail, and the McKeon Environmental Reserve, as shown in the map below.
( More information to follow )