Last section of Cross Town trail protected
CAPE ELISABETH — The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust has successfully campaigned to protect the final leg of the 8.2 mile Cross Town Trail.
A 6.2-acre easement on property owned by the United Methodist Church of Cape Elizabeth will protect public access to the final stretch of the Cross Town Trail, which until now has been unprotected.
According to a press release from the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust, “On May 31, 2022, the land trust completed the purchase of a conservation easement over 6.2 acres of Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church property. The easement prohibits development on the wooded property in the center of Cape Elizabeth and ensures that the public will have access to the trail through the property forever.
The land trust held a brief celebration and ribbon cutting on Saturday, June 4. Cape Elizabeth Land Trust Executive Director Cindy Krum and Steve Hill, a representative from Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church, made brief remarks and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held. at the entrance to the trail to signify the preserved state.
“It was more of a symbolic event than anything,” Hill said. “The event went well. It was short and there were probably 30-40 people there including a good group hiking or walking the Cross Town Trail which was sort of their midpoint. They stopped at the land trust headquarters for a breakfast and then, as they headed to the second leg of their hike, they arranged to stop to be there for the ribbon cutting.
“They became the first hikers to hike the Cross Town Trail under an official easement. For the majority of our church, it seemed like a win-win protection situation. Along with the trial access, just over six acres of land has been preserved and remains the property of the church, but with the conservation easement we are legally bound, and it will forever remain as it is. is. It’s a great thing for the environment, and it’s a significant contribution to our environmental ministry, which is an important part of our church.
The ceremony coincided with the land trust’s bi-annual Cross Town Walk. Participants walked approximately 8.2 miles from Kettle Cove to Portland Head Light along the Cross Town Trail on June 4.
“As far as the campaign goes, we had full board and were amazed by the outpouring of community support for the campaign,” Krum said. “We also received a foundation grant. We celebrated the closing of the 6.2 acre conservation easement and a parking permit so people could park in the Methodist Church parking lot to access the trail. “There were 18 people on the Cross Town Trail ride, and more joined in the grand opening celebration.”
The Land Trust and the City of Cape Elizabeth have worked for 35 years to permanently conserve many parts of the trail. The portion that is on the property of Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church has remained unprotected until now. By purchasing this easement, the land trust has not only protected the forest and its wildlife, but has also ensured that the entire Cross Town Trail will still be accessible to the public.
“The groundbreaking ceremony was for this conservation easement that was entered into between our church, Cape Elizabeth Methodist Church and the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust,” Hill said. “We’ve been working on this between the two of us for about three years, but the discussion to get access to the remaining piece of the Cross Town trail and then keep some of the land has been a vision for many years, and just over the past three years, this has been the subject of serious discussion. Finally, it was celebrated on Saturday.
The property is located at 280 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth. The Cross Town Trail stretches 8.2 miles from Fort Williams to Kettle Cove and offers visitors a scenic tour of Cape Elizabeth’s conservation areas.
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