York Land Trust
Total Cost of Project:
The Garey Mill Road Wetlands project involved the purchase of a 17-acre parcel along the east side of Bell Marsh Reservior, a public drinking water supply for residents of Kittery, Eliot and parts of York. It is adjacent to land to the south and east that was conserved by York Land Trust with funding from MNRCP in 2010 and land owned by the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wlidlife (MDIFW) to the north. It is within the Mt. Agamenticus Focus Area of statewide ecological significance, MDIFW’s Mt. Agamenticus Wildlife Management Area, and is part of a 6,300-acre unfragmented forest block, It but contains 1.7 acres of scrub-shrub/emergent wetlands and .3 acres of forested wetlands . The wetlands are ranked High Value for Wildlife Habitat, especially for endangered Blanding’s turtles. Activity by these rare turtles have been documented extensively on abutting parcels through monitoring activities and a wildlife camera set-up by MDIFW. The project is also ranked High Value for Production Export reflecting an abundance of wildlife food sources present in the wetlands. MDIFW has mapped Inland Waterfowl and Wading Bird Habitat on the property and on Bell Marsh Reservoir, directly adjacent to the property. Protecting the land helps provide a buffer to the Reservoir that ensures clean drinking water. The property is a priority acquisition for York Land Trust as part of the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative for its ecological significance and because it fills in a gap in a vast area of contiguous conservation land. Should York Land Trust not buy the property, it will be sold for residential development. York Land Trust will own and manage the property for habitat purposes.