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July 25: Open Space Plan Public Workshop

Come learn about the Open Space Conservation Plan that is underway!

Thursday, July 25
6:00-8:00pm
Public Safety Building

The Town has begun work on an Open Space Conservation Plan to guide and prioritize land conservation efforts is Scarborough.  The community is invited to participate in a fun and interactive workshop on Thursday, July 25th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Public Safety Building as part of the planning process. Bring the family - refreshments and kids activities will be provided.

  • Weigh in on factors that are most important when it comes to conservation
  • Provide input into areas that should be conserved in Scarborough

The project team members will share participants’ feedback in real-time during the workshop.

Other engagement events are planned throughout the summer. Project team members will collect information:

  • On-site at Concerts in the Park on July 11, 18, and August 1
  • Scarborough Summerfest on August 16
  • Online engagement tool to virtually collect input from the community - Coming soon!

About the Open Space Conservation Plan

The Town has hired Viewshed, a Maine-based landscape architecture, GIS, and planning firm, to assist with the development of the Plan.  

The plan aims to provide a comprehensive set of strategies to ensure the Town’s approach to land conservation is done in a way that serves the whole community and protects important natural resources. Given Scarborough’s rapid growth over the past 20 years, the Town hopes to preserve its unique seashores, salt marshes, wetlands, forests, uplands, tidal rivers, and streams. These landscapes provide critical habitat for birds, shellfish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

The Plan will approach open space conservation through both prioritization mapping and strategy recommendations. A map of Scarborough will identify areas classified as either high, medium, or low priorities for open space conservation. The map will not identify specific parcels for conservation. Instead, the information will appear as a “heat map” that shows the general areas that should be prioritized. The mapping process will use data from six Resource Categories, including habitat, agriculture and forestry, recreation, water quality, environmental hazards, and sea level rise. The Scarborough community will rank the Resource Categories, and the most valued resources will receive a higher prioritization status in the map.

The Plan will also include recommendations to guide conservation efforts in Scarborough.  Recommended strategies will cover topics such as potential funding sources to support conservation efforts, potential ordinance revisions, ways to expand recreational resources and trail networks, and programs to protect existing undeveloped land in conservation.  

Background

The Plan will provide the Town with a set of conservation priorities to achieve its 30x30 goal, which was set by the Town Council in June 2023. 30x30 refers to the Town’s effort to conserve at least 30% of Scarborough’s land by 2030. The Open Space Plan will inventory existing conserved lands to set a 30x30 baseline and help the Town better understand additional conservation that needs to happen to achieve this goal.

The Town Council appointed the Ad-Hoc Open Space Committee, made up of representatives from several of Scarborough’s advisory committees and community organizations, to guide the planning process. The Committee provides valuable input into the Plan, and they will support the many public engagement events that are scheduled for this summer. The Plan will be complete by February 2025.
 

More information about the Open Space Conservation Plan is available in the “What’s Happening” page. Please direct questions to Jami Fitch, Sustainability Manager, at jfitch@scarboroughmaine.org or (207) 730-4035.

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