May 21, 2018
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Riverside forest in Cushing preserved

By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

CUSHING, Maine — A 27-acre piece of riverfront land that was once slated to be developed into housing will now stay preserved as forest.

About 100 community members gathered $160,000 in donations over the past 18 months to buy the property from Machias Savings Bank, which took ownership of the land when its previous owner, a land developer, went bankrupt.

“It had conservation value, but our action was really in response to a community need,” said Annette Naegel, conservation program manager for the Georges River Land Trust. “There was a desire of the people of Cushing to see this land protected. We partnered with them to make it happen, but they took the lead.

“This is the best you can get because we know it’s what the community wants and that it will be used,” Naegel added.

The piece of land is a rectangle on a peninsula that has about 300 feet of waterfront footage in Maple Juice Cove. The land is all forest and doesn’t have any houses around it. Plans for the property aren’t firmed up yet, but Naegel said the land trust doesn’t expect to build anything on it. Likely, she said, the land trust will create some parking, some sort of trail for public access and then more trails within the parcel for walking, cross-country skiing and picnicking.

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