Davis Parcel Opens to the Public - Cape Elizabeth Land Trust


Davis Parcel Opens to the Public

15.5 acres of prime habitat and wide carriage-type trails right here in Cape Elizabeth!

When Arlen Davis talks about his property on Spurwink Avenue, he gets a little emotional. His eyes light up when he tells of his mother’s roots growing up on a farm, about her deep connection to the woods behind their horse farm and her commitment to being a thoughtful steward of that land.

Arlen shares that commitment, and he continues to care for those woods with their wide, carriage-like trails, rocky outcroppings, wetlands and hills that are so rare in the largely flat Cape Elizabeth landscape. He sees this land as his mother’s legacy, and he wants to honor that legacy and share this unique place with others who share her love of the land.

So, after many years of conversations, he worked with CELT staff and volunteers to conserve the back 15.5 acres of his property. CELT purchased “The “Davis Parcel” to protect for habitat and to allow for recreational use of the trails by hikers, runners, skiers and bikers, honoring Arlen and his mother’s commitment. In addition, CELT acquired the right to enforce deed restrictions on an additional 30 acres.

The Davis Parcel abuts the Cross Hill Trails, which connect to the Dyer-Hutchinson Trails and then to Winnick Woods, a network of about five miles of trails. Its conservation adds to this block of 255 acres of woodland habitat where wildlife like deer, fox, and myriad bird species can thrive. Both the lowland wetlands and forested hilltops provide high value for carbon storage, temperature mitigation, and climate resiliency for the greater region.

On Saturday, June 1, a group of stewardship volunteers will build the connecting trail over Town-owned land, so that runners, walkers, bikers, snow shoers and X-country skiers can enjoy the beauty of this stunning property. (See Events)

The property has been a strategic priority for CELT for over 15 years. As is often the case, conversations with the Davis family first began in 2006. Why is this so important?  It’s the trifecta of conservation!

Habitat Protection

Habitat blocks allow for more genetic and ecological biodiversity, more resiliency, and improved likelihood for species’ longevity. Permanently conserving this parcel would add significantly to the “habitat block” created by three other nearby conserved land tracts:

  • Cross Hill easement                        
  • Winnick Woods                   
  • Dyer-Hutchinson easement (Christmas Tree Farm)     

Recreation and Trail Linkages

The Davis family owned this land for two generations. Over the last sixty years, they gradually created and maintained a network of wide carriage trails. These trails will now be available to the public for the very first time – and forever.

Climate Resiliency: Doing Our Part in Cape Elizabeth

“30 by 30” – The State of Maine has a goal to conserve 30% of its land by 2030. That is the scale required to make a difference. With just 7 years to go, we feel a sense of urgency to play our part in finding natural climate solutions.

The lowland wetlands and forested hilltops of the Davis Parcel provide high value for carbon storage, temperature mitigation, and climate resiliency for the greater region.

We are grateful to the many private donors who stepped up with financial gifts to conserve this gem, including bequests received from The Nicholas Davis Trust, as directed by Constance Verrill Reich, and the Estate of Robert J. Anderson, Jr.., and to the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership for their support.

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