2017-07-21 / Community News

Community News


Kathy Mills Kathy Mills Scarborough Land Trust director bids farewell

Scarborough Land Trust Executive Director Kathy Mills has accepted a position with Maine Farmland Trust and will leave the trust at the end of July.

Mills led Scarborough Land Trust through a period of significant growth. This year the land trust is celebrating its 40th anniversary, with 1,600 acres conserved to date.

“Kathy has done an outstanding job building and strengthening Scarborough Land Trust,” said president of the board Rick Shinay. “She led us through two major land acquisitions and an historic fundraising campaign for Pleasant Hill Preserve that was transformative for the land trust and the community. We will miss her, but she leaves Scarborough Land Trust in excellent shape to begin our next chapter.”

“Kathy has taken the land trust to a whole new level,” said Town Manager Tom Hall. “I’m especially pleased she has been able to build their stewardship program, which has created more trails for the public to enjoy their beautiful properties.”


Pleasant Hill Preserve Volunteer Lead Steward Diane Neal looks on as fellow lead steward Seth Hanson works on boardwalks, that will be installed over wet areas at the preserve. The Scarborough Land Trust is looking for more volunteers to build trails on the property. (Courtesy photo) Pleasant Hill Preserve Volunteer Lead Steward Diane Neal looks on as fellow lead steward Seth Hanson works on boardwalks, that will be installed over wet areas at the preserve. The Scarborough Land Trust is looking for more volunteers to build trails on the property. (Courtesy photo) Mills joined the trust in 2012. During her tenure, the trust added some 600 acres of conserved land in Scarborough.

Conservation projects included the 156- acre Warren Woods on Payne Road, 135- acre Pleasant Hill Preserve on Pleasant Hill Road, Jannelle property off Roundabout Lane, most of the Willey Recreation Area off Tenney Lane and the land and viewshed of the Winslow Homer Studio at Prouts Neck.

The community campaign to save Pleasant Hill Preserve was the largest fundraising effort in the land trust’s history. It also included the largest commitment from the Town’s Land Bond Fund, $2 million.

Last year, the land trust created its first handicapped accessible trail at Pleasant Hill Preserve. The annual Fresh from the Farm dinner at Broadturn Farm was launched shortly after Mills arrived. The popular event has helped fund major barn renovations at Broadturn Farm.

A new, part-time stewardship coordinator was hired in 2015 who works with community volunteers to build trails. Three weekly volunteer work parties are currently active at Pleasant Hill Preserve.

“It has been an exciting five years leading the land trust,” Mills said. “I’m proud of all that we have accomplished together. Scarborough’s natural heritage is truly amazing and so is the community’s commitment to land conservation. I have definitely been bitten by the Scarborough bug and will be watching Scarborough Land Trust’s continued good work with great interest.”

Mills will be grants director and advancement officer at Maine Farmland Trust, based in their Portland office on Union Wharf.

Scarborough Land Trust has partnered with Maine Farmland Trust to conserve three Scarborough farms to date: Frith Farm Comstock Farm and Waterhouse Farm.

The Scarborough Land Trust board of directors has launched a search for Mills’s successor. Details will be posted at www.scarboroughlandtrust.org.

Volunteers sought for Pleasant Hill trails

Scarborough Land Trust is holding three different volunteer work parties every week to help build more trails at Pleasant Hill Preserve. All ages are welcome.

With the completion of the first permanent trail, the land trust is working on the second phase of trails that will sweep up into Beach Hill woods and out to the hidden meadow of the 135-acre preserve on Pleasant Hill Road.

“There are some amazing places on this Preserve, and we are eager to build the next phase of trails,” said Executive Director Kathy Mills. “Our volunteer work parties are a great way for people to get outside and to help out on an exciting community project.”

The times and leaders for the three weekly work parties are as follows:

 Sunday, 10 a.m. to noon, Seth Hanson;

 Monday, 4 p.m. to dark, Toby Jacobs;

 Thursday, 9 to 11:00 a.m., Deb Mc- Donough.

Volunteers should meet at the kiosk. No experience is necessary. All training and tools will be provided. Bring work gloves and wear sturdy shoes. Work parties will be held weekly through the summer, until further notice.

For more information or to sign up, contact Toby Jacobs at tjacobs@scarboroughlandtrust.org or 844-0114 or just show up at the scheduled time.

Pleasant Hill Preserve was permanently protected by the land trust in 2014, following an outpouring of community support for its purchase and stewardship.

The property is one of the last large open spaces in Pleasant Hill and contains headwaters of the Spurwink River.

For more information, visit the land trust’s new website www.scarboroughlandtrust.org or call 289-1199.

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