Tag Archives: Windham

Grow Smart Maine Forum: Growing Farm-Friendly Communities

Growing Farm-Friendly Communities:  How to create municipal agricultural commissions and other tools to support farms in your town. 

9 – 11am  Thursday, January 18, Windham Town Hall (8 School Rd, Windham, ME 04062)

Co-Hosted by GrowSmart Maine & Maine Farmland Trust

Hear community & municipal leaders share policy approaches and practical ideas for ways communities and farmers can benefit from working together.Stephanie Gilbert, Farm Viability & Farmland Protection Specialist with the Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation, & Forestry will moderate this panel discussion, followed by ample time for audience Q&A and networking.

$15 Maine Farmland Trust or GrowSmart Maine member, $25 non-member

 

**Online registration is closed, however, you are welcome to register at the door, too!**

Maine Farmland Trust will soon be looking for a farmer to purchase 143 acres of land in Windham.

MFT recently bought a portion of the former Clark Farm, which includes 37 acres of open fields and excellent frontage on Swett Road. The farm will be protected with a conservation easement and sold to a farmer at a reduced price.

The property, which does not currently have any infrastructure, is located between Swett Road and Webb Road. There is extensive road frontage that allows good access to the fields along Swett Road and forested land access along Webb Road. Approximately 98 acres (70% of the property) is designated as either Prime Farmland Soils, Farmland Soils of Statewide Importance, or Farmland Soils of Local Importance.

Windham has a strong agricultural past, but given its proximity to Portland, the remaining active farms are threatened.

“Windham has a goal of balancing our relatively rapid growth with preserving the working farms that add so much to the character of the community,” said Ben Smith, Director of Planning for the Town of Windham. “The fields on Swett Road are what many residents consider to be the heart of rural Windham. In all of our planning work, these fields have been singled out for their iconic representation of Windham’s rural character.”

This is MFT’s second Buy/Protect/Sell project on Clark family land. In March 2011, MFT, in collaboration with The Trust for Public Land and the Windham Land Trust (now the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust), purchased, protected, and sold 217 acres to Clayton Haskell, who still currently owns the farm.