OXFORD – The local land trust has received its biggest-ever conservation easement, a 563-acre parcel around Marshall Pond that nearly doubles the trust’s holdings.

Patty Page has offered her property, which lies close to the Oxford/Hebron line, to the Western Foothills Land Trust, effectively halting all encroaching development around almost half of the pond. Her niece, Sandy Page, also donated her portion of the parcel, about 13 acres.

The entire parcel includes 7,283 feet of shoreline, small wetlands, a brook and acres and acres of thick forest interspersed with stone walls, said Lee Dassler, the trust’s coordinator.

The public isn’t allowed to use the land for motorized recreation, but may hike, ski, snowshoe, or horseback ride if they first receive permission from Page, Dassler said.

Page, who lives in Poland, did not return a message left with her attorney Wednesday.

Dassler said the size of the parcel, 378 acres larger than the trust’s next biggest, may spur more large land donations.

“In this whole area, it must be obvious to everyone that we’re under development pressure now from Portland, Lewiston and second-home buyers,” Dassler said.

Marshall Pond is 12 miles from the Auburn Mall, yet it is a quiet retreat, “a place that resembles a northern Maine lake,” the land trust wrote in a recent newsletter.

The trust hopes to protect even more land close to the pond.

“Our hope will be to talk to owners of adjoining land parcels to make an even larger corridor,” Dassler said.


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