POLAND — Fred Huntress and Barry Morgan, co-chairmen of the town Conservation Commission, gave selectmen a report detailing the status of the commission’s three major projects Tuesday.

The Heart of Poland conservation area and the Waterhouse Brook Park project are consuming most of commission’s energies, Huntress said.

The commission is working with the New England Forestry Foundation to secure and maintain a conservation easement for the Heart of Poland conservation area.

Voters in April approved establishing the easement to prohibit development of about 95 acres of town land in the heart of Poland. It begins behind the municipal complex on Route 26 and extends to the transfer station on Tripp Lake Road.

A system of walking trails has been developed on the property.

Morgan said he is working to get a grant to assist in the development of a bridge over Waterhouse Brook in the vicinity of the Fire and Rescue Station and the continued development of walking trails that run from the station to the cemetery on Brown Road.

The commission is also working to develop self-guided tours of both areas similar to what the Stanton Bird Club has done for the sanctuary at Thorncrag in Lewiston, according to Huntress.

Huntress said the Waterhouse Brook Park trails pass “just feet from the Poland Community School, lots of natural history down there, perfect for field trips.”

The Waterhouse Brook Park trails, Huntress said, also bring the walker right through some of the early history of Poland from the days when small mills made use of the power of water for their operation.

In other business, selectmen authorized Town Manager Bradley Plante to sign a quitclaim deed from Byron Strout, confirming the common boundary between his property next to the Heart of Poland property.

Huntress pointed out that the boundary for the former Furman property, which was purchased using donated funds a couple of years ago to fill a major gap between the town’s municipal complex and the transfer station, was poorly defined in early deeds.

Plante also said town officials and the Conservation Commission will meet Friday, July 22, with Betsy Cook of the New England Forestry Foundation to discuss the conservation easement for the Heart of Poland area.

Plante also reported that the Tripp Lake beach project is moving very quickly and paving for a sidewalk and a ramp will commence shortly.

“Work will continue off and on during the summer,” Plante said, “an effort will be made to keep the beach accessible to our residents.”


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