Alan Stearns, executive director of the Royal River Conservation Trust, addresses the New Gloucester Board of Selectmen on Monday night about acquisition of 180 acres for wildlife preservation and recreation. Ellie Fellers photo

NEW GLOUCESTER — Selectmen on Monday night unanimously endorsed an effort by the Gray-New Gloucester Little League and the Royal River Conservation Trust to secure an option on 180 acres connecting the Lower Village to the Little League fields on Route 231.

“We don’t have a firm vision of what we want and need your support and advice,” Alan Stearns, executive director of the conservation trust, said.

Lynn and Donald Chandler Jr. of Fryeburg recently signed an option with the conservation trust and the Little League for the land, which has been owned by the same family since 1762.

The large shaded area in the upper left represents the 180-acre parcel that the Royal River Conservation Trust and the New Gloucester Little League hopes to buy. Ellie Fellers photo

The acreage includes an area once cleared for the 18th century Blockhouse and a section of the historic Portland-Lewiston Interurban electric railroad.

Selectmen conveyed seven foreclosed properties that are swampy and  nearby to help develop the project, which would include traditional hunting and fishing access, ball fields and and parking.

The Royal River Conservation Trust has a strong reputation for providing access for hunting, fishing and snowmobiles, and has pledged to continue that tradition.

A map of New Gloucester includes the Lower Village where the Royal River Conservation Trust and the New Gloucester Little League hopes to purchase 180 acres for wildlife and recreation opportunities. Ellie Fellers photo

The Gray-New Gloucester Little League and the Royal River Conservation Trust plan to raise private funds and obtain grants from foundations, state government and others to pay for the purchase and build recreational facilities and enhance natural habitat.

The projects will be completed with no municipal finances.

Selectmen will ask for input from the community and provide guidance to project officials to shape plans in the interest of the community.

The Royal River Conservation Trust, based in Yarmouth, seeks to preserve strategic parcels in towns that form the Royal River Watershed.

So far, 3,300 acres have been protected. Conservation efforts in New Gloucester include the Intervale Preserve and Pisgah Hill Preserve.