Explore the Sanford Community Forest

Steve Mallon of the Sanford Trails Committee, with a large black birch (Betula lenta) tree in the proposed Sanford Community Forest. Black birch rarely reaches this size in most forests of this area. Photo by Lee Burnett.

Three Rivers Land Trust is hosting walks of the proposed Sanford Community Forest, with the first one scheduled for Sunday, February 14 (weather permitting). The other dates are March 14 and April 11.

The trail is a little less than two miles and is expected to take no more than 2 hours to complete. For the February walk, snowshoes are recommended, but participants can also try using cross country skis or snow boots if desired.

The walks are being led by Three Rivers’ Executive Director, Cheri Brunault, and Development Director Ruth Gutman. The walks will begin at the Oak St. parking area, and head toward one of the scenic wetland overlook points. There will be brief stops to discuss aspects of the overall project, such as the history of the property, the reasons for pursuing community-driven conservation of this forest, the vision for the land’s future, and the status of the fundraising efforts. They also want feedback from participants — what makes a property like this appealing to them, and what features of the future Community Forest are they most interested in seeing realized?

To participate in any of the walks, please register on the website at https://www.3rlt.org/walk-with-us/ or contact Cheri (cheri@3rlt.org, 207.358.9695) or Ruth (ruth@3rlt.org, 207.370.4191) . If they need to cancel the walk, they will inform those who have signed up.

The Sanford Community Forest is a 550-acre parcel of undeveloped land in Springvale, bordering the town of Lebanon. Three Rivers is raising funds to purchase the property to protect its ecological health, while keeping it available for public recreation and traditional uses. The property is part of the former LaValley Lumber forests, and extends from Oak Street (Route 11A) to the Rail Trail in one direction, and from Harry Howes Road to the border with Lebanon in the other direction.