All towns should begin or continue to acquire land for conservation purposes, especially those communities where little open land is left and those that might be in danger of urban or suburban sprawl.
Our town is only about 4.2 square miles. Many who have been here a while will tell you that the town had a chance to buy waterfront property that now has homes or a hotel, and while these houses and hotel are terrific for the tax rolls, they also illustrate Ogunquit’s lost opportunities to preserve these lands for all to use.
Where are these waterfront properties now lost to development?
One is where the Anchorage now stands. Imagine a park there, right on the ocean, where all could enjoy. Think of the picnics, the family gatherings, the weddings and other celebrations, land open to all, now lost to a hotel.
And the other is Adams Island at the end of Perkins Cove, home of the rebuilt Island House, and host to other homes as well. What a perfect addition that might have made to the Cove, so filled now with stores and restaurants. Adams Island would have been ideal as another family place, somewhere to enjoy your takeout from one of the many Cove restaurants, your own picnic, or just to sit and watch the sailboats and working boats head in and out of the Cove.
Both properties are now priceless.
Conservation land also preserves the natural habitat; provides areas to absorb and filter rain and snow, helping to fill our underground aquifer, unlike the developed hard surfaces, roads and driveways, lawns and roofs that can cause storm runoff carrying pollutants to our streams, rivers, and beaches.
Of course it is too late to save the priceless lost waterfront lands once offered to the town, but it is not too late to preserve at least some of the open land left for all to enjoy and so protect our clean streams, rivers and beaches.