Our goals are simple: we wish to save as much land as possible in our designated focus area surrounded by Pool Street, Guinea Road, West Street, and Granite Street in Biddeford, Maine. The exterior of our focus area is already well developed, mostly by single family homes. Our real focus is the interior portion which is very different and contains over 1,000 vacant acres of land. Most of this land is privately owned as small landlocked old wood lots, private residential lots, larger tracts belonging to builders and developers, about 160+ acres held by the City of Biddeford, and over 200+ acres now forever preserved in Blandings Park. While some land in our focus area is still suitable for future development, a large area is home to several endangered and threatened wildlife species, including the Blanding's turtle and the spotted turtle. The interior of our focus area has been designated by the state of Maine as a significant wildlife habitat, rich in upland forests and valuable vernal pools.
Our mission is to protect and preserve as much of the interior land as possible for the purposes of conservation, education, recreation and research
-- We now have 200+ acres of land forever preserved, as well as agreements and active negotiations on about 100 more acres for possible BPWS acquisition. For this we can thank the generosity of surrounding landowners, developers, folks like you, and the City of Biddeford. A valuable tool used by us and many land trusts is limited conservation development. It has always been our philosophy to cooperate with fellow landowners to create a win-win situation for all. You can learn more about our achievements on our ALL ABOUT BPWS
-- We began our educational outreach in 2008 which was so well received and attended that it has now become our annual LIFE (Learning is Fun and Educational) Lecture series. These are Summer Events for kids of all ages, well publicized, free, and open to the general public. In 2010, we developed an internship for a University of New England environmental studies student. Please take a moment to read the research report on the History of Granite Quarrying in our focus area. Be sure to watch the NEWS AND EVENTS
page for up to date information.
-- Blandings Park is open every day from dawn to dusk. Many miles of trails exist out in our focus area. They are well marked, color coded, and you can pick up a map at the entrance. We also schedule
many 'Walk/Hike/Snowshow/Geocaching" events throughout the year so please check out the NEWS AND EVENTS
page for up to date information. We held our Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on February 15, 2010 to announce the completion of Blandings Way and the dedication of Terrapin Trail, our first groomed trail. Much work remains to connect these trails, groom them, and make sure they are safe for the general public to enjoy. We welcome volunteers interested in this hard but rewarding outdoor work. We held our first official fundraising event on 10/16/10 with the help of Saco Bay Trails (www.sacobaytrails.org
) and the Biddeford Recreation Department. We hope to continue TURTLE TREK Adventure Races
to challenge the athlete in all of us and provide outdoor fun for the whole family.
-- Our Land Stewards Committee is in the process of researching the possibility to one day have Terrapin Trail redesigned to be wheelchair accessible so that everyone can enjoy the Sanctuary. During the winter months of 2008-2009, we participated in a research project with Americorps volunteers connected to the federal New England Cottontail study. This small rabbit, a species once plentiful in our area, is now on the endangered list. We are hoping to offer some of our BPWS land to the rehabilitation and/or reintroduction of this species. Dear to our hearts is the research that has been done on nesting habits of the Blanding's and spotted turtle. We hope to incorporate many of these ideas in our Sanctuary to aid in the saving of these two endangered and threatened species. Important work ahead for all of us at BPWS!