Fast forward three years from the birth of the Arundel Conservation Trust (“ACT”) that we talked about in our first blog article to now and you’re witness to something remarkable happening in our little town!
When can you last recall voters attending a Town Meeting to vote on a measure that would increase their taxes - and then standing as a group to applaud when it passed?
That’s exactly what happened on November 7th at the M.L. Day school as the overflow crowd of residents stood, breaking into applause when the results were announced of the vote to build a new $2.9 million Town Municipal building on Limerick Road. Nearly unanimously, Arundel’s citizens voted “yes” – and in doing so, were witness to a new sense of energy and direction in creating a better Arundel for all our citizens.
The Arundel Board of Selectmen and the Arundel Conservation Trust played a significant part in laying the foundation for this astounding event back in late 2017, when we worked out and signed a Collaboration Agreement. In this agreement it was noted that “we shared an interest in working harmoniously and cooperatively in the promotion of conservation projects in Arundel as a vehicle to create a stronger sense of place in Arundel so that future generations of residents can enjoy the town’s unique recreational and scenic resources.”
Step # 1 as the result of this Agreement was that together we bought the 47 acres on Limerick Road. Yes, ACT bought the back 37 acres with access to the Eastern Trail & the Kennebunk River and yes, the Town purchased the ten acres fronting Limerick Road for the Municipal building. But in reality, we were integrated from the start in our shared vision for what these big pieces of land could mean for the future of Arundel.
For our part, “Arundel Community Trails” was purposefully chosen as the name for ACT’s Limerick Road network of trails, bridges, benches and informational signage we’ve been building this year. An impressive group of Arundel citizens -young & old, Members of the Board of Selectmen, Scouts from Troop #330, Town staff and employees and many other people who were eager to offer their time, enthusiasm and skills in becoming part of the ACT Trailblazers team. We were further surprised and thrilled when an anonymous donor gave us a major financial gift, specifically ear-marked for trail development on this land - buying lumber for bridges & walkways over streams & wet areas, clearing new trails, and signage and benches.
Arundel Community Trails will be easily accessible – even during construction of the Municipal building, where site work and construction are already underway! Thanks to 18 months of hard work by the Arundel Municipal Building Committee in working out the conceptual design, lots of cost-benefit analysis, and exchange of ideas with town employees and staff, when completed, people using the Eastern Trail will have access to plenty of municipal parking, daylight-hour access to safe and clean public restrooms, and the opportunity to enjoy a network of approximately two miles of our trails leading to access onto the ET close to the Kennebunk River crossing and town line.
So when the snow melts again and Spring 2020 breaks through, come on out and join your friends and neighbors in the ACT Trailblazers team. We have fun, work hard and you’ll know you are creating something wonderful that all citizens of Arundel can benefit from and enjoy!