The Meadow on Cliff Island is now legally preserved forever as a conservation property of great benefit for both Island residents and visitors, today and in perpetuity. A Conservation Easement has been donated by its new owner, Cliff Island Corporation for Athletics, Conservation and Education (ACE), to Oceanside Conservation Trust of Casco Bay (OCT) early in 2021. The Meadow’s eleven acres have a long and interesting history as a resource on Cliff. For much of the past century, it has been stewarded and actively cared for by two individual, private owners; in 2020, however, ownership passed over to the long-standing Cliff nonprofit, ACE. ACE and OCT have now collaborated on the preservation of four of the Island’s most well-loved open space properties.
Oceanside Conservation Trust has ownership or Easement interests in open space properties on several of the islands in western Casco Bay. Once a year, a team from the Board of Directors monitors those interests. We traditionally do this in May before the island communities – or the Directors! - get too busy enjoying Summer. May 27 was the date for checking out the parcels on Peaks Island; Little Diamond, Long, College and Cliff Islands will fill out the rest of 2021’s OCT Monitoring Week.
The 2020 OCT Annual Meeting took place on October 15 on Little Diamond Island. The meeting celebrated the permanent preservation of two remarkable parcels of land on Little Diamond Island. Three hundred thousand dollars was raised – locally, and in a very short time period - and the land placed in OCT ownership and under its stewardship - a very effective collaboration.
This is testimony to just how highly one island’s residents value assuring public access to a uniquely beautiful piece both of Casco Bay and of the whole Maine Coast. As former OCT President Chris McDuffie was wont to declare: “Man’s monuments are erected... and then fall; preserved open space is forever.”