Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 3:56 pm | By Kayla J. Collins |

OLD ORCHARD BEACH – The next phase of developing 72 acres near the intersection of Portland Avenue and Milliken Mills Road in Old Orchard Beach as a multi-use forestry space and public recreational area is under way.

The Town Council has accepted a $2,802 bid from stewardship forester Parker Forestry Associates, North Berwick, to inventory the property and create a Forest Management Plan that would include a description of land ownership objectives and what can be done to improve the site.

In January, the town received a matching grant for about $8,000 from Project Canopy and the Maine State Forest Service to help extend the network of recreational trails in the community, and to preserve 68 acres of land off Portland Avenue as wildlife habitat, according to Conservation Commission member Kimbark Smith, who is also the project manager for what has been dubbed the Milliken Mill Woods project.

Design and construction of the trails, which includes painting a crosswalk to connect the properties and erecting kiosks, will depend upon the help of volunteers and in-kind donations, Smith said.

Along with the Conservation Commission, other partners in the Milliken Mill Woods project include the Eastern Trail Alliance, Saco Bay Trails, the Ocean Park Conservation Society, the Pathway Alternative Education Program of Old Orchard Beach High School and the Bicycling Coalition of Maine.

This is the second major project the Conservation Commission has undertaken to expand Old Orchard Beach’s trail system, said Mark Koenigs, project manager for the Easter Trail Connector Sub Committee.

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