What We Do

 “I think that each Town should have a park, or rather a primitive forest, of five hundred or a thousand acres, either in one body or several… a common possession forever for instruction and recreation.” — Henry David Thoreau</

The Wells Conservation Commission is an all-volunteer appointed board serving the Town of Wells, Maine. The Commission seeks to ensure that the town’s natural resources — such as water quality, scenic views, native plants, and wildlife habitat — are conserved for future generations. The Conservation Commission’s principal mission is establishing Town Conservation Lands. These are undeveloped parcels owned by the Town, open to the public and dedicated to traditional outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and environmental education.

Since 1981, the Conservation Commission has worked to establish Town Conservation Lands — publicly owned undeveloped land dedicated to traditional outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and environmental education. More than twenty years ago, the Commission established a Land Bank, by which the people of Wells invest money to buy ecologically significant land and easements (voluntary restrictions on development) in order to preserve open space in the Town. Establishment and use of the Town’s Conservation Lands is governed by Town Ordinance #66. The first of these, the George & Effie Fenderson Wildlife Commons, was formally dedicated in June 2001. It encompasses over 600 acres around the headwaters of the Merriland River. The Commission is committed to preserving public open space and agricultural land in the Town for the sake of present and future generations.

Through the efforts of its members and volunteer helpers, the Commission responds to residents’ concerns regarding natural resources, promotes environmental education in the school system, and advises the Selectmen and the Planning Board on land use issues.

The Town of Wells, like all towns throughout York County, has seen tremendous growth in the past three decades. Along with the challenges resulting from rapid growth, there are also new opportunities to conserve the traditional rural character of the Town, with its ecotourist attractions: pristine beaches and estuaries, fertile upland farms, fields and scenic wooded roadsides. The Conservation Commission works closely with the local private land trust, the Great Works Regional Land Trust, in an effort to protect and maintain this natural beauty.

We are always eager to talk about the Conservation Lands and their rich natural history, as well as share information with other towns who would like to establish a Conservation Commission or a Land Bank. Please contact us if you would like a representative to speak to your group or town.