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Florida Lake
Photo by Steve Walker

Florida Lake

Guidelines for Use of LMF Properties

Walking/Hiking Wildlife Observation/Study Cross-country skiing/Snow-shoeing Fishing Hunting/Trapping Snowmobile Trails Canoeing/Kayaking 

Project Description

In its 1999 Open Space Plan, the Town of Freeport identified Florida Lake as a high-value habitat that merited protection. While small by State standards, this undeveloped pond is Freeport’s largest freshwater body. It provides prime waterfowl and wading bird habitat and a stopover point for many migratory species. American bittern, a species of special concern in the northeast, breeds in the area – a rich mix of forested wetlands, seasonally flooded shrub swamps, and aquatic beds.

The lake’s protection was set in motion when landowners along the pond donated 85 acres to the Town. This gift helped motivate the Town to protect all 167 acres of land bordering the lake, purchasing additional parcels with funds from a municipal land bond, the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) Program, and the Casco Bay Estuary Project Habitat Protection Fund. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation then added 20 acres to the purchased land, recognizing the value of the site for birds, amphibians and moose.

Since receiving the original grants, Freeport’s Conservation Commission has received $50,000 under the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s North American Wetland Conservation Act to purchase additional land, and a Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program grant through the Natural Resources Conservation Service to restore an existing impoundment. The LMF Program provided a second “access” grant to help in creating a loop trail around the pond.