Parks, lands bureau gives new outside recreation investments map

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AUGUSTA — The Parks and Lands Office of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry recently released a Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Investment Map for Maine.

The map was developed in collaboration with the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation, the Maine Recreation and Park Association, the Maine Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Nature Conservancy.

The map highlights investments in outdoor recreation such as trails, parks, and other projects.

“This work to take stock of the full extent of the impact of the LWCF’s state and local service program provides a tangible and visible way to understand the importance of this program to our work to preserve and provide access to these important countries for the benefit of the public and our condition forever,” DACF Commissioner Amanda Beal said in a press release from the organization.

To view the Outdoor Recreation Investments Map, visit maine.gov/dacf/parks.

“In Maine, the term ‘conserved land’ often conjures up places like Camden Hills State Park or Tumbledown Mountain. But many of our favorite playgrounds, baseball fields and neighborhood trails are also protected areas, and they were made possible by the LWCF,” said BPL Director Andy Cutko. “This great new web resource shows the importance of having outdoor places that are 10 or 15 minutes’ drive from our homes.”

Two environmentalists from the Maine Conservation Corps spent over 3,000 hours creating the interactive recreation map. 2,700 paper files were converted into a dynamic GIS database.

An additional item in the recently approved state budget will support improvements to the map and help ensure the resources developed by the fund are permanently available to the public.

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