Society Notebook: Scarborough Land Trust names Eddie Woodin Conservationist of the Year

Scarborough Land Trust celebrated its 10th anniversary farm dinner at Broadturn Farm Aug. 25, surprising longtime supporter Eddie Woodin with the nonprofit’s first Conservationist of the Year award.

“For the past two decades, this spiritual and inspirational philanthropist has championed many local causes, especially environmental groups like Maine Audubon, Center for Wildlife, Friends of Casco Bay, Friends of the Scarborough Marsh, Citizens for a Green Scarborough and Scarborough Land Trust,” said Board President Betts Armstrong. “As a founding member of Citizens for a Green Scarborough, he helped shape enactment of progressive land policies, which helped influence Portland and South Portland. He has engaged community members of all ages through educational walks and talks, including many bird walks on our Land Trust properties. His support has helped us to conserve Broadturn Farm, Pleasant Hill Preserve, Warren Woods and Blue Point Preserve, ensuring the protection of farmland and forest wildlife and watersheds for generations to come.”

Accepting the award, Woodin joked, “My only regret is that, had I known, I would have brought a blank check again.”

He owns Woodin & Company Store Fixtures in South Portland and has long encouraged other local businesses to join him in supporting the farm dinner. This year’s sold-out event had more than two dozen corporate and individual sponsors, led by Smith & Wilkinson, Piper Shores and The Ranello Group at RE/MAX Shoreline. Guests enjoyed oyster and charcuterie bars and a signature cocktail called The Conservationist. A bountiful family-style sit-down dinner by Dandelion Catering was followed by baked goods and Beals ice cream under the stars.

“Scarborough Land Trust is an essential component to the success of our business. We have a 99-year lease with them,” said Stacy Brenner, the State Senator who co-owns Broadturn Farm with her husband John Bliss. “They are a phenomenal asset to a growing community, because they create emerald moments, little green open spaces for people to enjoy.”

At 434 acres, Broadturn Farm is the largest property conserved by Scarborough Land Trust. It includes Sandi’s Silver Brook Trail, behind the flower-focused farmstead off Hanson Road. Altogether, Scarborough Land Trust has conserved over 1,600 acres.

“They’ve gone beyond owning and preserving land to education programs and inviting people onto the properties,” Woodin said. “And they are sensitive to waterways and other habitats.”

Two hundred people attended the anniversary dinner, raising over $65,000 for land protection and nearly $50,000 for Scarborough Land Trust operations and programs.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at [email protected].

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