To save Canco Woods, an urban wild space, the Friends of Canco Woods (an informal group of neighbors and supporters) was formed in 2012 to protect and preserve this land as forested trails, accessible to all.

Fundraising Progress

In partnership with The Trust for Public Land, the Friends of Canco Woods has raised 100% of the $350,000 needed to purchase the land, but is still looking to raise money for Portland Trails to maintain the stewardship of the land.


Canco Woods is a lovely, 12.75-acre tree-filled location near Back Cove in Portland, Maine. These urban woodlands include trails hand-hewn by local residents, a vernal pool/pond complete with cattails and peepers, plus a wide variety of wildlife including foxes, muskrat and deer.

The only such urban wild space in the vicinity and surrounded on three sides by residential homes, Canco Woods was zoned “Light Industrial” and was under the threat of being purchased for such development in February of 2012. The Friends of Canco Woods (an informal group of neighbors of the woods) formed, and over the ensuing months, formed a partnership with The Trust for Public Land to raise the money to keep Canco Woods safe from development and open to the public.

In December of 2012, the land was purchased by the City of Portland’s Land Bank and placed under protective easement by Portland Trails, thus protecting the land for all of Portland’s future generations to enjoy in perpetuity. The Trust for Public Land worked with the Friends of Canco Woods to raise the money from more than 200 neighbors, other private donors and foundations, the City’s Land Bank, and even a sizeable gift from Central Maine Power/Iberdrola USA, the land’s owner.

We, the Friends are proud to have started and been a part of such a community effort, where public and private entities came together in a short period of time to preserve this special piece of land.