The City of Saco, Maine is turning land the federal government once labeled a toxic Superfund site into a hub for hiking, fishing, and recreation.
"It was almost 20 years ago that the federal government named a mound of industrial waste in the woods behind the city of Saco's landfill a Superfund site, the designation reserved for some of the nation's most contaminated toxic waste sites.
Since then, both the dump and the nearby municipal landfill in use until 1988 have been capped with rubber membranes and covered with thick layers of clay and soil. While those managing the cleanup of this land say the pollution has been under control for some time, a decade-old plan for the conversion of this land into a center for recreation and wildlife is just being realized.
Not long ago, nature enthusiasts like Espe might have had little company when they ventured onto the city's land off Foss Road. These days, more than 100 soccer players and their parents sometimes gather on a half-dozen playing fields recently built on the old city landfill, across the road from the Saco transfer station.
Saco Parks and Recreation Director Joe Hirsch said that number will double with the completion of another set of fields by next spring."
Thanks to Larry Schooler