ROWLEY — Interest in the 200-plus acre Girl Scout property for sale at 390 Wethersfield St. is growing.
Selectmen met with the Essex County Greenbelt Association at its last meeting to better understand their interest in the property for conservation.
In addition, local resident Erica Keefe expressed interest, along with her sister, to operate a camp on the property for children with medical disabilities.
The YMCA of Ipswich also inquired about the property with an interest in opening a Y camp there.
Selectmen agreed to go forward with a walkthrough of the property to get a better idea of the possible uses in the area. This property visit was to be scheduled within the next two weeks for all interested parties with the goal of moving a possible purchase forward. Selectmen were open to multi-use of the property and the opportunity of combining uses with town departments such as the fire, police and water departments.
The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts announced their intention to sell the property, which they have owned for 50 years, in mid-July. An asking price has not been set. According to town records, the property is valued at $1,363,900.
The Girl Scout property Camp Paradise at 44 Cole St. in Beverly, a 12-acre parcel, is also for sale.
Barbara Fortier, chief operations officer for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, said that the first choice for the property was to have the land protected, hence the interest by the Essex County Greenbelt Association.
“It would be exorbitantly expensive to transform this property for our needs, so we desire to move toward conservation of this property,” said Fortier at the Aug. 26 selectmen’s meeting. She noted that any agreement for the sale of the property would include a provision to allow the Girl Scouts to use the property for passive use going forward.
Fortier said this was just the beginning of a sale process that would take at least 18 to 24 months.
Susan Moses, a former member of the town’s Open Space Committee who attended the Aug. 26 meeting representing the Greenbelt Association, said that in the 1990s the Girl Scouts’ Wethersfield property was one of the key properties the Open Space Committee was interested in. The property has several areas that are wetlands, as the Batchelder Brook runs through it, as well as some dry upland woods and includes several vernal pools.