A group of people pause on the ice overlooking the Fore River at The Rink at Thompson's Point in Portland on Thursday Jan. 21, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s largest city has acquired a parcel of land to help protect the headwaters of the Fore River.

Portland officials said the city has acquired a 27-acres from the Avangrid Foundation. The acquisition helps protect the largest remaining undeveloped area around the headwaters of the river, officials said.

Officials with the city said the parcel had been a high priority for years because it is near existing conservation land and has a network of trails.

Ethan Hipple, the city’s director of parks, recreation and facilities, said the acquisition will help with city conservation goals such as “creating outdoor recreation and exercise opportunities for walkers, bikers, students, commuters, and dog-walkers.”

The Avangrid Foundation donated 85 percent of the appraised value of the land to the Portland Land Bank Commission to help with the acquisition, officials said.

Hipple said the total purchase price was $325,000 and Avangrid donated $275K as a credit at closing, so the city paid $50,000.