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2018 Spring Events and Programs

All events are free unless otherwise indicated. Events are weather dependent. Please check this website for cancellations. For more information, contact Julia McLeod at outreach@hhltmaine.org or 207-837-9613.

Going Native: the Hows and Whys of including Native Plants in your Yard and Garden

Sat., April 7, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. * Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell * Advance registration is requested. Click here to register

You will hear about these topics:

  • Re-Envisioning your Landscape using Native Plant Species to Support Local Wildlife with Kathleen (Kookie) McNerney, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
  • Edible Landscapes with Shawn Jalbert, Native Haunts
  • Planting Natives along the Shoreline with Kate Miller, local landscaper

Click here for details on this event.

Clean a Preserve during John Gilliam Day

Sat., April 21 * All Harpswell Heritage Land Trust preserves.  *  If you know where you will go, it helps us to plan. You can sign up for a preserve in advance by clicking here. But signing up is not required. Feel free to decide at the last minute where to help.

Celebrate Earth Day this year by picking up a trash at one of our preserves or trails! You can make a difference, while also enjoying beautiful Harpswell views. This is a great volunteer opportunity for families with children. All ages are welcome to participate. When you sign up for a preserve, we encourage you to clean the shoreline, parking lot, trails and along the roadside.

This activity is in collaboration with the town’s roadside clean up day called John Gilliam Day, which is always the closest Saturday to Earth Day. Trash bags are available for free at local stores, and bags of trash will be picked up if left by the side of the road on Rt. 123, Rt. 24, Mountain Road and Cundy’s Harbor Road. Free pizza is provided to everyone who helps at the Grange Hall at noon. In addition to helping at a preserve, you are encouraged to pick up trash by the side of the road. This is a great community event to clean up the trash left over from the winter and from the tide!

Spring Walk with a Naturalist

Sat., April 28, 10-11:30 a.m. * Hackett and Minot Trails, (please park at the Harpswell Historical Society, 929 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell)
Join Maine Master Naturalist Priscilla Seimer to look for and learn about signs of spring. See what plants are emerging from their long winter dormancy. Check out the vernal pool for signs of wood frogs and salamanders. Enjoy this quiet moss-lined walk through the woods. This walk is geared towards adults but all ages are welcome. No need to sign up in advance – just show up.

Short Course on Harpswell’s Habitats and Fisheries

Various dates and locations between May 2 and June 2

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) is offering a Short Course on Harpswell’s Habitats and Fisheries this spring and fall. This series provides a high quality, in-depth learning opportunity for adults. We recruit knowledgeable and passionate instructors and class sizes are kept small. Topics include fisheries management, the intertidal ecosystem and migratory fish. Click here for more information.

An 18th Century Moment in Harpswell History

Thurs., May 3, 5-7 p.m. * The Brunswick Inn, 165 Park Row, Brunswick * $5 cover charge to benefit Pejepscot Historical Society (PHS)

Speaker: Sarah McMahon, Associate Professor of History, Bowdoin College

Professor McMahon’s research into Harpswell families is widely known. She’ll share with us some of the latest stories she’s uncovered revolving around the year 1730. Cash bar. The program will include a featured drink and relevant PHS collections on display. This event is part of a series of History Happy Hours. Click here for more details.

This event is co-sponsored by the Pejepscot Historical Society and the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.

Nat Wheelwright

How to Keep a Nature Journal

Sun., May 6, 1:30-3:30 p.m.  *  Bowdoin Schiller Coastal Studies Center, Bayview Rd, Orr’s Island  *  Advance registration requested. Click here to register

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust is launching a community nature journaling initiative. The goal of this project is to encourage people of all ages to go outside and be nature observers. We hope that with a little bit of inspiration, knowledge and encouragement, community members will enjoy documenting observations in their own nature journals.

For the kickoff of the initiative, we are fortunate and excited to offer a presentation and walk by Nat Wheelwright, Bowdoin College Bass Professor of Natural Sciences and co-author (with acclaimed naturalist Bernd Heinrich) of The Naturalist’s Notebook. Join us to learn simple and effective ways to keep a nature journal and what to look for in your own backyard. Put your new knowledge to work right away while walking and observing outdoors with Nat.

This event is part of our Community Nature Journaling Initiative. Click here for details and other opportunities to get involved.

Spotting birds at Curtis Farm Preserve (Curt Chipman photo)

Birding Walk at Curtis Farm Preserve

Wed., May 9, 7:30-9 a.m. * Curtis Farm Preserve, 1554 Harpswell Neck Road * This event is now full

Join us for a birding walk at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s Curtis Farm Preserve. John Berry will lead participants through fields and forest to look and listen for a wide range of spring birds. Find out why local birders come back again and again to this birding hotspot. Bring binoculars and sturdy walking shoes.

This event is part of the annual Birding Extravaganza, a series of free birding events sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. Click here for more free birding events.

Identifying Invasive Plants

Tues., May 22, 5:30-7 p.m. * Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road  *  Please register in advance to help us plan. Click here to register.

Do you have invasive plants in your yard and woods? Learn how to identify invasives, why you should care about them and what you can do about them.

This free workshop is offered by the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership.

The Giant’s Stairs (Mary Ann Nahf photo)

Geology of the Giant’s Stairs

Sun., May 27, 2-3:30 p.m. * Giant’s Stairs Trail and McIntosh Lot Preserve, Ocean Street, Bailey Island

Learn about the geologic history of Harpswell’s coastline at one of its most scenic locations. Join Nancy West and Geoffrey Feiss to understand the geologic formation known as the Giant’s Stairs. The talk will take you back millions of years and will open your eyes to the powerful forces that have shaped the landscape we see today. Free.

After graduate work in geology and education, Nancy West’s career has been in science education. Geoff Feiss taught geology at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and the College of William and Mary. He focused on geochemistry, mineral resources, and field methods. Both are interested in helping non-geologists learn to see geological features in order to interpret geological history from their own observations.

Due to limited parking at the Giant’s Stairs Trail and McIntosh Lot Preserve, a shuttle service will be provided from Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s Johnson Field Preserve, 25 Abner Point Road, Bailey Island. The shuttle service begins at 1:30 p.m. The talk begins at 2 p.m. at the end of Ocean Street with a short walk along the Giant’s Stairs Trail. No need to sign up in advance – just show up.

Grand Opening of Otter Brook Preserve and Harpswell’s Newest Trail System

Sat., June 2, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.  *  Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road and the Otter Brook Preserve, 429 Harpswell Neck Road

Join us to celebrate the grand opening of Harpswell’s newest trail system! Click here for details.

Hiking at Curtis Farm Preserve (Curt Chipman photo)

Harpswell Hiking Challenge

Sat. & Sun., June 2-3  *  Take the challenge to hike eight coastal trails in two days! More details will be announced.

Make your own Nature Journal

Tues., June 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.  *  Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road  *  $2-5 suggested donation per journal

Create and bind your own personalized nature journal! You will have a variety of pages to choose from to create your journal, including blank pages, pages with writing or drawing prompts and pages with dates and years pre-printed to allow you to compare year to year (similar to The Naturalist’s Notebook). Once you arrange your pages, you get to choose a decorative cover and sew the book together. We will guide you through the process. You are welcome to show up at any time during this event, and making a journal won’t take the whole time. This is a great activity for all ages, and there will be page inserts geared towards both adults and children. No need to sign up in advance – just show up.

This event is part of our Community Nature Journaling Initiative. Click here for details and other opportunities to get involved.

Intro to Birding for Adults

Classroom presentation: Thurs., June 14, 6:30-8 p.m. at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road

Field trip: Sat., June 16 (rain date June 17), 8-9:30 a.m., Curtis Farm Preserve, 1554 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell

We ask that all those who attend the field trip also attend the classroom session. However, you are welcome to attend the classroom session only and skip the field trip. Advance registration requested. Click here to register.

Perhaps you enjoy looking at the birds around your house – even putting out bird feeders to attract more birds. In time, though, you want to see some birds that never come to your feeder. Or maybe you just want an ‘excuse’ to explore Harpswell’s many beautiful trails. In either case, you’re not sure how to start being a ‘birder’? You see birders with all kinds of expensive equipment and ‘funny’ clothes, and it’s a bit intimidating. What equipment do I really need? Or maybe you’ve even done a little birding on and off, but would like to pick up some bird identification tips to make your outings even more fruitful. You know there are loads of books and apps to help identify birds, but which ones are best for a novice birder? This two session class led by Judy Marino is for you! The first meeting will be a classroom presentation, and the second meeting will be a field trip to a local site.

This event is part of the annual Birding Extravaganza, a series of free birding events sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. Click here for more free birding events.

String Tide

Summer Solstice Celebration

Thurs., June 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m. * Johnson Field Preserve at Mackerel Cove, 25 Abner Point Road, Bailey Island

Join us to celebrate the summer solstice and kick-start summer fun with an outdoor picnic and live music by String Tide! Bring your own picnic and chairs, savor a beautiful evening on scenic Mackerel Cove, enjoy String Tide’s performance from 6-7:30 p.m. and celebrate the coming of summer. This event is free and open to all ages. There’s no need for you to sign up in advance – just show up!

String Tide is an all-male folk quartet specializing in rich, satisfying harmonies and a penchant for bluegrassery on covers of old time, folk, Americana, and pop tunes. Hailing from Brunswick, Bowdoin, and Woolwich they play fiddle, banjo, octave mandolin, guitar, and bass with energy and vibrancy as they pull you out of your seat to dance or cover some of your old favorites with their own special flair.

 Click here for summer events and programs!