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Otter Brook Project and Invasive Plant Guide

As some of you may know, particularly if you read our “Did You Know” advertisements in the Harpswell Anchor, the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership (HIPP) received grant funding for a project at Otter Brook Preserve. Otter Brook Preserve is on the eastern side of Rte. 123 north of Mountain Road.

Otter Brook is one of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s (HHLT) newest preserves with some unusual properties. It has a freshwater stream and pond that is rare in Harpswell. The freshwater flows into Harpswell Cove. The 1.5 mile-trail passes through field, forest and along the stream.

Unfortunately, Otter Brook also has some overgrown, untended invasive plant areas that we want to address. We developed an educational program to teach Harpswellians about invasive plants—both how to identify them and how to control them.

The first thing you’ll notice is new trail signs—five of them—that tell a story about how invasive plants impact properties in Harpswell. Be sure to walk the lovely trails and learn something new!

You will also start noticing Invasive Alert signs dotted throughout HHLT and Town trails. These campaign-style signs will be placed in front of some invasive plants to help you learn about them.

Finally, we produced a pocket-sized booklet describing the 20 invasive plants that HIPP is most concerned about. These waterproof field guides have been given to the volunteer stewards of all the HHLT and Town properties. As they monitor their properties, they can ID the plants, learn about control methods, and call on HIPP for further help.

The GOOD news is that this Stewards Guide is available to the public for $10. It makes a wonderful gift for your friends and neighbors, (Click here or contact hipp.maine@gmail.com to buy one or more!)

We want to thank the Davis Conservation Foundation and the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust for their assistance, as well as you, our HIPP supporters.

July 2020