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Short Course on Harpswell’s Islands 2017

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) is offering a Short Course on Harpswell’s Islands this September and October. This six-session course provides a high quality, in-depth learning opportunity for adults, and it includes boat trips to three local islands! Class sizes are kept small.

We encourage you to sign up for the entire course, and you can do so for just $120. If you wish to sign up for less than the entire course, you can sign up for each two-session topic individually ($45/topic). Since space is limited and we expect high demand, please only sign up for classes you are reasonably confident you will be able to attend.

Thanks to grant funding, the course fee is a bargain for knowledgeable teachers, all boat transportation and entrance fees to Eagle Island. If the fee is a barrier to participation, scholarships are available.

All sessions are now full. To be placed on a waiting list, please contact Julia McLeod at outreach@hhltmaine.org or 207-837-9613.

The sessions are as follows:

Birding from Maine to the Arctic

with Doug Hitchcox, Maine Audubon Naturalist

Eagle Island (Priscilla Seimer photo)

Learn about Casco Bay’s sea birds, as well as migratory birds heading south at this time of year, with a classroom session to introduce you to what you might see out on the islands. Then, travel out to Eagle Island, former home of Arctic explorer, Admiral Robert E. Peary. We will watch for Maine sea birds along the way, and then view Peary’s collection of both local and Arctic birds in his home, now turned museum. Then we will explore the island’s trails to learn about migrating birds that use islands as resting places as they travel south.

Classroom session:  Wed., Sept. 6, 4-5:30 p.m. at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Rd, Harpswell

Field session:  Sat., Sept. 9, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Meet at the Dolphin Marina in Harpswell. Parking is limited, so please carpool if you are able and enjoy lunch at the Dolphin Restaurant afterwards if you would like. Please bring water, warm layers and comfortable shoes for exploring.

Native American Foods and Medicines of the Islands

with Karyn Marden

Whaleboat Island (Ron Davis photo)

Spend an afternoon in the classroom learning about the Native American history of the Casco Bay Islands, with a focus on the use of native plants for food and medicine. Then, travel to Whaleboat Island to identify and sample these plants, as well as to learn the cultural significance and history of sites on the island. Please note that we will be landing a dinghy on the beach and you will need to be able to climb in and out of the boat on your own, and you may get your feet wet.

Classroom session: Wed., Sept. 13, 4-5:30 p.m. at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Rd, Harpswell

Field session: Sat., Sept. 16, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Meet at the Dolphin Marina in Harpswell. Parking is limited, so please carpool if you are able and enjoy lunch at the Dolphin Restaurant afterwards if you would like. Please bring water, warm layers and comfortable shoes for exploring.

Birch Island, Then and Now

with Dick Snow, local historian and author of A History of Birch Island

The remains of a foundation on the Helen and Walter Norton Preserve on Birch Island (Julia McLeod photo)

Join local historian, Dick Snow, on a trip back in time to learn about Birch Island when it was home to Native Americans, shipyards, vacationers, farms and even a boy’s summer camp. A slide show will guide you through different periods in history during the classroom session. Then, visit Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s Helen and Walter Norton Preserve on the northeast corner of Birch Island to see an old foundation that once hosted the summer camp, as you imagine how life has changed on the island over time. Please note that we will be landing a dinghy on the beach and you will need to be able to climb in and out of the boat on your own, and you may get your feet wet.

Classroom session: Wed., Oct. 18, 4-5:30 p.m. at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Rd, Harpswell

Field session: Sat., Oct. 21, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Meet at the Mere Point Boat Launch in Brunswick for departure. Please bring a picnic lunch, water, warm layers and comfortable shoes for exploring.

Funding support comes from the Alfred M. Senter Fund and the Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation.