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Winter and Spring Events and Programs 2018

This is just a partial list of our 2018 winter and spring events. More will be added!

All events are free unless otherwise indicated. It being winter in Maine, many of our programs are weather dependent. Check this website for cancellations. For more information, contact Julia McLeod at outreach@hhltmaine.org or 207-837-9613.

Winter Ecology Walk

Sun., Feb. 18, 1-2:30 p.m.  *  Skolfield Shores Preserve, 33 Skolfield Drive, Harpswell  *  Advance registration is requested. Click here to register.

Bowdoin Biology Professor Nat Wheelwright will lead a winter ecology walk on the trails at Skolfield Shores Preserve in Harpswell from 1-2:30 p.m. This will be an opportunity to identify woody plants by their twigs and learn about common mosses and lichens, shelf fungi, winter birds and whatever else we happen upon. Dr. Wheelwright will discuss how animals and plants are adapted to survive our cold Maine winters. Free. Meet at the parking lot for the preserve on Skolfield Drive. Rain or snow or shine!

Full Moon Adventure

Curt Chipman photo

Thurs., March 1, 6:30-8 p.m.  *  Curtis Farm Preserve, 1554 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell

Savor the crisp air and moonlight as we explore the fields and trails at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s Curtis Farm Preserve. Free. Snacks and hot drinks provided around a fire. Dogs welcome. Bring a headlamp or flashlight, warm clothes and microspikes or trekking/ski poles if you have them. Meet at the parking lot for the preserve at 1554 Harpswell Neck Road (Route 123). No need to register in advance – just show up! This event is weather dependent; check back on our website for an update.

POSTPONED Star Party

Due to the snowy and cloudy forecast, we are postponing this event. A new date will be announced.

Please join us as we explore the night sky with a telescope. Members of the Southern Maine Astronomers will give an introduction to astronomy and guide participants on a tour of the night sky. This free, all-ages event is co-sponsored by the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, Orr’s Island Library and Harpswell Community School PTO. Dress for the outdoors, but there will be indoor access to warmth and bathrooms. Please bring binoculars and a flashlight (red if you have one). Bring a chair if you’d like. No need to sign up in advance – just show up. In case of inclement or cloudy weather, check this website or the Orr’s Island Library website or facebook page.

Nip them in the Bud: Emerging Invasive Plants

Black Swallow-wort (Becky Gallery photo)

Wed., March 14, 5:30-7 p.m.  *  Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell  *  Advance registration is requested. Click here to register

In Maine we are fortunate to have a modest selection of invasive plants compared to other parts of the country. However, several species are heading our way, and others are already in Maine but in limited areas. Come learn from Nancy Olmstead about how to identify these less common (for now) invasive plants and how to report suspected new arrivals. We will also discuss how to control these plants early before they pose a threat to our local plants and animals.

Nancy Olmstead is an Invasive Plant Biologist working in the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry to spread awareness about invasive plants, help address them on state lands, coordinate an online mapping tool and provide scientific information to natural resource managers and the public.

This event is organized by the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership in collaboration with Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.

Biodiversity in Maine: What it is, Why it Matters and Threats from Invasive Species

Mon., March 19, 5:30-7 p.m.  *  Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell  *  Advance registration is requested. Click here to register.

*Please note that this is a new date for this event.

Learn from Andy Cutko of The Nature Conservancy in Maine about biodiversity in Maine, why it matters for people and wildlife and how it is threatened locally by invasive plants and animals.

Andy Cutko is the Director of Science at The Nature Conservancy in Maine, where he oversees all aspects of the Conservancy’s work related to scientific research and analysis, strategic planning, and managing scientists on staff. Andy’s prior work includes positions with the Maine Natural Areas Program, US Forest Service, and an environmental consulting firm. He holds degrees from Williams College and Duke University, and he is a licensed forester in Maine. Andy lives with his family on the shores of Merrymeeting Bay in Bowdoinham.

This event is organized by the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership in collaboration with Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.

Using Herbicides to Control Invasive Plants

Wed., March 28, 5:30-7 p.m.  *  Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell  *  Advance registration is requested. Click here to register

Herbicides are an important tool in the invasive plant manager’s toolbox. But how do you know what to use, when to use it and how to apply it? What about health and ecological risks? And what are the rules and regulations at the state and local levels? In this workshop, Amanda Devine from Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Megan Patterson from the Maine Board of Pesticides Control and Mary Ann Nahf from the Harpswell Conservation Commission will give you a thorough overview of what you need to know before applying any pesticide.

Amanda Devine is Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s Regional Stewardship Manager for southern and Midcoast Maine. She has 10+ years of experience in non-native invasive plant management. Megan Patterson is the Pesticide Program Manager for the Board of Pesticides Control. As Chair of the Harpswell Conservation Commission, Mary Ann Nahf and the group work towards ensuring pesticide control measures will not adversely affect the town’s marine resources.

This event is organized by the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership in collaboration with Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.

Kookie McNerney photo

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 Natives 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 Day

Sat., April 21  *  All Harpswell Heritage Land Trust preserves. Please sign up for a preserve in advance by clicking here.

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 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!

Spotting birds at Curtis Farm Preserve (Curt Chipman photo)

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.

Birding Walk at Curtis Farm Preserve

Wed., May 9, 7:30-9 a.m.  *  Curtis Farm Preserve, 1554 Harpswell Neck Road  *  Advance registration is requested. Click here to register

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.

An 18th Century Moment in Harpswell History

Thurs., May 10, 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.

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., Harpswell location TBA

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. Space is limited and advance registration is required. 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.