Owls Head Conservation Commission
Beach Clean-Up Day
In Owls Head 45 students(ages 4-14), faculty and parent volunteers from the Riley School met Kathryn DerMarderosian chair of Owls Head CC at a trailhead of a half mile trail to Plaisted Preserve Beach where they removed 600 lbs. of trash. On another day Ginger Lane, the school’s math facilitator guided the students in approximating the square footage of the area cleaned-up in order to estimate the number of pounds per square foot collected. She said the students were amazed at how much trash was collected for such a small area. A school director posted photos of the beach clean-up along with links for helping to direct future clean-ups and encouraged all to be environmental stewards.
Cumberland Conservation Commission
Town Forest Story Walk
Cumberland Conservation Commission’s trails subcommittee and the Prince Memorial Library collaborated to develop a “Town Forest Story Walk”. The Story Walk is on a ¾ mile forested loop trail with staggered story book stations that feature pages to conservation-related stories. The story is changed the first Saturday of every month. Cumberland’s Town website points out that “ the walk encompasses reading, exercise, and an appreciation of the amazing open spaces we have here in Town.”
Hollis Conservation Commission
Indian Cellar Preserve: How Citizens Saved A Conservation Gem in Hollis
An undeveloped 54-acre parcel with a mile of shorefront on the Saco River in Hollis was sold in 2007 to a developer who proposed a 12-unit subdivision. This was a favorite piece of open space enjoyed by all. It is located across the river from Buxton’s Pleasant Point Park.
Photo credit: Jerry and Marcy Monkman
Over 50 people from both Hollis and Buxton attended a planning board public hearing on the proposed development and expressed their dismay with the project. Concerned citizens from both towns including several from the Hollis Conservation Commission formed a committee and decided to mount a campaign and purchase the entire parcel from the developer. A strong contributing factor to this effort’s success was an offer by an abutter to donate an additional 23 acres that the developer needed to access the property if the committee was successful in buying the property from the developer. This helped convince Land for Maines Future to provide funding.
The Trust for Public Land assisted in training the committee on how to raise funds and write grants. With funding from the Land for Maine’s Future, the Trust for Public Land, the Towns of Hollis ($250,000) and Poland Springs plus many contributions from countless individuals, they managed in 2009 to buy the property for a million dollars and were able to set up a $130,000 self-sustaining stewardship fund. The Town of Hollis acquired a total of 87 acres with an easement that the property cannot be developed or sold.
Hollis Conservation Commission (HCC) had the responsibility to turn the parcel into a park. HCC chair (and a member of MEACC’s Board of Directors) John Mattor an avid outdoorsman who had done trail work for the Appalachian Mountain Club for many years laid out the trails. The local Boy Scout troop and a local rehab center “Day One” was part of a crew that after two years formed eight numbered trails with a total length of 3 miles. Service volunteers from Idexx Corporation and “Path Finders” – a group of sixth grade students help maintain a total of about 4 miles of trails. Note: most of this article was derived from a longer excellent draft by John Mattor.
For more information check out the following video: https://vimeo.com/45461882
Arrowsic Conservation Commission
Restoring Alewives to Sewell Pond
The Arrowsic Conservation Commission in collaboration with Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, and others, installed a culvert that restores alewife passage to Sewell Pond with the goal of improving overall water quality. Watch the video to learn why, and how, they did it.