Category Archives: FOSI News

Greetings and Happy New Year,

Here it is…  FOSI’s logo, artfully designed by Robin Tara (Tara Design, Inc.). Soon it will be appearing on letterheads and other interesting places.  

At the close of 2011 FOSI wants to thank all of our members and friends who have helped make this a positive and productive year – individuals; area organizations and community groups; trail maintenance volunteers; local teachers, principal, students and parents; naturalists; and more.  Each and every one has played an important role.
Here are some of FOSI’s milestones in 2011:
•    celebrated the completion of the Natural Resources Inventory with a wonderful power point presentation for the public by Botanist Alison Dibble (Stewards LLC) & Jake Maier (J.M. Forestry);
•    established a partnership with Searsport Elementary School, with a snowshoeing track identification trip and several trail maintenance trips; also partnered with groups from Searsport Shores Campground on cleanups and other activities;•    developed a Strategic Plan and prioritized goals and objectives through 2015, with some already accomplished;      •    got a new website up and running, designed by Bonneville Consulting;    •    drafted a marketing plan to be finalized soon;    •    improved the appearance of the area around the gate;    •    restored another trail, the Green Trail west of the paved road, leading to the west shore;    •    held our first Open House, with a continuous slide show, guitar & vocals by Mark Aubertin, and lots of fabulous food; And, thanks to some innovative members, we now have a nucleus of “Active Volunteers” who are commited to putting their interests and talents to work in ways that best suit their schedules and work loads.  Anyone who has experience that might fit a niche to benefit FOSI, please come forward and let us know.  Do you have artistic skills, clerical aptitudes?  Do you like planning events, taking photos, writing, organizing/leading work groups?  Would you like to put into effect a special interest that we may not even have thought of?Many thanks to our outgoing President Jan Flint and Vice President Bob Ramsdell, for the time and energy they have dedicated to FOSI for several years.  Thanks, too, to Treasurer Jay Economy who will be continuing in that position, and to Secretary McCormack Economy who has agreed to stay on a little longer.  And welcome and best wishes to new President Marietta Ramsdell and Vice President Susan White.Many thanks to Steve Albin for getting this letter out to you and setting up the process for future newsletters.Don’t forget to check the Friends of Sears Island website for meeting announcements.
_____The mission of the Friends of Sears Island (FOSI) is to support permanent protection of Sears Island’s environmental and cultural resources; preserve its marine, shoreland, and forest ecosystems; and encourage educational and low impact recreational uses of the island.




Sign up now for Kids Week programs!

We are now taking registrations for Kids Week over the phone. During the first week of August we will offer three separate programs led by Ashley Megquier for children ages 4-10 and a parent or caregiver. Please note, SPACE IS LIMITED AND YOU MUST REGISTER BY CALLING 207-975-3878 to participate in any of these programs. This is to ensure we can offer a quality experience and have enough materials for each child. Families can sign up for just one or multiple programs depending on availability. See details about each of the programs below:

August 2nd, 9:30am-12pm
Art in the Outdoors: Creating in Nature

We’ll go exploring to find some natural materials to create with, and then learn how to use sunprint paper to make beautiful prints of leaves, flowers and more! We will also play games, read a story, and discover other ways to use items found in nature to create art.

August 3rd, 9:30am-12pm
Nature Rangers: Animal Habitats & Care of the Environment

Learn about the where animals live on Sears Island and how they are specially adapted to their environments. We’ll explore different types of habitats, play games, and learn ways we can all help protect the earth.

August 4th, 9:30am-12pm
Map Making, Scavenger Hunts & Geocaching

This day is all about hiding and seeking! We’ll learn about the symbols used on maps, make our own to lead each other on scavenger hunts, and then learn how to use a GPS to find a hidden geocache!

Call Ashley at 207-975-3878 to register!

Yoga on the Beach with Missy Hatch

Join Friends of Sears Island for yoga on the beach with Missy Hatch, Friday, July 28th from 10am-11:15am. Using the beach environment, Missy will engage participants in a lighthearted exploration of movement and stretching, taking advantage of whatever the natural world has to offer for support. This class is for anyone able to walk on the beach. It will be geared for adults but attentive children are also welcome. Missy Hatch has been teaching yoga since 1989, and enjoys hiking and being outside. No matter the surroundings, there are always stretches that can be done; being unconventional is the fun part.

This event is free and open to the public. Sears Island is on Sears Island Road off Route 1 just east of Searsport. Participants should park along the causeway at the end of the road and meet at the kiosk near the island gate by 10:00 am. Please wear comfortable clothing, and bring a beach towel and water. Please no pets for this event. For more information, visit,, or call Ashley at 207-975-3878.

Geology of Sears Island Walk with David Laing

Discover the earth history of coastal Maine during a geology walk offered by Friends of Sears Island on Friday, June 30th from 10:00am – 12:00pm. David Laing will lead a program titled “Bedrock & Surficial Geology of Sears Island & Vicinity.” He will guide participants on an investigation of glacial deposits and exposed bedrock on Sears Island and discuss how it relates to the geology of the surrounding region. David Laing is a graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard who worked as a geology consultant and professor of geology at several universities. He has also authored books on earth science and global warming, and welcomes difficult questions.

This event is free and open to the public. Sears Island is on Sears Island Road off Route 1 just east of Searsport. Participants should park along the causeway at the end of the road and meet at the kiosk near the island gate by 10:00am. Please wear footwear appropriate for hiking, and clothing to protect against ticks and the weather. Bring water, a snack, and insect repellent. Please no pets on guided walks. For more information and updates about cancellations in the event of inclement weather, visit,, or call Ashley at (207) 975-3878.

Citizen Science Opportunities on Sears Island

In 2016 Sears Island began a program to eradicate invasive plant species, monitor sensitive habitats, and to engage island visitors as citizen scientists on the island. On Saturday, June 10th, from 10am-12pm, Aleta McKeage will lead a nature walk that will teach walk participants how to identify invasive plants, and give a hands-on tutorial on how to use your camera and/or smartphone to record and report interesting observations of flora and fauna through FOSI’s new citizen science portal on their website. In addition, participants will be given field guides and checklists specific to Sears Island printed from iNaturalist, a website FOSI is using to create a database of the plant and animal species that can be seen on the island. McKeage will also discuss other exciting citizen science programs as well as apps and websites you can use to enrich your experience in nature while also contributing to an important collection of data that will help FOSI and other groups measure changes in biodiversity over time. This hands-on program will leave you feeling inspired about the simple actions you can take to make a difference in monitoring and protecting our natural resources.

Aleta McKeage is the Technical Director at Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District and an ecological consultant at GreenWays Eco Center in Belfast. McKeage managed the Sears Island Stewardship Project last summer and will continue her work of removing invasive plants and monitoring this summer with several college interns.

This event is free and open to the public. Sears Island is on Sears Island Road off Route 1 just east of Searsport. Participants should park along the causeway at the end of the road and meet at the kiosk near the island gate by 10:00am. If you have a smartphone, we encourage you to download the free iNaturalist app before the walk, as it may enrich your experience (however, this is not required). Please wear footwear appropriate for hiking, clothing to protect against ticks and the weather, and bring water, a snack, and insect repellent. Please no pets on guided walks. For more information and updates about cancellations in the event of inclement weather, visit,, or call Ashley at (207) 975-3878.

Morning Bird Walk on Sears Island

Photo by Karl Gerstenberger (

Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition offers several free outings for birders this month, including a morning bird walk on Sears Island.

Saturday, May 20 at 7:00 am

Join Maine Master Naturalist Cloe Chunn for an early morning bird walk on Sears Island. Park along the causeway and meet at the kiosk just beyond the island gate. Bring binoculars and wear tick repellent clothing. May 13-20 is Bird Week, and this walk will cap off a week of birding events sponsored by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.

Here is the complete schedule of Bird Week events offered by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition:

Saturday, May 13, 9:00 am-1:00 pm

Paddle the South Branch of the Marsh River, Frankfort/Prospect, 6 miles roundtrip in flatwater. Marsh wrens, saltmarsh sharptail sparrows, red-wing blackbirds, waterfowl. Meet at the Frankfort boat launch on Rt. 1A. Bring kayak/canoe, paddle, PFD, water, lunch, sun/rain/bug protection, binoculars.

6 Morning Bird Walks
Each walk starts at 7:00 am.  Wear tick repellent clothing.

  • Monday, May 15: Head of Tide Preserve, CMLT, Doak Road, Belfast.
  • Tuesday, May 16: Cloe and David’s farm, 210 Oak Hill Road, Swanville.
  • Wednesday, May 17: Ducktrap River Trail, CMLT, Rt. 52, Lincolnville.
  • Thursday, May 18: In-Town Nature Trail, Meet at the Muck (Kirby Lake), Belfast.
  • Friday, May 19: Main Stream Preserve, CMLT, Prospect. Meet at 7 am at Searsport Irving Station to carpool.
  • Saturday May 20: Sears Island, finale of Bird Week. Meet at the causeway gate to Sears Island in Searsport.

Thursday, May 18, 6:30 pm
Bird Identification and Conservation  at the Belfast Library.

Jody Telfair, a Maine Master Naturalist, will join our Bird Week efforts with a review of bird identification. She will also discuss ways to help birds, migratory and resident, survive.

Friday, May 19, 7:30 pm
Evening Woodcock Watch (Rain date Sat., May 20)

With Mike Shannon at Cloe and David’s farm, 210 Oak Hill Road, Swanville.

Visit for more information.