Category Archives: Upcoming

A History of Air Pollution in Maine



Processing a sediment core from Upper Hadlock Pond, Acadia National Park. Photo courtesy of Steve Norton

Friends of Sears Island will host a presentation on the history of air pollution in Maine by Dr. Stephen Norton, at the Belfast Free Library on March 7th, at 6:30pm. Humans have only been able to accurately characterize the chemical climate of Earth for about 50 years. To study pollution prior to the 1950s, scientists study the archives of pollution that are stored in soils, tree cores, museum collections of vegetation, ice cores from high elevation and/or high latitude, lake sediments, and peat accumulations in bogs. The evening presentation will focus on what soil surveys, lake and peat sediments can reveal, and if time allows, a few comments on the other archives.

Steve Norton is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences at the University of Maine. He graduated from Princeton and Harvard University, earning his PhD in 1967. He joined the Department of Geology faculty at the University of Maine in 1968 where he taught and did research until his retirement in 2008. His research is in the field of aquatic geochemistry.

This program is free and open to the public. To learn more about Friends of Sears Island check out For program updates in the event of inclement weather, visit or call 207-975-3878.

Kids Winter Survival February Break Program on Sears Island

This program is now full!
If you would like to be put on a waiting list, please click to complete a registration form. You will be notified if space opens up.

Have you ever wondered how animals and plants survive the harsh Maine winter? On February 20th from 1:00-3:00pm Friends of Sears Island will host a free winter survival program led by Serena Cole. Serena has been a biology and environmental educator for 30 years. She has led student science groups to Costa Rica, and been involved with citizen science projects at Schoodic Point Educational Research Center. Families will explore the winter woods on Sears Island while learning about plant and animal adaptations to cold climates, as well as outdoor winter survival strategies for humans. At the end of the program kids will have a chance to build a simple shelter to protect against the elements. This program is designed for kids ages 6-12 with an accompanying adult. To participate, please click here to register online.

This event is part of Friends of Sears Island’s “Science Squad,” a place-based after-school program involving children as scientists, explorers, and stewards of their environment. Science Squad is made possible by a grant from the Davis Conservation Foundation. Sears Island is on Sears Island Road off Route 1 just east of Searsport. Registered participants should park along the causeway at the end of the road and meet at the island gate by 1pm. Please wear footwear and outdoor gear appropriate for winter hiking and bring water and a snack. Please no pets at public programs.  In the event of inclement weather, program participants will be notified that the program is cancelled, with a back-up date of Feb. 22nd, 1-3pm. For more information, visit, or call Aleta at 855-884-2284.

The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Photo credit: Dan Mullen

Learn about Maine’s newest
endangered species

Dr. Mark McCollough, endangered species biologist with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will speak on “The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, Maine Newest Endangered Species” at the Belfast Free Library on February 6th, at 6:30pm. This program is free and open to the public.

The rusty patched bumble bee was added to the Federal Endangered Species List in March 2017. It was once one of Maine’s most abundant and widespread bumble bees, but has disappeared from much of its range. It was last seen in the mid-coast region of Penobscot Bay and may still exist here. Why are the rusty patched bumble bee, yellow-banded bumble bee, and many other pollinator species declining? What can you do to help? Would you like to help search for bumble bees this summer? Mark will discuss the fascinating ecology of this bumble bee and explain several programs that Federal and State agencies are initiating to help pollinator species in the state.

Dr. McCollough has been an endangered species biologist for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the last 15 years. Before that he worked for Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and was leader of the Nongame and Endangered wildlife programs. Mark works on everything from bumble bees to Canada lynx to the elusive Furbish’s lousewort.  Some may know that Mark is also a wildlife artist.  You may own a piece of his art and not know it (Maine’s chickadee and loon automobile license plates as well as Maine’s latest endangered species poster).

The Belfast Free Library and Friends of Sears Island are co-sponsoring this event in cooperation with the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District. For more information about the Belfast Free Library, visit To learn more about Friends of Sears Island check out Information on the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District can be found at: For program updates in the event of inclement weather, visit or call 207-975-3878.

Annual Meeting, Tuesday January 9

Click image to download our 2017 Annual Report.

All Are Welcome!

Friends of Sears Island (FOSI) will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, January 9, from 1:30-3:30 pm, in Union Hall on the second floor of the Searsport Town Office, 1 Union Street in Searsport. The meeting is open to the general public. Light refreshments will be served.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone to learn more about our organization, and to become more involved,” according to board president Susan White. “At our annual meeting, we’ll take a look back at activities over the last year, and also a look ahead at opportunities and challenges in 2018. We are always looking for new members and new ideas to help fulfill our mission.”

The agenda for the annual meeting will include voting on a slate of board members and officers, the treasurer’s report on 2017 and the budget for 2018. Outreach coordinator Ashley Megquier will present highlights from the last year, and an overview of several programs in the works for the coming year. Following the annual meeting, the regular monthly business meeting will be held, with everyone invited to remain and participate.

Fundraising Dinner at Anglers Restaurant in Searsport

Friends of Sears Island invites you to join us for a fundraising dinner at Anglers Restaurant in Searsport, Wednesday, November 8th, from 4:00pm-8:00pm. Enjoy a delicious meal, and Anglers Restaurant will graciously donate 10% of your tab to Friends of Sears Island to support conservation and education programs. This is a great opportunity to support both a local business and a local nonprofit! Anglers Restaurant is located at 215 East Main Street in Searsport. More information about the restaurant can be found at and reservations can be made for parties of 8 or more by calling (207) 548-2405. To learn more about Friends of Sears Island, visit

Branch Weaving Art Workshop

Photo courtesy of Sandy Cirillo

Join Friends of Sears Island for a branch weaving workshop with Sandi Cirillo on Sunday, October 1st, from 9am-12pm. She will lead program attendees on an exploration of Sears Island while gathering natural materials to create a weaving, suitable for display in your home or a child’s room. We’ll look for a small but sturdy branch and then learn how to weave on found items. Everyone on this outing will learn more about the environment on Sears Island and how important it is to protect it. Registration is required for this event- please call 207-975-3878 to sign-up, as space is limited. This program is free and open to ages 7 and up. Children must attend with an adult who will be responsible for their supervision.

Sandi has been a fiber/mixed media artist for over 25 years and is a retired art educator who gives many different fiber workshops in the Northeast, North Carolina, locally at her home studio in Searsport, and through Bucksport Adult Education. Visit her website, to see examples of Sandi’s work and a list of available workshops.

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 9:00am. Please bring a beach blanket to sit on while weaving and a pair of sturdy scissors. Also wear sturdy shoes, suitable clothing for hiking, and bring a snack, water, and bug spray if desired. Please no pets for this event. For more information and updates in the event of inclement weather, visit,, or call Ashley at 207-975-3878.

Mushroom Walk with David Porter

Friends of Sears Island will be hosting a mushroom walk led by David Porter on September 13th, from 10am-12pm. David is a graduate of Yale and the University of Washington, and worked as a professor in the Plant Biology Department at the University of Georgia. His specialty is mycology, the study of mushrooms and other fungi. Program attendees will observe numerous fall mushrooms, learn the basics of mushroom identification, and become aware of commonly overlooked signs of the hidden underground activities of mushrooms and other fungi and how they contribute to the ecology of the Maine forest.

This event is free and open to the public, and questions and curiosity are welcomed. 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 10am. Wear footwear appropriate for walking in the woods, and clothing to protect against ticks and the weather. Bring water, a snack, and insect repellent. Please no pets on guided walks.  In the event of steady rain, the program will be cancelled. For more information and updates, visit, or call Ashley at 207-975-3878.