Friends of Sears Island 2013 ANNUAL REPORT

Highlights of an extraordinary year:

Grant proposals were sent to Maine Community Foundation and Davis Conservation Foundation. Both grants were awarded and, combined with a portion of a previously awarded grant from the Penobscot Bay Alliance, made it possible for FOSI to proceed with plans to contract an Outreach Coordinator.

Unity College students were again involved in trail/boundary clearing and class projects.

FOSI organized several walk and talk events with organizations, informal groups and individuals, plus a children’s summer day camp excursion to explore the wonders of the beaches.

Two educational walks were held: “Trees”, led by State Forester Morton Moesswilde and “Marine Ecology”, led by Dr. Brian Beal, UMaine Professor and Director of the DownEast Institute of Research and Education. 

Additional bog bridges were built on trails and maintenance and improvement of trails continued.

FOSI established a partnership with Searsport District Public Schools to enter into Expeditionary Learning Project beginning in spring of 2014.

Our Open House “Celebrate Sears Island“ at Curtis Hall drew several dozen area residents to enjoy displays, food and music.

FOSI helped bring about closure of Propane Tank Terminal proposal that would have opened the door to industry on Sears Island; continued vigilance will be required regarding MDOT port plans.

Sears Island was the site for a 5K race sponsored by Together In Education (TIE), a Searsport Schools Parent group that holds fundraising events, and was hosted by FOSI volunteers who prepared the race area and monitored stations along the way;

An Outreach Coordinator was selected from a field of candidates; our new OC Aleta McKeage has been contracted to work part time January through October, 2014.

Planning was intiated to design and construct a friendlier island entry gate and signs; discussions and decisions about design and funding will continue in 2014.

The Board of Directors was expanded and an Advisory Group was created to include Active Volunteers.

Thanks to FOSI’s many supporters for helping our organization grow in size and presence.

Marietta Ramsdell, President