The Friends of Sears Island (FOSI) received a $4,900 grant from the Waldo County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. This grant will enable FOSI to expand its outreach capacity through public awareness events, formal presentations, increased learning opportunities, and collaborations with area towns, schools and other nonprofits. Key to this increased activity will be application of the grant money towards contracting a short-term outreach coordinator.
In 2009, 601 acres of the 936-acre island were placed under a Conservation Easement held by Maine Coast Heritage Trust. At this time FOSI was entrusted with providing stewardship of the land while ensuring permanent public access to the many recreational and educational opportunities on the island.
Since that time FOSI volunteers have restored and improved four trails, constructed steps to the beach and an educational kiosk, and conducted numerous educational walks. As use of Sears Island increases so does appreciation for its diverse habitats and acceptance of the stewardship ethic.
School projects have evolved into a commitment to partnership with the Searsport Junior-Senior High School in an exciting “Expeditionary Learning” project, beginning in the 2013-2014 school year. We are confident that this and other partnerships will continue to grow, as will our volunteer base. FOSI will be stronger, the community will be enriched and the resources on Sears Island will be protected for future generations.