Monthly Archives: January 2018

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 www.belfastlibrary.org. To learn more about Friends of Sears Island check out www.friendsofsearsisland.org. Information on the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District can be found at: www.waldocountysoilandwater.org. For program updates in the event of inclement weather, visit www.facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland or call 207-975-3878.

“Science Squad,” an After-School Program for Children Ages 6-12

Children search for butterflies in the milkweed field on Sears Island during a monarch butterfly tagging program last fall. (Photo by Ashley Megquier)

Friends of Sears Island (FOSI) recently received a generous grant from the Davis Conservation Foundation to create “Science Squad,” a place-based after-school program involving children as citizen scientists. In the coming year, FOSI will host an after-school program once a month for 12 students and their parents, during each month that school is in session. This program will engage children throughout the seasons as explorers, researchers, and stewards of their local environment. They will also contribute valuable data to a variety of citizen science projects, including FOSI’s database of island biodiversity.

Future programs will be announced via our email list, and also on the website. If you would like to be added to our email list, please complete our contact form. Programs have filled up quickly, so be sure to sign up promptly!

The Davis Conservation Foundation has provided considerable support to Friends of Sears Island over the years for conservation and education projects. For more information visit: http://www.davisfoundations.org/dcf/.  To learn more about Friends of Sears Island and our upcoming programs, visit www.friendsofsearsisland.org, www.facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland, or email outreach@friendsofsearsisland.org.

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.