We will make every effort to keep this page updated with the latest news and information as this process unfolds. Here you will find links to background information, news coverage, and informational video programs to help you understand the potential impact of the Offshore Wind Turbine project on Sears Island and the Town of Searsport.
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Links to Governor’s announcement and the Moffatt & Nichol Feasibility Study:
(Some items may be behind a paywall and require a subscription.)
Other Background Documents:
Friends of Sears Island offers another free grab-and-go activity kit for children this month. November is a time of shortening days, taking stock, preparing for winter, and giving thanks, and so this month’s theme is “Winter’s on its Way.” The activity kit will contain a gratitude scavenger hunt, acorns to hide (and later find) like a squirrel, instructions for building your own winter den, and information on the ways animals prepare for winter. There will also be a bag of supplies to make a clay creature and an activity sheet on how to build an outdoor habitat for your creation to survive the winter!
The kits are free and intended for children ages 5-12. Donations to Friends of Sears Island are always greatly appreciated to allow the organization to continue to offer programming to all at no cost. Activity bag quantities are limited and will be distributed to families on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a kit for your child, please email email@example.com. Families can pick up their kits from November 18-30 at the Carver Memorial Library in Searsport.
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Friends of Sears Island is offering another free grab-and-go activity kit for children this month. The theme for October’s bag is “Falling Leaf Fun,” which will include printouts about why leaves change color and how to identify leaves from common tree species in our area. The activity kit will contain a laminated leaf identification game, materials to make a leaf suncatcher or hanging mobile, paint swatches for a fall color scavenger hunt, and a small bag of supplies and instructions for leaf-related crafts and activities that families can do at home.
The kits are free and intended for children ages 5-12. Donations to FOSI are always greatly appreciated to allow the organization to continue to offer programming to all at no cost. Activity bag quantities are limited and will be distributed to families on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a kit for your child, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Families can pick up their kits from October 14-31 at the Carver Memorial Library in Searsport.
Photo credit: Annie Powers
On Tuesday, August 25th at 6:00pm, the Belfast Free Library and Friends of Sears Island co-hosted a virtual presentation with Seth Benz titled “Dust Off Your Binoculars, Fall Bird Migration is Upon Us!” Shorebirds, hawks, seaducks, gannets, songbirds: autumn’s southbound parade is one of nature’s finest spectacles. This presentation covered the beauty and basics of fall bird migration, including where, when, and how to pay attention. The program will be offered live via Zoom. To view the video of Seth’s presentation, click this link: https://youtu.be/CFge6-bS6Ds
Seth Benz is the director of bird ecology at Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park. He has lived on a seabird island, counted hawks from a mountain top, caught peregrine falcons on an east coast barrier island, and introduced thousands of people to the pleasures of birds and birding.
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.
Photo credit: Great blue heron, by Karl Gerstenberger, kegerstenberger.zenfolio.com
SORRY, ALL SEPTEMBER MIGRATION KITS ARE RESERVED!
WE WILL OFFER A NEW KIT IN OCTOBER, SO PLEASE CHECK BACK.
At the start of the school year, Friends of Sears Island (FOSI) typically kicks off Science Squad, a monthly after school program for youth ages 5-12 and their parents that engages children as explorers, scientists, and stewards of the local environment. These programs are typically held in-person, but given the pandemic, FOSI has opted to offer families a socially distant, self-serve version of Science Squad this fall, in the form of grab-and-go activity bags.
September’s theme is animal migrations, and this month’s kit will include lessons and activity guides about monarch butterfly and bird migrations. The activity bag will contain all the materials needed to make a pinecone bird feeder for birds journeying south, a small journal to keep track of migratory bird species, and a magnifying glass to encourage families to visit the milkweed field on Sears Island and look for monarchs in various stages of their lifecycle.
“As families adapt to new ways of educating their children in this unprecedented time, we want to encourage them to use Sears Island as a natural classroom. We hope that these themed activity bags will inspire parents and their children to learn outdoors together,” said FOSI’s Outreach Coordinator, Ashley Megquier. “Parents are invited to bring their kids to pick up their kit and then stay to explore on Sears Island, but many of the activities can easily be done at home too.”
The kits are free and intended for children ages 5-12. Donations to FOSI are always greatly appreciated to allow the organization to continue to offer programming to all at no cost. Activity bag quantities are limited and will be distributed to families on a first-come, first-served basis. The pick-up date for this month will be Tuesday, September 15, from 3:30-5:00pm on Sears Island, but if families cannot make that time, they can pick up their bags at the Carver Memorial Library in Searsport at their earliest convenience. To reserve a kit for your child, please email email@example.com.
These images and video clips were taken on a hike along the Homestead Trail on Sears Island in May 2020, highlighting some of the plant and animal species one might encounter while exploring the island in spring.
Created by Ashley Megquier.
Click to view a recording of a Zoom presentation on vernal pools given by Dr. Amanda Cross of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. This program was co-hosted by Friends of Sears Island and the Belfast Free Library in May 2020.
On Monday May 4th, 6:30 pm the Belfast Free Library in collaboration with Friends of Sears Island will host a virtual presentation about vernal pools with Dr. Amanda Cross from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The program will be offered live via Zoom. If you would like to join please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the link and password, which will be sent the day before the program.
While many things have changed this spring, the dependable calls of the wood frog and spring peeper have started once again. While we cannot visit vernal pools together in person this year, please join us for a virtual exploration of these remarkable ecosystems, the unique animals that live there, and simple techniques for exploring pools safely on your own.
Dr. Amanda Cross is a wildlife biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife with 15 years’ experience studying and teaching vernal pool ecology across Maine. She lives close to several vernal pools in Harpswell, where she and her family enjoy catching frogs, counting egg masses, and mimicking amphibian calls.
To celebrate the start of spring, Friends of Sears Island will host an after-school science program for kids ages 6-12 about how seeds germinate and grow, and how we can prepare soil for optimal growth conditions. The program will be led by Jenni Judkins at the Belfast Free Library on Monday, March 23rd, from 4:00-5:30pm. Jenni will guide children through a variety of stations where they can make seed bombs from clay and seeds, learn about composting with worms, combine different types of soil to make an ideal potting mix, learn about using seaweed as fertilizer, and plant some seeds to take home. Kids will also learn about different seed shapes and adaptations for distribution and the amazing potential they contain. Come play in the dirt, check things out under a microscope, and sow some seeds with us!
This free program is for kids ages 6-12 with an accompanying adult. Advance registration is required. To sign-up, please visit https://march-science-squad.eventbrite.com. This event is part of Friends of Sears Island’s “Science Squad,” an after-school program engaging children as scientists, explorers, and stewards of their environment. Jenni Judkins is the Natural Literacy Coordinator for the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
This event will take place in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library. For more information, call 207-975-3878.
WABI-TV’s Joy Hollowell visited Sears Island this morning (July 22) to find out more about this exciting Science Squad program, led by Dirigo Learning Center’s Robin Huntley. Science Squad programs are supported by Sprague Energy’s charitable fund. Watch the story by clicking below!