Category Archives: FOSI News

Science Squad Treasure Hunt on WABI-TV

 

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!

Sears Island Treasure Hunt for Kids with Robin Huntley

A young explorer displays his collection of natural treasures. Photo by Robin Huntley

Who doesn’t love finding treasures in nature?!  The treasures found in a place say a lot about it-  they can show who lives there, what kinds of habitat are available, and what seasonal phenomena are taking place. Robin Huntley, founder of Dirigo Learning Community-Based Education, will lead youth participants on a treasure-finding exploration of Sears Island on July 22nd, from 9:30-11:30am.  Participants will collect items throughout their adventure, arrange what they find as a tiny museum, and share with the group about their collection.  Treasures cannot be taken home from the island, but we’ll photograph each collection once it’s put together! This free program is for children ages 6-12 accompanied by an adult. To participate, advance registration is required as space is limited.

Please CLICK HERE to register.

This event is part of Friends of Sears Island’s “Science Squad,” an program involving children as scientists, explorers, and stewards of their environment. Sears Island is located 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 9:30am. No pets are permitted at public programs. In the event of inclement weather, this program will be cancelled. For updates and more information, visit www.facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland or call 207-975-3878.

Intertidal Exploration on Sears Island’s Beaches

Blue mussels on the shore of Sears Island. Photo by Alison Dibble.

Summer beaches aren’t just for sunbathing and picnics! Join Friends of Sears Island for an exploration of intertidal organisms and their habitat on the beaches of Sears Island with Sarah O’Malley on July 8th, from 9:00-11:00am on Sears Island. We will search out various organisms and learn about the adaptations these animals and algae have that enable them to make this challenging environment their home.

Sarah O’Malley is an instructor at Maine Maritime Academy, in the Corning School of Ocean Studies. Her research interests include intertidal ecology, microplastics in the marine environment, and the impact of climate change on the ocean. As a passionate science communicator, Sarah doesn’t stop at the classes she teaches. She also produces a short science and nature radio show for the local community radio station, and writes about human experiences in the natural world for various venues.

This event is free and open to the public. 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. 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 www.friendsofsearsisland.org, http://facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland, or call 207-975-3878.

Observation and Journaling Experience

Making Friends in Nature: An Observation and Journaling Experience on Sears Island

Friends of Sears Island will host a nature observation and journaling workshop on Sears Island on July 1, from 3:00-5:00pm. The program will be led by Cloe Chunn, of the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition. Cloe will lead participants in a hike through the woods along the Homestead Trail, then down to the shore, and will discuss the value of keeping a personal record of your observations, imaginations, and inspirations. There will be opportunity to draw chosen species, write, and share. This program is free and open to the public, but program attendees should plan to bring a pencil, black pen, and colored pencils. Bring your own journal, or purchase one for $2.00 when you arrive.

Cloe Chunn is a former high school and college teacher, a naturalist, outdoor writer, and Registered Maine Guide. She is a cofounder and faculty member in the Maine Master Naturalist Program. Her book, Fifty Hikes in the Maine Mountains (W.W. Norton), has been a Maine standard hiking guide, continually updated and revised for over 30 years.

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 3:00pm. Wear footwear appropriate for walking in the woods and on the beach, 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 rain, the program will be rescheduled to July 2nd, from 3:00-5:00pm. For more information and updates, visit www.friendsofsearsisland.org, http://facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland or call 207-975-3878.

Photo credit: Cloe Chunn

Photo caption: Details from Cloe Chunn’s nature journals.

Solstice by the Sea: A summer celebration!

Last year’s Children’s Procession!

Join Friends of Sears Island as we celebrate the longest day of the year, Friday, June 21, from 6:00pm to 8:30pm on Sears Island! This is an event for the whole family. Bring a picnic, or hamburgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs from the Searsport Lions Club and ice cream from Stone Fox Farm Creamery will be available for purchase. There will be live fiddle music for a portion of the evening and readings that celebrate solstice traditions, as well as sidewalk chalk fun and a sun-themed processional to welcome the official start of summer. All are invited to wear flower crowns, to dress as faeries and elves, or otherwise adorn themselves in a way that expresses the enchantment of a magical midsummer’s eve on the Maine coast! This event is free and open to all, with a suggested donation of $5 per person or $10 per family to support Friends of Sears Island’s education and conservation efforts.
Please bring blankets or lawn chairs for your comfort, as there are no picnic tables. No grills or open fires are permitted on Sears Island. Please leave your pets at home and be prepared to carry out what you carry in. Porta-potties will be available near the island gate. Parking will be along the causeway; please park along the guardrail facing south. In the event of poor weather, please check our Facebook page (facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland) to learn if the event is cancelled.
Sears Island is located at the end of Sears Island Road, off Route 1, just east of Searsport village. For more information, call 207-975-3878 or email Outreach@friendsofsearsisland.org.

Harborwalk Dinner to Support FOSI

Friends of Sears Island invites you to join us for a fundraising dinner at Harborwalk Restaurant in Belfast, Wednesday, May 22nd, from 4:00pm-8:00pm. Enjoy a delicious meal, and Harborwalk 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 a local business and a local nonprofit!

Harborwalk Restaurant is located at 37 Front Street in Belfast. A menu and more information about the restaurant can be found at http://www.frontstreetpub.com/,  and reservations can be made by calling 207-338-0488.

Science Squad: Vernal Pool Exploration for Kids

Friends of Sears Island will host a vernal pool exploration for kids on Monday, May 20, from 4:00-5:30pm. Aquatic biologist John Tipping of Lotic Inc. will assist children in finding and identifying creatures living in the vernal pool. Program participants will also collect data on their findings, which will be recorded in the Sears Island database of biodiversity.

This program is for kids ages 6-12 with an accompanying adult. To sign-up, please CLICK HERE. 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

Sears Island is located 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 4:00pm. Please wear footwear and clothing that can get wet and bring water and a snack. No pets are permitted at public programs. In the event of inclement weather, program participants will be notified that the program is cancelled. For more information, call 207-975-3878.

Photo caption:  Children explore a vernal pool with John Tipping on Sears Island.

Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center

Friends of Sears Island and the Belfast Free Library will co-host a presentation titled “Lessons from Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center: A Citizen’s Guide to Helping the Birds of Maine,” with Laura Suomi-Lecker, on May 7th at 6:30pm at the Belfast Free Library. Laura will discuss common reasons why birds are admitted to Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center in Freedom and what public citizens can do to help our local birds.  Recent cases of Avian Haven will be highlighted, including injured eagles, owls, hawks, loons, and many species of songbirds.

Laura Suomi-Lecker is the education and outreach coordinator and long-time volunteer with Avian Haven and also the Technical Director at Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District where she does a variety of bird-related programs. For more information on Avian Haven, visit https://www.avianhaven.org/.

This event will take place in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library and is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the library at 207-338-3884, ext.10. To learn more about Friends of Sears Island visit www.friendsofsearsisland.org.

Photo caption: This barred owl is a recent intake at Avian Haven. This owl from Pittston arrived on December 7, with a broken tibiotarsus that was surgically pinned by Dr. Neville. All pins have since been removed and owl is flying and eating well.

Photo credit:  Courtesy of Avian Haven

Earth Day Program for Kids

Sears Island Western Shore

Sorry, the program is now full! If you’d like to be on the waiting list, please complete the registration form and we will contact you if space becomes available.

Friends of Sears Island will host a stewardship-themed program for children in celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd, from 4:00-5:30pm on Sears Island. Through hands-on activities and games, participating kids will learn what it means to be a steward of the environment and leave with ideas about actions they can take in their everyday lives to help the earth. Samantha Langlois will also share about the Plastic Challenge happening in our community this month, and the program will culminate in a beach clean-up. This free program is for children ages 6-12 accompanied by an adult. To participate, advance registration is required as space and materials are limited. Please register at: https://friendsofsearsisland.org/registration-april-22-2019/.

This event is part of Friends of Sears Island’s “Science Squad,” an after-school program involving children as scientists, explorers, and stewards of their environment. Sears Island is located 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 4:00pm. No pets are permitted at public programs. In the event of inclement weather, this program will have a rain date of April 24th.

“Searching for Spring” Phenology Program

Forsythia, an early spring bloomer. Photo credit: Marc Ryckaert

Friends of Sears Island will host a presentation titled “Searching for Spring: An Overview of Phenology Research and Citizen Science Initiatives in Maine” by Elisabeth Maxwell on Wednesday, April 10th at 6:30pm at the Belfast Free Library. Phenology is the study of seasonal changes in plants and animals. Without even realizing it, we all observe phenology events that occur around us: the first snow fall, bird migrations, leaves changing color, flowering of our favorite plants, and so much more! This presentation will introduce what phenology is, how it is observed, and describe some of the current research efforts taking place around the state. Elisabeth Maxwell is a co-coordinator for Signs of the Seasons, a citizen science monitoring program that trains and supports participants of all ages throughout New England in recording phenology. Using their backyards as laboratories, participants in the Signs of the Seasons program help scientists document the local effects of global climate change.

This event will take place in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library and is free and open to the public. For more information and to learn more about Friends of Sears Island visit www.friendsofsearsisland.org or www.facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland. To learn more about the Signs of the Seasons Program, visit https://extension.umaine.edu/signs-of-the-seasons/.