Category Archives: Upcoming

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.

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.

Track and Sign Exploration for Youth on Sears Island

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.

Join Friends of Sears Island for a Track and Sign Exploration program for children on Wednesday, March 27th from 4:00-5:30pm. This free program will be led by Caitlin Horigan on Sears Island. Letting our curiosity lead us, we’ll explore what tracks and animal signs we come upon together. We’ll learn about what animals live in this ecosystem and their behaviors during this time of year. This program will likely involve some off-trail walking and standing, so please wear snowshoes or tall boots if you have them and dress for the weather!

This program is for kids ages 6-12 with an accompanying adult, and advance registration is required as space is limited. To sign-up, please CLICK HERE. 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.

Caitlin Horigan has been mentoring youth in a wide variety of settings and various countries for over 18 years. Currently, she is facilitating nature connection activities in public schools and after-school programs in mid-coast Maine. Her introduction to tracking, bird language, plant medicine, shelter building, scout skills and off grid living began when she worked for the Maine Primitive Skills School. Caitlin is a Wilderness First Responder and is pursuing a Recreational Maine Guide license.

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, program participants will be notified that the program is cancelled. For more information, visit www.friendsofsearsisland.org, facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland or call 207-975-3878.

Photo caption: Children exploring the winter woods.

Photo credit: Caitlin Horigan

Animal Bones Identification and Exploration Program for Kids

Skull specimens in Dirigo Learning’s collection. Photo by Robin Huntley

Sorry, but this program is now full! You can still use the registration form to put your child on the waiting list, and we will contact you if space becomes available.

Friends of Sears Island and Dirigo Learning will host an animal bones exploration workshop for kids at the Belfast Free Library on Monday, October 22, from 4:30-6:00pm. The program will be led by Robin Huntley, of Dirigo Learning. During this hands-on workshop, participants will learn to recognize the key identifying characteristics of a host of familiar creatures.  Children will get to closely examine a variety of skulls, antlers, teeth, and other bones to look for clues about a creature’s diet, habitat, and behavior.  Showcased during the workshop will be Dirigo Learning’s bone collection, made up of over 35 different skull, bone, tooth, and antler specimens from birds, mammals, and fish.  Animals from the Maine landscape will be emphasized during the place-based program, and nearly all of the specimens included in Dirigo Learning’s bone collection have been gathered locally.

This program is for kids ages 6-12 with an accompanying adult. To sign-up, please visit https://friendsofsearsisland.org/registration-october-22/. 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. Science Squad is made possible by a grant from the Davis Conservation Foundation. Program co-sponsor Dirigo Learning is a Community-Based Education Network affiliate for Midcoast and Central Maine whose mission is to promote community-based education by cultivation of learning experiences rooted within local landscape and culture.

Registered participants can plan to meet in the Abbott Room, on the ground floor of the library. For more information, visit www.friendsofsearsisland.org, facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland or call 207-975-3878.

Dinner at Harborwalk to support FOSI

Friends of Sears Island invites you to join us for a fundraising dinner at Harborwalk Restaurant in Belfast, Wednesday, August 8th, from 5:00pm-9:00pm. 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. To learn more about Friends of Sears Island, visit www.friendsofsearsisland.org.

Spring Stewards Day for Kids

Friends of Sears Island will host Spring Stewards Day for Kids, on Friday, April 27th, from 4:00-5:30pm. After a long winter of marine debris washing up on Sears Island, spring is the perfect time for a beach clean-up, and with the celebration of Earth Day this month, this program will focus on pollution and stewardship. Marianne McKinney Randall from the Ban the Bag in Belfast group will teach participants about pollution in our marine environment and what local activists are doing to help with this problem. The program will also include a beach clean-up with kids collecting data on the types of debris found along the beach. This information will be sent to the Ocean Conservancy to be added to their global ocean trash database.

Space is limited for this free program, and advance registration is required. 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. Science Squad is made possible by a grant from the Davis Conservation Foundation.

Sears Island is 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 outdoor gear appropriate for walking along the beach 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, with a back-up date of April 30th, 4:00-5:30pm. For more information, visit www.friendsofsearsisland.org, facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland or call 207-975-3878.

A History of Air Pollution in Maine

Friends of Sears Island will host a presentation on the history of air pollution in Maine by Dr. Stephen Norton, at the Belfast Free Library on June 5th, at 6:30pm. Humans have only been able to accurately characterize the chemical climate of Earth for about 50 years. To study pollution prior to the 1950s, scientists study the archives of pollution that are stored in soils, tree cores, museum collections of vegetation, ice cores from high elevation and/or high latitude, lake sediments, and peat accumulations in bogs. The evening presentation will focus on what soil surveys, lake and peat sediments can reveal, and if time allows, a few comments on the other archives.

Steve Norton is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences at the University of Maine. He graduated from Princeton and Harvard University, earning his PhD in 1967. He joined the Department of Geology faculty at the University of Maine in 1968 where he taught and did research until his retirement in 2008. His research is in the field of aquatic geochemistry.

This program is free and open to the public. To learn more about Friends of Sears Island check out www.friendsofsearsisland.org. For program updates in the event of inclement weather, visit www.facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland or call 207-975-3878.

Kids Winter Survival February Break Program on Sears Island

This program is now full!
If you would like to be put on a waiting list, please click to complete a registration form. You will be notified if space opens up.

Have you ever wondered how animals and plants survive the harsh Maine winter? On February 20th from 1:00-3:00pm Friends of Sears Island will host a free winter survival program led by Serena Cole. Serena has been a biology and environmental educator for 30 years. She has led student science groups to Costa Rica, and been involved with citizen science projects at Schoodic Point Educational Research Center. Families will explore the winter woods on Sears Island while learning about plant and animal adaptations to cold climates, as well as outdoor winter survival strategies for humans. At the end of the program kids will have a chance to build a simple shelter to protect against the elements. This program is designed for kids ages 6-12 with an accompanying adult. To participate, please click here to register online.

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. Science Squad is made possible by a grant from the Davis Conservation Foundation. Sears Island is 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 1pm. Please wear footwear and outdoor gear appropriate for winter hiking and bring water and a snack. Please no pets at public programs.  In the event of inclement weather, program participants will be notified that the program is cancelled, with a back-up date of Feb. 22nd, 1-3pm. For more information, visit www.friendsofsearsisland.org, facebook.com/friendsofsearsisland or call Aleta at 855-884-2284.

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.

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.