Perhaps the most visible change in our island landscape is the major improvement of the entry area, a collaborative effort of Friends of Sears Island (FOSI), and many local and state organizations and volunteers.
From its previous degraded and foreboding entry with concrete barriers and broken chain link fence, the gate has been revitalized and recreated to provide a very attractive, park style entrance befitting its use as a conservation and recreation area. The recent transformation of the entry to Sears Island began more than a year ago when a small committee headed by VP Susan K. White met in Augusta with members of Maine’s Department of Transportation and Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and the Searsport Town Manager, to develop a plan for a new entry. More meetings and what seemed like a thousand emails produced the final design by MDOT’s Deane Van Dusen and work began in July. Deane also coordinated and supervised all the elements at Augusta, and then worked with Searsport’s Kinney Construction as they set in eleven bollards. Town Manager James Gillway and Maintenance Head Bobby Seekins pulled the local elements together, including Boy Scout Logan Seekins’s Eagle Scout project — painting the spruced up gate and the bollards. In addition, our kiosk was fully redesigned with a professional map, courtesy of Robin Tara Designs, and new interpretive text and information sheets.
A celebration of the new entrance and the successful stewardship of Sears Island by FOSI was held October 29th at the gate, with remarks by former Governor Baldacci , who sent his congratulations on the successful completion of the entrance makeover, saying he is pleased that we have reached this important milestone in the conservation work FOSI has done on the island.