After a thoughtful search, we are thrilled to announce that Erika Rowland has accepted the position of Executive Director of the Greater Lovell Land Trust. She brings two decades of experience in the Land Trust movement, great academic credentials including a PhD in forest resources from the University of Maine, an education program background, and extensive work on climate change issues at both a local and national level.
I am picking my way through second growth forest in Lovell, in search of the tallest surviving American chestnut tree in North America. From the deep, well-drained soil, towering white pines, like masts on a clipper ship, reach toward the canopy. Muscular red oaks vie for space in the shaded woods. I alternate between craning my head upwards, searching for a glimpse of the chestnut’s distinctive white flowers, and scanning the forest floor for last year’s burs and dropped leaves. It’s here somewhere. Maybe this time I’ll find it…
We’d made promises in the recent past that fell flat. With that in mind, when the Greater Lovell Land Trust’s Nature Explorers, a homeschool group led by Docent Juli, gathered this morning, she was smart and stuck to the life cycles of potential sightings like frogs rather than possibilities…
In 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis) promoted Earth Day as a call to embrace environmental causes and fight the forces that were polluting and damaging our planet. By July of that year the Environmental Protection Agency was inaugurated, with its mission to protect the environment and public health, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act were signed into law, and a global awareness of the environmental movement was begun…
Last night one of the Greater Lovell Land Trust‘s volunteer docents earned her certification from the Maine Master Naturalist Program. The MMNP’s goal is to develop a statewide network of volunteers who will teach natural history throughout Maine. With hands-on training, the course provides over 100 hours of classroom and outdoor experience, focusing on geology, identification of flora and fauna, wetland and upland ecology, ecological principles and teaching methods. By the time students complete the program, which includes a final capstone project, they have developed the skills to lead a walk, present a talk and provide outreach. In the year following certification, each graduate agrees to volunteer 40 hours and thereafter must continue to volunteer to remain an active Maine Master Naturalist.
It was actually still winter when I joined Lakes Environmental Association’s Education Director Alanna Doughty and LEA member Betty for a “Welcome Spring” snowshoe hike at Holt Pond Preserve this afternoon–but really, for western Maine, it was a delightful spring day….
When we gathered at the Greater Lovell Land Trust’s Fairburn parking lot on Slab City Road at 9:30 this morning, the thermometer registered 4˚. But the good news–no wind. And . . . the six Tuesday Trackers who decided to join me and brave the elements were dressed for the occasion….
People often ask me this question: Aren’t you afraid of hiking alone? My response is that I’m more afraid to walk down Main Street than through the woods, the reason being that it’s a rare occasion I encounter another mammal. Oh, I do move more cautiously when I’m alone and today was no different. But . . . there’s something uniquely special about a solo experience.
We’ve wandered there before, my friend and I, and we’ll wander there again. For as she said, “No matter how often we come here, there’s always something new to see.” And so it was that we found ourselves crawling over the crusty snowbank to get onto the trail of the Greater Lovell Land Trust’s Wilson Wing Moose Pond Bog Reserve.
Meet the Staff
Aidan Black, Associate Director— Interning at the GLLT in 2016 under Tom Henderson’s guidance and mentorship sparked a passion for conservation work. I grew up spending summers on Keyes Pond and visiting my grandparents’ farm in Sweden, ME. In May, I graduated from Colby College with a BA in Environmental Policy. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, kayaking, and playing soccer—which led me to coaching the Fryeburg Academy boys’ Soccer Team this fall.
Dakota Ward, Stewardship and Systems Associate—I grew up on the Cold River in Stow. I was an intern at the GLLT in 2017 under the mentorship of Tom Henderson, Leigh Hayes and others, and returned for 2018. I graduated from Central Maine Community College with an AAS degree in Graphic Design and where, in addition to my GLLT duties, I’m now an instructor. I enjoy hiking, photography, and mountain biking.
Alice Bragg, Office Manager—I have always loved Maine and moved to Lovell from Massachusetts in 1980, looking for a rural setting to make a home and raise a family. I started doing work for the GLLT in 2005 and joined the team last winter. My favorite pastimes are spending time with my family, hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing and gardening.
Please stop by the office if you have questions, comments, or just to say, “Hello!”
The GLLT is supported by a great team of volunteers, and this year the hard work of these amazing people was felt more than ever.
Thursday Volunteer Outings was a summer feature at GLLT properties. We worked on trails, opened scenic views, and made needed repairs. The two-hour work sessions required hand tools, good attitudes, teamwork, and sometimes brawn to complete key projects.
Off the trails, we have worked on monitoring and mapping conservation easements. This has given us the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the conservation-minded landowners who have easements with the GLLT. Our first summer outing was to Chip Stockford Reserve, where we re-opened the beautiful view of Kezar Fen and Mt. Kearsarge. Next, we built Tom’s Path—in honor of our late Executive Director, Tom Henderson—at Five Kezar Ponds Reserve. Tom’s Path takes hikers on a wonderful excursion from the Mountain Trail to scenic vistas overlooking Middle Pond. At the Heald and Bradley Ponds Reserve, we rerouted the Flat Hill trail and opened a view of the White Mountains at the summit— on a clear day you can now see all the way to Mt. Washington! In addition, with the help of many volunteers over several outings, we created the Heritage Trail. The trail connects the Amos Andrews and Saddle trails, taking hikers along old stone walls, a colonial road, and several fascinating geological features along the south side of Amos Mountain. And for those who like to climb the Southwest View Trail, there is now a view of Kezar’s Upper Bay from the top of Devil’s Staircase. None of this work could have been completed without dedicated volunteers: GLLT board members Bob Katz, Brent Legere, Mike Maguire, Bruce Taylor, Heinrich Wurm, and significant contributions from Ken Angell, Ken Einstein, Ingrid Einstein, Jane Gibbons, Jay Gestwicki, Lila Gestwicki, Tim Gestwicki, Brian Hammond, Kevin Harding, Leigh Macmillen Hayes, Rick Klausner, Dave Percival, Anna Römer, Peter Ross, and Ryan Schutt.
GLLT trails are open year-round so strap on your snowshoes or skis and enjoy the views from the summits, and join us when we resume our volunteer outings in the spring!
Wrote Kevin, “I rarely find a book that I’m willing to recommend to friends and colleagues. I rarely read books on saving the environment because I find them too depressing. I am guilty of feeling totally overwhelmed by the chaos and daily news of political disfunction that makes any kind of progress toward “saving the environment” seem impossible. Despite these feelings, I would like you to consider reading Rewilding Our Hearts by Marc Bekoff. No doubt many of you know this author and you may have already read some of his work. Bekoff can help us understand that the work we do in Lovell is in fact meaningful and productive.”
In honor of one of our earliest easement donors, Marion Rodgerson, the Greater Lovell Land Trust offers a $1,000 scholarship each year to a graduating senior at Fryeburg Academy. We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Marion Rodgerson Scholarship, as selected by a team of teachers and staff, is Isaiah Voter of South Chatham, New Hampshire. Isaiah is currently a freshman at Unity College in Maine, where he is studying forestry ecology.
A week ago I shared a unique experience with five other naturalists, the majority of them in the six to eleven age range. For twenty minutes the six of us watched a Ruffed Grouse at it moved about, overturning leaves and foraging on buds. When we last saw it, the bird headed off in the opposite direction that we intended to journey, and so we moved on with wonder in our eyes and minds.
Volunteer of the Year: Brent Legere
The Greater Lovell Land Trust is highly dependent on volunteers. Because so many do so much to help, it’s never easy to identify one outstanding volunteer, but this year the GLLT staff was unanimous in its decision. The GLLT Volunteer of the Year for 2018 is board member Brent Legere.
This afternoon’s goal: To find a Christmas Tree to decorate for the Christmas at Ladies Delight Walk on December 1st. For the reconnaissance mission, I joined the Coombs family at the GLLT’s Chip Stockford Reserve.
Why did the Greater Lovell Land Trust co-host (or rather tri-host) a hike through Pondicherry Park in Bridgton this morning? Because it’s hunting season, and it didn’t make sense to invite the public on a property that isn’t posted. (Not that we don’t still tramp on GLLT properties in November, mind you, but not on a public walk necessarily.)
It always strikes me that no matter how often one travels on or off a trail, there’s always something different that makes itself known–thus the wonder of a wander.
And so it was when Pam Marshall, a member of the Greater Lovell Land Trust, joined me for a tramp at the John A. Segur Wildlife Refuge East on Farrington Pond Road this morning. She had no idea what to expect. Nor did I.