With summer fast approaching, MCHT's stewardship team is expanding to include more than a dozen seasonal staff who will be tasked with completing numerous projects designed to enhance and improve preserves from Cumberland to Washington County. While temporary, these additions to MCHT's staff play a critical role in the long-term health of MCHT's conserved lands. Be sure to say hi to these folks while you are out exploring the Maine Coast this year.
Summer Work Crew
Varied and diverse assignments await MCHT's four-person summer work crew. This eager quartet, Crew Leader Brendan McKay, Andrew Kennedy, Margaret Gerber, and Max Garfinkle, have a full slate of projects on their agenda. As in years past, a key focus for the summer work crew will be trail improvements. This year, the crew is scheduled to lay additional bog bridging on the Frenchboro, Western Head, and Boot Head Preserves. They will also spend time clearing a path on MCHT's Calderwood Island Preserve in Penobscot Bay and resurrecting a beloved trail to a prominent overlook on Matinicus Island (across a property with a MCHT conservation easement that allows public access). In addition, the crew is scheduled for a stop in Harrington to put up signs along the 1.8-mile loop trail which circles through the Frank E. Woodworth Preserve.
Another focus for the crew this summer will be removing cabins on recently acquired properties. Apart from the cost of maintaining and repairing these buildings, they are in poor condition, and not providing a benefit to the public or to MCHT. In response, the crew will venture to Shabbit Island in Addison and Isle Au Haut in Knox County. While there they will remove unwanted buildings and help restore the respective areas to more natural conditions.
Once again, MCHT will be employing seasonal stewards at some of the Trust's most-visited sites. This year, we have two new stewards at Marshall Island: Christopher Stirling and Barbara Krasinski. Their primary role will be to welcome the public who arrive to this signature 985-acre undeveloped island preserve and share with them the important natural features the Trust is working to preserve there. The stewards will also be busy monitoring existing biological research plots, studying bald eagle activity, and maintaining the preserve's extensive trails and pristine beaches.
Another addition to this year's stewardship team will be Kate McMahon. She will be leading six tours of MCHT's Malaga Island Preserve throughout the summer. An expert in New England's African-American history, Kate recently received a Master's Degree at the University of Southern Maine and this fall will be heading to Howard University to begin work on her doctorate.
Returning to Whaleboat Island for a third year will be summer caretaker Jim Logan. Jim will be present on a regular basis to talk with preserve visitors and keep the preserve in good shape. The largest undeveloped island in Casco Bay, Whaleboat is becoming an increasingly popular place for kayakers, beach explorers, and people seeking a quiet campsite on the southern coast of Maine.
Helping to manage MCHT's growing list of Washington County preserves for another summer, will be Chad Everett. Chad has been brought onboard as a part-time steward to lead a number of walks and talks for members and visitors, and also to maintain trails, and monitor wildlife at Bog Brook, Hamilton Cove, and other Bold Coast Preserves.