Invasive Plants Beware!

My name is Isaac Dostie and I am currently studying Chemistry at the University of Maine at Orono (UMO). When I first heard about the Richard G. Rockefeller Internship, I had no idea that within a month I’d be working on the coast of Maine and living on a sailboat.

The Boothbay Regional Land Trust (BRLT) and Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) provided me with an opportunity to live and work in ways that I could have never dreamed. image000000

Coming out of my first year in college, I’d almost no experience in land conservation. But I spent my entire life on the coast of Maine. Being able to work in a place I love was a dream come true. And although the not-so-glamorous sides of land conservation (working in the pouring rain, being muddy all day every day, and being swarmed by hundreds of bugs while working) was hard, the other side of this work kept me going day after day.

BRLT owns 24 preserves in the Boothbay area. This summer, I was lucky enough to work at all of them. Maintaining the trail can mean anything from cutting back branches, to building trails, to removing invasive plants, and so much more. My experience was as diverse as it could get.

Some days I’d focus on invasives plant removal. One particular day, I taught a group of high school students to remove invasive plants to protect the biodiversity of the preserves.

Another day, I assembled an invasive plant guide for BLRT’s Committee to Limit Invasive Plants (CLIP) program. As part of this program, I traveled to different preserves with a group of volunteers to remove invasive plants.

Biodiversity is a huge part of why we conserve land. During my internship, I saw turtles, deer, beavers, and countless species of birds. I helped to preserve American Chestnut trees by planting four saplings on one of the preserves, and I learned how to wrap wire around them to protect them and give them the best shot at survival.  IMG-3505

Towards the end of my time at BRLT, I learned how to monitor properties and monitored around nine different properties across the Greater Boothbay Area. Thankfully, I didn’t find any violations within the boundaries of the easements.

I would like to thank MCHT for allowing me to further my passion in the stewardship field, and to BRLT for being so accommodating. I learned so much and had such a fun summer. I can’t wait to see what my future in this field looks like.