MCHT Summer Stewardship Crew Gears Up

After a long, snowy winter, MCHT is looking forward to the “field season.” To help with our growing list of tasks, we’ve assembled a summer stewardship crew, and they are ready for action! This year we welcome 7 summer staff (in addition to our summer help at Aldermere Farm) to help our Regional Stewards keep Maine’s coast beautiful and accessible. If you’re visiting an MCHT Preserve this summer, and see a hard-working steward, say hi and thank them for their good work!

Returning for her second summer as the Southern Maine Stewardship Assistant is Caitlin Gerber, who hails from Chebeague Island in Casco Bay. Caitlin will be working alongside Regional Steward Amanda Devine until sometime in late July or early August, when Devine will be stepping out on maternity leave. At that point, Gerber will take the reins for stewardship of nearly half the coast of Maine – we wish her luck!

Matt McElwee has been hired as our Mount Desert Island Farm Program Coordinator. Matt will oversee the implementation of MDI’s Teen Ag program, assist the Kids Can Grow program, initiate sustainable agriculture efforts, and develop more community garden space at the Babson Creek and Kelley Farm Preserves. Matt grew up in Pennsylvania, attended College of the Atlantic, and has worked at a variety of farms around the northeast. He recently operated his own wholesale organic vegetable farm in South China, Maine.

Jake Sattler is returning in a new role as Stewardship Assistant for Mount Desert and the surrounding islands. Last season Jake worked on improving trails and general preserve management.  Prior to MCHT, he worked with The Nature Conservancy out of Brunswick.  Jake is from Southwest Harbor.

Melissa Boyd is joining us as the Stewardship Assistant for Castine through the Blue Hill Peninsula, along with islands around Deer Isle and south to Isle au Haut.  She has more than a decade of experience with Acadia National Park, Maine DEP, USFS, Sequoia National Park, and Bridger-Teton National Forest.   Melissa lives in Northeast Harbor.

Sam Purdom is taking on the role of Trail Steward.  In 2013, Sam worked as an AmeriCorps and Maine Conservation Corps steward at Mount Blue State Park, and last year served as the Trail Boss at Gallatin Valley Land Trust in Bozeman, MT. Brendan Farley from South Portland, Maine joins Sam as the Assistant Trail Steward.  Brendan spent last summer working for Coastal Mountains Land Trust as a Preserve Management Intern. 

Alex Bradley began his work with MCHT as the seasonal Trail Crew Leader in 2013. In 2014, he finished the season as the Down East Stewardship Assistant. Alex will work 20 hours a week with Regional Stewards Melissa Lee and Deirdre Whitehead, as well as doing projects with this season’s trail crew.

As MCHT expands its stewardship responsibilities (which now includes more than 100 preserves), summer staff is essential to getting trails and campsites ready, installing kiosks and signs, monitoring conservation easements, and other ongoing tasks. We look forward to a productive summer with this year’s crew.