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We’re Hiring: Land Steward

Land Steward

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust

Position: Seasonal Employee 

Hours: 40 hours/week

Duration: May – October

Compensation: $17/hour plus benefits 

 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust was founded in 1985 to conserve the remarkable diversity of the natural heritage of Brunswick, Topsham and Bowdoin. With the conservation of over 3,000 acres of natural areas, the Land Trust is actively pursuing its mission while maintaining 24 miles of trails, managing a seasonal Farmers’ Market and Community Garden, and collaborating with numerous partners in the area to further conservation and community. To learn more about BTLT, please visit www.btlt.org. 

 This position is part field work, part officebased work that will support the Land Trust’s stewardship and land conservation work and help to maintain, monitor, and manage the protected lands and trails of the Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin region. 

 

Responsibilities: 

Stewardship 

  • Create and update management plans/baseline documents, including associated field work and mapping, for prospective land projects and recently acquired fee properties  
  • Read surveys and navigate boundaries to flag and install permanent markers on fee and easement properties  
  • Assist with property monitoringreport writing, and filing 
  • Manage and engage volunteers to complete trail work, property monitoring, and other stewardship tasks  
  • Assist with coordinating trail work, securing materials and tools  
  • Conduct mapping and mechanical control of invasive plants (i.e. cutting, digging, pulling) as applicable 
  • Work cooperatively with other seasonal staff  
  • Complete other stewardship tasks as needed 

Lands 

  • Create and update baseline documents, including associated field work and mapping, for potential conserved lands projects 
  • Coordinate project tracking and recordkeeping of lands documents 
  • Assist with other lands tasks as needed 

Necessary Qualifications: 

  • Driver’s license and reliable personal transportation 
  • Ability to lift and carry heavy materials and equipment over rough ground 
  • Willingness to work in sometimes adverse conditions including heat, rain, biting insects, and difficult terrain 
  • Ability to use hand tools and power tools in the field
  • Ability to work responsibly, safely, and at times independently 
  • A positive attitude and passion for land conservation 

Please feel free to also let us know if you have: 

  • Previous experience in a stewardship or trail building position 
  • Experience using ArcGIS and making maps 
  • Experience using a chainsaw 
  • Knowledge of local flora and fauna 

Compensation and Benefits:  

This seasonal position includes competitive pay, paid vacation and sick time, the ability to work outside and from home, opportunity to engage with members of the local community, and the chance to further develop land management skills. 

 

To Apply 

Please email a cover letter, resume, and two references to: hiring@btlt.org with “Land Steward Position” as the subject by Sunday, March 21st, 2021. 

 

Equal Opportunity Employer 

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other legally protected factors. We actively encourage community members with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and ways of life to consider working with us. 

Support Local Businesses During These Tough Times

We encourage you to make a special effort these next few months to enjoy the offerings of our local businesses — businesses that have done so much to support the midcoast area, including the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. This time of year is typically quieter for restaurants and stores, a lull that has been exacerbated by Covid-19. The Brunswick Downtown Association has done a terrific job of keeping the community up-to-date about safely accessing local restaurants, stores, lodging, and services.

 

 

Here’s their link:  https://brunswickdowntown.org/brunswick-business-updates/

BTLT Partners to Bring Food to the Community

It’s been a challenging year for everyone, but for those in our community who struggle to access enough food, this year has been particularly hard. That’s why the Merrymeeting Gleaners (a project of the Merrymeeting Food Council) have been working diligently to assure that as much food as possible is reaching those in need – even in mid-winter, when there is little to glean from local farm fields 

Merrymeeting Gleaners harvests surplus food from 35 local farms and redistribute it to over 30 organizations that support individuals who require help accessing food across 17 towns in the Bath-Brunswick regionDespite facing challenges associated with the need to physically distance, mask, respect the safety needs of farmers and their families, and handle food differently, this year over fifty dedicated gleaning volunteers gathered and harvested almost 52,000 pounds of fresh food from local farm fields and markets to donate to those in need. But they didn’t stop there.  

The Merrymeeting Food Council secured emergency funding from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation to purchase food to supplement the emergency food system during the pandemic. The Food Council coordinated emergency funding requests and food distributions with other regional partners including MidCoast Hunger Prevention Program and Good Food for Bath to ensure the food needs of all regional partners were met. Merrymeeting Food Council purchased storage crops from local farms to bolster the supply of fresh foods being distributed by the Gleaners. Local produce and ducks were distributed immediately or processed by volunteers (e.g. cut up butternut squash) or turned into soup in partnership with Bessie’s Farm Goods in Freeport. 

In addition, between late December and early February, the Gleaners partnered with Flight Deck Brewing to order nutritious, shelf stable food from Native Maine Produce. This allowed the Gleaners to acquire healthy foods that can easily be stored at room temperature which their partner organizations were having difficulty sourcing for their clients 

“We are so grateful for the partnership with Flight Deck Brewing,” says Merrymeeting Gleaners Coordinator, Kelly Davis. “Working with us to order shelf stable food to supplement the fresh gleaned produce we are donating has allowed us to provide even more support to our partners that are working so hard to meet the increased food needs of our community members.”   

Soon, Food Council leaders were able to work with Native Maine to secure a non-profit discount for the purchases. At that point, the purchasing started to go through one of the Food Council’s fiscal sponsors, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (which was already administering the funds) to leverage their non-profit statuswhile deliveries kept arriving at Flight Deck – a huge help because of their existing delivery and storage capacity. 

From Flight Deck, gleaning volunteers distributed the food to those in need across the southern midcoast, including at Mid Coast Community Action Program (Bath, Brunswick and Pejepscot Head Starts), Big Brothers Big Sisters, Wabanaki REACH, Neighborhood Café, River Landing, Richmond Terrace, Bath Housing, Village Clubhouse, Phippsburg Elementary, Family Stone Projects, Bowdoinham Food Pantry, and the Bath Area Food Bank. 

Donna Patrick, Resident Services Coordinator for Riverside Landing in Topsham and Richmond Terrace in Richmond, says she has been so grateful for all the food the Gleaners have provided, and really appreciated them going the extra mile by getting non-perishable items during this season when less is available from local farms. “We manage housing for low income, elderly/disabled adults on a fixed income,” said Patrick. The gleaners deliver to our 36 residents in Topsham and 36 residents in Richmond. This delivery supplements our residents’ diets with healthy, nutritious food they may not otherwise be able to afford. With winter and COVID, food insecurity is a real fear for them.  They have asked me, with tears in their eyes, to pass on their gratitude to all for keeping them safe and so well fed.”    

In total, the emergency funding allowed more than 5,800 pounds of additional food to be distributed to community members facing food insecurity this winter – with roughly one-third of that food having been locally produced.  

Nate Wildes of Flight Deck Brewing helps to load food into volunteer cars after delivery at the brewery.

Merrymeeting Gleaners Coordinator Kelly Davis, and volunteers Kathie Duncan and Rebecca McConnaughey with the food they’ll deliver to the community.

 

The Merrymeeting Gleaners is a program of the Merrymeeting Food Council, which is a collaboration of local organizations working together to take action to increase the production and consumption of local, healthy food. Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is one of the co-founders and fiscal sponsors of this collaboration.

Learn more at www.merrymeetingfoodcouncil.org or www.btlt.org/mfc  

A Special Thank You During These Tough Times

The team at BTLT would like to take a moment to say a giant THANK YOU to all of the BTLT Community Members, Partners, and Business Supporters:

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are incredibly grateful and inspired by your continued support, despite these uncertain times. Our giving season tallies tell us that the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our business supporters and that we must continue to do all we can to support these local businesses who have so generously supported our community through the years. Taking stock of our end of calendar year giving tallies also tells us that our Community Members and Partners are more committed than ever to sustaining the conservation, stewardship, and programmatic work of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. With your help we find ourselves on firmer footing than we had anticipated at this point in our fiscal year. While there is a long way to go before our fiscal year ends on June 30th, your generous and steady support enables us to plan ahead for the coming months with confidence that our work of conserving land and connecting people to it is a valued part of the community. How lucky we are that we get to do what we do with the support of people like you. Thank You!

Sincerely,

Kristi Hatrick, Membership & Development Manager

& the rest of the BTLT team

This Year at the Common Good Garden

By Lily Hatrick,
Brunswick High School Student and 2020 Common Good Garden Intern

In an ongoing effort to support food access in greater Brunswick, the Common Good Garden (CGG) was able to donate 3,779 pounds of organic produce, despite Covid, a drought, and crop loss. The CGG, started in 2012 in partnership with Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (MCHPP), is part of the Tom Settlemire Community Garden (TSCG), run by the Brunswick-Topsham Landtrust (BTLT). In order to grow this food they depend on the engagement of TSCG community volunteers to plant, grow, care for, and harvest crops. 

BTLT is a land trust that protects land in the Brunswick and Topsham area. They own Crystal Spring Farm and also run one of the largest summer farmer’s market in the state of Maine. Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program is a food access program that has been working in our community for nearly thirty years. They serve around 7,000 meals a week to people in need. 

Over the course of the gardening season, the CGG had many accomplishments:

  • The largest amount of produce to date was donated to MCHPP through the CGG.
  • The volunteer crew was strengthened by a group of high schoolers and an internship position was created that high schoolers will be able to apply for in future years.
  • Overall, the number of volunteers was also much larger this year than it has been in years past. This larger crew was able to tackle expanding the garden. 

This season yielded the largest amount of produce donated to MCHPP to date. It was not an easy road to this accomplishment, as any member of the volunteer crew would tell you. There were both late and early frosts and some seedlings did not make it. The crew approximates that between 400 to 1,000 lbs of produce were lost. This summer was a very dry one, with exceedingly warm temperatures and little rainfall.

“There were times I would water a row and have to stop to go fill up the watering cans and come back and not know where I had already watered because it dried up/soaked in so fast!” says Jen Kennedy, CGG volunteer. Her help on the weekends was especially important because “we couldn’t rely on mother nature” she added.

This year’s volunteer crew leader Dev Culver also noted that “In the early part of the season the lack of rain along with issues with the irrigation system stunted the initial growth of the onion crop.” The volunteers had to deal with both a lack of rainfall but also faulty irrigation, making hand watering the only dependable option. Culver feels that, “Without the extra hands that we had, I don’t believe we would have been able to keep up with the lack of rain.”

Another obstacle that the members of the volunteer crew had to overcome was the pandemic. All volunteers wore masks and gloves for all of the work sessions and all tools were disinfected once they were done being used. The masks may have made the hot days hotter but, the hurdle united the crew even more.

The pandemic had a silver lining: The core group of volunteers expanded. Dev Culver remarked that the pandemic brought more people to the garden instead of keeping people home. “There were more volunteers available and interested in working on the CGG mission because the pandemic cut down on the availability of other activity options.” Kennedy found that she had more “free time” and wanted “a way to get involved in the community and volunteer” during this pandemic. Kennedy was not alone in this feeling as the volunteer crew grew this year.

In addition, the crew was joined by four high schoolers this year. 

As schools closed in the early spring, the CGG was blessed by having several Brunswick High School students dedicate some of their free time to volunteering in the garden. Ultimately, they were able to create an internship with BTLT which hopefully means that a connection between TSCG can continue to grow for years to come.

Lydia Blood, Fiona Edmonds, Kate Shaughnessy, and Lily Hatrick became members of the core crew. Although none of them had prior knowledge, Culver notes that “their collective enthusiasm and willingness to work hard regardless of the assignment made the experience of volunteering so much more fun and rewarding.” Longtime volunteer and CGG cofounder Judith Long said it was a “pleasure” to be joined by the high schoolers. 

This year was different from years past in other positive ways, too. The CGG has four main beds as well as a large back garden that was newly cultivated by CGG this season.

The addition of the back garden doubled the growing space for the CGG, adding about 5,000 square feet. The entirety of it had to be turned, mulched and prepared so that crops could be planted. 

Not only did the poundage increase with this new area, the type of produce expanded as well. Culver says that the back garden “changed the original intended focus on storage crops and resulted in a markedly expanded crop variety.”  In this garden the crew grew tomatoes, melons, zucchini, broccoli, peppers, cucumbers, and some squash. The back garden alone produced 681.7 lbs of the total produce donated. “None of these additional crops would have been possible if the CGG effort had remained anchored in the four front garden beds during 2020.” The CGG was also blessed by the donation of many seedlings, including from BTLT business partner Whatley Farm.

Because of the enthusiasm and grit of this year’s volunteer crew, the CGG was able to take on some new projects in addition to the expanded Common Good Garden. This year a pollinator garden and a hoop house were added to TSCG, and a plastic mulch experiment was conducted in the tomato bed. The pollinator garden serves as a pollinator-attractor bringing in insects such as bees and butterflies, but also moths, birds and bats. The hoop house has long been something that the volunteer crew wanted to tackle, but in prior years hasn’t had the resources.  The hoop house will allow the Common Good Garden to produce early and late season greens for MCHPP, something they historically have not had access to.

MCHPP Foodbank Manager Ryan Ravenscroft says, “the Common Good Garden volunteers do an amazing job growing great produce for MCHPP to distribute within the community. We are very excited for the timely growing capacity the hoop house will provide, allowing the volunteers to grow much needed and appreciated greens and other produce during the shoulder seasons.” Culver and the crew are using kale plants this winter as a trial run and  plan to expand the contents of the hoop house in future years. 

In a stressful and scary year, the CGG and its crew were able to find some calm and fun moments while gardening. With the overarching goal of donating as much fresh and organic produce as possible, they worked with tricky weather and COVID precautions to make this year as successful as possible. Their multigenerational energy fueled a great season; one where the garden was able to grow and expand. The expansion led to more produce donated. The larger number of regular volunteers allowed for both a pollinator garden and a hoop house to be built. Both of these will be incorporated at the TSCG for years to come. The volunteer crew of the CGG had a great time this summer and cannot wait to do it all again next summer!

 

We’re Hiring: Market Parking Coordinator

Farmers Market Parking Coordinators  

(2 positions available) 

About BTLT and its agricultural programs: 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) offers the Saturday Farmers’ Market and Tom Settlemire Community Garden (TSCG) at Crystal Spring Farm, our signature 321-acre property on Pleasant Hill Road in Brunswick, as part of our wider mission, which includes conserving and protecting our region’s natural resources, and supporting local agriculture and fisheries now and for generations to come. It is our goal to support and develop the local natural resource-based economy to keep farmland, forests, and fisheries open, working, and productive, and to make strides toward providing significantly more of our community’s food needs through local production. The Saturday Farmers’ Market commonly sees several thousand visitors on a busy summer weekend, hosts over thirty diverse vendors, and has kept millions of dollars in the local food economy.  

About the role: 

The Farmers Market Parking Coordinators are part time, seasonal employees who, as part of a two-person team, implement the set-up and break-down of the farmers market site, and manage the parking during the hours when the market is operatingThis includes being on site at the Market Saturdays, 7am to 1pm, May to October in rain or shine conditions.  The ideal candidate would plan to return each season. 

Skills Required: 

  • Great interpersonal skills, experience engaging with the public. 
  • Physical ability to lift 45lbs and carry equipment. 
  • Organized and detail oriented. 
  • Valid drivers license. 
  • Basic “handyperson” skills for minor repairs and upkeep of infrastructure are a bonus. 

Duties: 

  • Be on site at the Market Saturdays, 7am to 1pm, May to October.
  • Set-up and put-away cones, and market informational signage before and after market. 
  • Assist market manager with set-up and break down of market booth, and informational materials. 
  • Manage traffic flow and parking at farmers’ market site. 
  • Interact with market patrons and vendors 
  • Make repairs to market signage, or equipment as necessary 

Compensation and Benefits: 

This part time seasonal position has pay commensurate with experience.

How to Apply: 

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to apply@btlt.org. Please use “Market Parking Coordinator” as the subject line of your email.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they are received, with a deadline of March 15th, 2021. 

About Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust:  

BTLT is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to steward the cherished landscapes and rich natural resources of our communities, to connect people to nature by providing recreational opportunities and other engaging community activities, and to support local agriculture and fisheries, now and for generations to come. We were founded in 1985 and have grown over the past 35 years into a robust organization that holds over 2,500 acres in conservation, provides diverse programming, and works closely with an array of community partners to enhance the environmental vibrancy and health of our region.  We have approximately 1,000 members including a vibrant business membership. We have five part- to full-time staff, a board of directors of nearly 20, and dozens of active committee members. Learn more about our mission and programs at www.btlt.org 

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other legally protected factors. We actively encourage community members with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and ways of life to consider working with us. 

We’re Hiring: Seasonal Agricultural Program Coordinator

BTLT is looking for a new team member to manage on-the-ground operations of our Saturday Farmers’ Market and Tom Settlemire Community Garden. This is a part time, seasonal position, running from March to November.  The right candidate will be a people person with a dedication to conservation and local food, be able to prioritize diverse, demanding tasks, and have demonstrated experience in both gardening and oversight of events or programs. 

 About BTLT and its agricultural programs: 

The BrunswickTopsham Land Trust (BTLT) offers the Saturday Farmers’ Market and Tom Settlemire Community Garden (TSCG) at Crystal Spring Farm, our signature 321-acre property on Pleasant Hill Road in Brunswick, as part of our wider mission, which includes conserving and protecting our region’s natural resources, and supporting local agriculture and fisheries now and for generations to come. It is our goal to support and develop the local natural resource-based economy to keep farmland, forests, and fisheries open, working, and productive, and to make strides toward providing significantly more of our community’s food needs through local production.   

The Saturday Farmers’ Market commonly sees several thousand visitors on a busy summer weekend, hosts over thirty diverse vendors, and has kept millions of dollars in the local food economy. TSCG has eighty community plots, offers educational and volunteer experiences for local groups and youth, provides growing space for youth empowerment groups, and includes the Common Good Garden: a partnership to grow food for Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (MCHPP). Both programs also provide important gathering places to enrich the lives of people in our region through community building, resilience education, connection to the natural world, and fun.  

 About the role: 

The Agricultural Programs Coordinator will be a part time, seasonal employee to oversee on-the-ground implementation of the Saturday Farmers Market and Tom Settlemire Community Garden programs, as well as play a lead role in the administration and communications for these programs. The Coordinator will supervise the daily operations of the Market and TSCG plots and grounds. This will include being on site at the Market weekly from May to October from 7am to 1pm, and at TSCG on a regular schedule. This person will oversee, coordinate, and nurture volunteers, support events, implement program goals in partnerships with other BTLT staff, and generally be the face of the Land Trust at these important programs. 

 The right candidate will be a people person with a dedication to conservation and local food, be able to prioritize diverse, demanding tasks, and have demonstrated experience in both gardening and oversight of events or programs. Familiarity with the southern Midcoast and BTLT is a plus.  

The position runs from late March through November at an average of 15-20 hours per week (hours may be more in spring and less in the mid-summer and late fall). The ideal candidate would plan to return each spring. Year-round employment is possible for the right person and based on grant funding and project opportunities. 

 Skills Required: 

  • Ability to work with diverse groups of people. 
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to resolve conflict. 
  • Physical ability to undertake various gardening and market set up tasks. 
  • Knowledge of organic vegetable growing and soil, pest, and disease management. 
  • Experience overseeing programs, large events, and/or community engagement efforts.
  • Proficient in Mailchimp, Microsoft 365 programs, Zoom, social media, and email. 
  • Basic “handyperson” skills for minor repairs and upkeep of infrastructure.
  • Ability to organize, motivate, and nurture volunteers.
  • Organized and detail oriented. 

 Duties: 

Garden Oversight: 

  • Work with Program Manager to assure all plots are assigned and paid for and complete all processing and data entry. 
  • Communicate with plotholders (primarily through Mailchimp) throughout the season on garden tips, pest issues, volunteer needs, and other alerts.  
  • Facilitate relationships with program partners such as the Merrymeeting Gleaners, MCHPP, Brunswick High School Dragons’ Farm Garden, New Mainers, and Mawita’nej First Nation Youth Group. 
  • Collaborate with seasonal education staff on youth summer programming. 
  • Work with volunteer program leaders to manage garden programs such as the Plant Sale, Plant Sale Gardens, and the Common Good Garden. 
  • Coordinate and implement spring plotholder orientations, and garden mentor program. 
  • Ensure that TSCG is opened and closeddown for the season in April and November respectively.  
  • Assist in scheduling, planning, and overseeing TSCG events and workdays that occur during the growing season. 
  • Oversee volunteer oversight of tasks such as mowing, turning compost, orchard maintenance, perennial gardens, etc. 
  • Oversee maintenance of all structures and infrastructure including shed, raised beds, kiosks, tools, water system, etc. 

 Market Management:

  • Be a welcoming face at the Saturday market, acting as an ambassador for Land Trust in all matters, including helping to staff BTLT info and membership booth at market, communicating effectively with vendors, welcoming market patrons, and referring questions about market policy and Land Trust matters to appropriate Land Trust staff and Board members. 
  • Attend all markets to ensure vendors comply with market expectations and troubleshoot problems when they arise. 
  • Collect certification of insurance, vendor fees, verify requisite licenses, and complete all processing and data entry. Layout the market site.
  • Work with parking staff to complete market site preseason set up and end of season breakdown, as well as weekly site set up and breakdown. 
  • Coordinate and manage SNAP/ Maine Harvest Bucks program, including finding and overseeing volunteers. 
  • Basic maintenance of site, such as ensuring the area is free of trash. 
  • Monitor how the market is listed on other sites and with other organizations. 
  • When appropriate, work with the Development team to plan for and implement the sale and marketing of fundraisers as may arise.  
  • Provide weekly reports on market conditions such as weather, number of attendees, vendors not in attendance. 
  • Create a final market report at the end of each market season.  

General:

  • Write blog posts and social media as appropriate to showcase programs. 
  • Take photos to document programs. 
  • Work with BTLT staff on events, program development, and other outreach as requested. 

 Compensation and Benefits: 

This part time position includes competitive salary (based on experience)paid vacation and sick time, and a flexible work schedule (aside from Saturday mornings), ability to work outside in a beautiful setting and from home, opportunity to engage with diverse members of the local community, and the chance to develop initiatives and programs based on interest. 

How to Apply: 

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to apply@btlt.org. Please use “Agricultural Programs Coordinator” as the subject line of your email. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they are received, with a deadline of February 10, 2021. 

About Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust:  

BTLT is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to steward the cherished landscapes and rich natural resources of our communities, to connect people to nature by providing recreational opportunities and other engaging community activities, and to support local agriculture and fisheries, now and for generations to come. We were founded in 1985 and have grown over the past 35 years into a robust organization that holds over 2,500 acres in conservation, provides diverse programming, and works closely with an array of community partners to enhance the environmental vibrancy and health of our region.  We have approximately 1,000 members including a vibrant business membership. We have five part to fulltime staff, a board of directors of nearly 20, and dozens of active committee members. Learn more about our mission and programs at www.btlt.org 

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other legally protected factors. We actively encourage community members with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and ways of life to consider working with us.