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2021 WGW Pollinators

2021 WGW Pollinators

By Averil Fessenden

Here we are in a tantalizing time of year, with the light and warmth on the upswing, foretelling gardening season. Yet cold days and nights, brown and dull colors coming into sight as the snow disappears are with us as winter wanes.  What better way to tame our eagerness for the coming season, than to learn about creating a colorful and useful pollinator garden. What is a pollinator garden? It is a garden designed and planted with specific nectar and pollen producing plants in a way that attracts pollinating insects.  Dev Culver, coordinator of the Common Good Garden, offered a workshop on how to build and maintain pollinator spaces as part of the Winter Garden Workshops: Growing Literacy series put on annually by BTLT and Curtis Memorial LibraryView the workshop webinar here. 

“The Bank”, healing in garden for plants destined for Tom Settlemire Community Garden’s annual Taking Root Plant Sale.
Photo Credit: Ellen Maling

Much of our plant food, – nuts, fruits and vegetables, and many flowers depend on pollination to reproduce. Insects – bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and even ants do this essential job. They are in decline due to our hotter, drier climate, loss of natural habitat, and pesticides. We depend on these insects and thus can’t survive without them. Creating gardens and landscapes to attract and feed them is one way to maintain or increase their populations. These are colorful gardens as color is a main feature that attracts insects to particular flowers. In this virtual show we saw beautiful photos of a variety of pollinator gardens and many of their insect pollinators. 

Dev offered 8 tips for creating a pollinator garden or landscape. He suggested using native plants as they provide shelter, and food for native wildlife species, and they are well suited to local soils and conditions. Natives don’t require fertilization, and promote biodiversity and ecosystem health. Fortunately there are many native plants that thrive and bloom through the growing season, see a list by bloom month here in Dev’s presentation slides.  Native plants like lots of sun, so planting in open spaces is best. Insects are most attracted when plants of the same kind are planted in groups or bunches.  Provide a water source, such as a birdbath with rocks in itAnd we were reminded that developing a pollinator garden to its full potential takes time – a few years in fact.

2020 CGG volunteers building TSCG’s newest pollinator bed which focuses on plants that attract moths, and other less well known pollinators.
Photo credit: Dev Culver

Dev told his audience that The Tom Settlemire Community Garden had a busy and successful summer in 2020. The Common Good part of the garden yielded 4,000 pounds of vegetables for Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program with the help of 23 volunteers – both new highs. Volunteers under the leadership of Ellen Maling also have planted hundreds of perennials that will be available for purchase in the BTLT plant sale on June 5 at Topsham Fair Grounds Exhibition Hall.  

Pollinator Gardening was a workshop in Growing Literacy, the winter gardening series that is sponsored jointly by BTLT and Curtis Memorial Library. This collaboration is supported by Camden National Bank – we extend our appreciation. Working together, Local Business, Library and Land Trust make a valuable contribution to our community.

 

 

2021 Farmers Market Season

Saturday Farmers Market Opens May 1 at Brunswick Landing

We are heading into our second market season under the influence of the COVID pandemic. The 2020 market season involved two moves and a complete revamp of how the Market operates.  As we head into 2021, we will again be operating in a temporary home in order to allow for physical distancing and other safety protocols that are not possible at Crystal Spring Farm. Wild Oats, Flight Deck, the REAL School and TBW, LLC have welcomed us back to Brunswick Landing at their shared parking lot.

We are excited to report that most of the vendors are returning this season, though a few are choosing to wait another year due to COVID, and some because they have shifted away from the market model.  One market booth has been transitioned into a rotating booth to better accommodate some of our vendors who are unable to commit to the full season, as well as to support new or smaller scale food businesses as they build.  

Welcome back to all the returning vendors, welcome to our two new vendors, and a fond farewell to those not returning this season!

Summer Land Steward Job Opportunity

Position Description: Summer Land Steward, 2021

Part of the Regional Field Team at the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Brunswick Topsham Land Trust, & Phippsburg Land Trust

Job Title: Summer Land Steward

Hours: 40 hours per week for 10 weeks (June 7-August 13)

Compensation: $14.00 per hour

Requires: Availability and use of reliable personal vehicle

 

The Regional Field Team (RFT) is a collaboration between three organizations: Brunswick Topsham Land Trust (BTLT), Phippsburg Land Trust (PLT), and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT). The Regional Field Team is seeking Summer Land Stewards for the 2021 field season.

 This is an outdoor position helping to maintain, monitor, and manage the protected lands and trails of Maine’s southern midcoast region across thirteen communities. Projects will be conducted on lands protected by all three regional organizations, giving our Summer Land Stewards experience with a wide variety of properties, tasks, and land conservation professionals. This will be an excellent opportunity for networking and gaining land management experience.

 

Opportunities Provided by this Position:

  • Learn plant and animal identification skills,  with a focus on invasive plant species
  • Experience the structure and operation of not-for-profit land trusts, with a particular emphasis on land management
  • Gain hands-on experience with the planning, construction, and maintenance of trails
  • Develop skills in observation and reporting
  • Have the opportunity to work with GPS data collection and basic ArcGIS mapping
  • Learn how read surveys and navigate the boundaries of properties with map, compass, and GPS
  • Spend most of the summer working in the beautiful natural areas of the Maine Coast

Supervision and Team Design:

The Summer Land Steward will work closely with the Stewardship Staff and/or Board Members at each of the land trusts. This summer we are building a Regional Field Team of four Summer Land Stewards; two Land Stewards will be managed primarily from the BTLT office in Brunswick, ME and two Land Stewards will be managed from the KELT office in Bath, ME. There will be opportunities to work jointly as a four-person team as well as working independently at times.  The Land Steward will also have the opportunity to work with and lead groups of volunteers. The Land Steward will frequently meet visitors on our properties. Successful applicants will be expected to act professionally and communicate in a polite manner, both with the public and with fellow team members, as well as follow all applicable COVID-19 guidelines.

Responsibilities:

  • Conduct trail clearing and trimming with loppers, hand-saws, bow-saws, etc.
  • Occasional use of string trimmer or hedge-trimmer for trail clearing
  • Use of chainsaw possible, depending on skill level and project needs
  • Monitor preserve conditions and create detailed reports and maps of problem areas
  • Traverse property boundaries to maintain signage and check for encroachment
  • Assist with occasional clean-up of illicit dumping sites
  • Help to build bog bridges, stone steps, and other trail structures
  • Check and maintain kiosks, map boxes, trail signage, and paint blazing
  • Conduct mechanical control of invasive plants (i.e. cutting, digging, pulling)
  • Assist with any other suitable project, indoor or outdoor, as needed
  • Keep a log of activities and hours completed

Preferred Education/Experience:

Completed High School program, plus some college and/or relevant work experience. Applicants still in HS may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Necessary Qualifications:

  • Driver’s license and reliable personal transportation
  • Ability to lift and carry 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
  • Enthusiasm for outdoor work and conservation

Please share with us if you have any similar skills or experiences to those listed below:

  • First Aid Certification
  • Experience working outdoors, particularly on trails
  • Experience communicating with the public
  • Map and compass (orienteering) skills
  • Environmental or ecological study or background knowledge

 

To Apply:

Send a cover letter and resume in one PDF to info@kennebecestuary.org with the subject line ‘Summer Land Steward’. Applicants may also send applications by mail to P.O. Box 1128, Bath ME, 04530.

Please prepare the names and contact information of two references. If an applicant is called to interview, KELT may request the list of references at that time.

Application Deadline:  Friday, March 19th

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/

2021 Seed Orders, It is that Time…