Spring Birding Extravaganza

Again this year we are partnering with our neighboring conservation organizations for a Spring Birding Extravaganza during  April and May. In collaboration with Merrymeeting Audubon, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, and Phippsburg Land Trust there are many opportunities to get outside to watch and learn about birds, while visiting beautiful natural places, including forests, farms and ocean shoreline.

On April 18 at 8:00am join us for a walk through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Sewall Woods Preserve in Bath led by Merrymeeting Audubon’s Ted Allen. The group will hike along Whiskeag Creek, a tidal influenced stream that flows into the Kennebec River. Birders will seek migrating waterfowl including Canada geese, black ducks, mallards, blue- and green-winged teal, and common mergansers. Participants can meet at 7:30am at the CVS in Bath to carpool. For more information: Ted Allen, 729-8661.

On Sunday, April 26 at 1 p.m. join us for a special birding outing designed for kids and families. Birding for kids is designed to help children recognize common birds in their neighborhoods, as well as to introduce them to simple ways they can try to identify birds that are unfamiliar to them. Families will learn some simple bird songs, how the shape of a bird can tell you about what it eats and how a bird’s habitat can help you figure out what it is. This event is part of a series of Harpswell Family Outings, a collaborative effort of the Harpswell Recreation Department, Harpswell Community Nursery School and Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. For more information: Julia McLeod, 207-837-9613, outreach@hhltmaine.org.

On Thursday, May 14 at 7:30 am join us for a walk through the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick. Jan Pierson will lead participants through a variety of habitats including fields, forests, and ponds. We hope to see sparrows, bluebirds, boblinks, and several species of warblers. For more information visit www.btlt.org/birding-csf  or contact Lee Cataldo, 207-729-7694, lee@btlt.org.

On Wednesday May 20 at 7:00am join Jan Pierson at a Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust preserve on upper Middle Bay to watch for migrants along the preserve edge, listen for residents already back, and check the marsh and cove with a scope. Upper Middle Bay is a vibrant migratory area with hundreds of species passing through each spring. Parking is limited for this event, so please RSVP at www.btlt.org/birding-middle-bay for details, or contact Lee Cataldo, 207-729-7694, lee@btlt.org

On Saturday, May 30 at 8:00am, Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon is leading birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath. Overlooking Whiskeag Creek as it converges with the Kennebec River, the preserve is located on the Maine Birding Trail and is rich in migrating warblers and vireos. Participants can meet at 7:30 am at the CVS in Bath to carpool. For more information: Ted Allen, 729-8661.

Community Food: A Forum and Film Series to Launch Community Food Council

Final_LFLF_LOGOA film series highlighting food and farm concerns across the nation is being presented as part of an effort to create better coordination and leadership in our local food system.

Local Farms – Local Food (LFLF) presents “Community Food: A Forum & Film Series” featuring five films about various aspects of the food system. Each film will be followed by a discussion to get community input on issues presented in the films and information about related projects and resources locally.

LFLF is a partnership between Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust to conserve farmland, increase local food production, and promote a more resilient food system in the southern Midcoast region.

LFLF is working with local organizations and community members to form a Community Food Council (CFC) for the southern Midcoast region.

A CFC brings together diverse groups and individuals to better understand the local food system with the goal of reducing redundancy and filling gaps in our region’s vibrant local food and farm scene. The ultimate goal is a food system that promotes environmental and economic health, and provides affordable, healthy food for everyone in our community.

The film series is designed to stimulate interest and identify resources as an early step in forming a CFC.

Films will be presented in Bath, Brunswick, and Topsham. Topics include the struggle to maintain the small farming tradition in Maine, meat production methods, food insecurity and government subsidies, food waste, and efforts to increase the number of community-focused farms. Following each film, leaders from local organizations and farms will lead a discussion designed to elicit attitudes and information that will inform this CFC. Attendees will be asked to offer thoughts on whether the issue presented in the film is of concern in our region, who in the community is working to address the issue, and what else could be done.

This community input will guide the initial focus of the CFC – helping leaders to identify and prioritize issues. In addition, these forums are an opportunity to forge connections between community members who wish to be involved in creating the food council or gathering data about the local food system.

Films include:

seedingadream_stills_02Growing Local, presented in partnership with Maine Farmland Trust, at 5:00pm on January 25 at Frontier Cinema in Brunswick ($8). This film features the struggles Maine farmers face to carry on farming traditions. We hope a special guest featured in the film will be on hand to lead the community forum after the film.


American meat primaryAmerican Meat at 3:00pm on February 7, at the Minnie Brown Center in Bath (free). American Meat presents the history of the current industrial meat production system through the eyes of farmers who live and work there, then describes alternative models of rotational grazing and local distribution. It asks whether this new model can feed us all? Local grass farmer Joe Grady and private investor Paul Skydell will lead the discussion following the film.


title-food_stampedFood Stamped at 6:30pm on February 19, at the Topsham Public Library in Topsham (free). Food Stamped is a humorous look at a couple trying to eat a healthy well balanced diet on a food stamp budget. They talk with members of the US Congress, food justice leaders, nutrition experts and others living off food stamps. Ethan Minton – Program Director and Mary Turner – Food Security Coalition Coordinator at Mid Coast Hunger Prevention will lead the community discussion.


dive-the-film-dvd-coverDive: Living Off America’s Waste at 3:00pm on March 7, at the Bath Freight Shed, in Bath (free). Dive is a short film rooted in curiosity about the American habit of discarding usable food and how many people could be fed off this waste. Leaders from We Compost It! will lead the community forum.


PolyCultures-GraphicPolycultures: Food Where We Live at 6:30pm on March 19, at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick (free). Polycultures is a film about diverse communities in Ohio coming together to create a more sustainable and local food system. Long time farmers and local food advocate Tom Settlemire will head the discussion after the film.

For more information email localfarms.localfood@gmail.com or call (207)729-7694