By Margaret Gerber
Every summer the Land Trust is fortunate to work with volunteers and seasonal staffers that make much of our “boots on the ground” work possible. This year we are lucky to be joined by a six month seasonal Land Steward, George Jutras, who assists with all things stewardship between late spring and late fall. George’s work includes trail projects and maintenance, annual property monitoring, management plan updates, working with volunteers, and helping oversee other seasonal staffers.
In addition to the Land Steward, the Land Trust has a long history of sharing seasonal staff with Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Phippsburg Land Trust. These seasonal staffers have become known as the Regional Field Team (RFT), which is a collaborative effort funded by Merrymeeting Bay Trust to support stewardship of the Merrymeeting Bay area, which all three land trusts service areas touch. This year the RFT consists of four members, including Chas Van Damme and Sam Jamison, who are based with the Land Trust for the majority of their ten week term. They will also work alongside the other RFT members on projects with KELT and PLT that require more helping hands. We’re thrilled to have such a stellar stewardship team this season and hope that you will get a chance to meet them while out exploring the trails this summer!
George joined the Land Trust in June of 2021 after graduating from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington with a degree in Environmental Studies and Politics. He has previously worked for the US Forest Service doing trail work and has coordinated outdoor trips for the Whitman College Outdoor Program. While George has most recently lived in Washington, he is from Yarmouth, Maine originally and is excited to be back doing conservation work in his home state! George enjoys rock climbing, fly fishing, mountain biking, and backcountry skiing in his free time.
Chas Van Damme
Hi there! My name is Chas Van Damme and I am one of four members of the Regional Field Team working with BTLT. Though I have spent the bulk of my life abroad, I currently live locally over in Harpswell and am pursuing an Environmental Studies degree at Bates College. I one day hope to work in the field of Environmental Law, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it! For now, I am extremely excited to get out into the woods, learn the in’s and out’s of non-profit land trust work, and most importantly, play an active role in the preservation of local lands.
My name is Sam Jamison. I am currently working for BTLT as a Regional Field Team member. I graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 2020 with a degree in Liberal Studies. Prior to working with BTLT I was working with a local arborist. I enjoy working and playing outdoors and am passionate about wildlife. I also have experience working with BTLT as a volunteer and an employee at the Saturday farmers’ market. I look forward to working with the other team members and stewards this season to continue the great work that the land trust does.