Sustainable Forestry Education Program

 Photo Credit: Jym St. Pierre

Students and teachers are invited to KLT’s Forestry Education Program in October at the Curtis Homestead Conservation Area. KLT staff are joined by a professional logger, a forester, state wildlife biologist, and community volunteers.

Students will:

· Observe a timber harvest;

· Learn about KLT’s forest management plan, including goals for, habitat improvement, income, education, and recreation;

· Understand how loggers can protect soil, water, and wildlife;

· See a demonstration of a portable sawmill;

· Learn about forest wildlife and their habitat;

· Explore careers related to forestry and the forest products industry (recent reports show that there are 33,538 direct and indirect jobs in this Maine industry);

· Be active on our 360-acre Conservation Area.

Reservations are now open for this half-day program in October. We are offering the following options:  October 19, 24, or 26, 2018

We are flexible if you have schedule or date constraints, or have specific activities or learning objectives you would like to achieve.

Please contact, Kirsten Brewer, Director of Membership and Programs to register your class or for more information.

207-377-2848, KBrewer@tklt.org First Come, First Served.

 

 

Theresa Kerchner, Kennebec Land Trust, Executive Director

 

Since 2009, more than a thousand central Maine students, parents, and teachers have learned about sustainable forestry at the Kennebec Land Trust’s annual educational program at the 360-acre Curtis Homestead Conservation Area in Leeds.  Field presentations focus on forest stewardship, sustainable forestry, careers in forestry, and wildlife habitat. KLT staff, Leeds logger Nat Bell, his father and sawyer Bruce Bell, Maine Forest Service District Forester Shane Duigan, and natural science educator Lisa Kane of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife lead the presentations.

KLT’s Curtis Homestead twenty-acre demonstration forest is ideal for a stand improvement education program, since this area was hayland until at least the 1940’s. After the Curtis family fields were abandoned, this land reverted to white pine, white and grey birch, cherry, and red maple. Many of the trees that grew in the former farm fields, especially the white pines, became crowded, diseased, and crooked.

Meet Nat Bell, our logger:

 History: Farm to Forest

The Curtis Homestead was settled in the early 1800’s and remained in the Curtis family until 2000 when former Maine Governor Kenneth Curtis and his sister, Rebecca, donated 360 acres to the Kennebec Land Trust.  The last of a long line of Curtis farmers,  Ken’s parents raised a few dairy and beef cows and chickens, grew corn and beans for the Leeds cannery, and selectively harvested wood from their woodlot.

 Soon after the Trust acquired this property, Harold Burnett of Two Trees Forestry wrote a forest management plan for the Homestead, which highlighted current timber harvesting opportunities as well as historical land use practices.  Several years later, neighbor and logger Nat Bell asked KLT if they would consider a community demonstration forestry program for school children and their parents. 

 

 

KLT offers many years around conservation educational field events for children and adults but the Curtis Homestead forestry program is one of our most successful initiatives.

As with all efforts like this, teacher and community engagement, volunteer commitment, and staff support are central to our success story. The following individuals and organizations generously contribute time and resources for KLT's annual  forestry program:

   Nat Bell, Logger, Leed

   Bruce Bell, Sawyer, Leeds

   Lisa Kane, Wildlife Educator, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

  Shane Duigan, Maine Forest Service District Forester

   Harold Burnett, Two Trees Forestry, Winthrop

  Maine Master Naturalist Volunteers

KLT’s Curtis Homestead is open to the public year around and has over three miles of trails for hiking, cross country skiing, and hunting. Interpretive signs at trailheads explain KLT’s forestry and property management goals.