Conserving Little Things That Matter - KLT’s 2019 Lyceum

Bob Kimber, KLT Advisor

Phil deMaynadier, a biologist with Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, led off this year’s lyceum with a talk about the department’s efforts to locate, map, and protect habitats essential to the wellbeing not only of aquatic insects—the main focus of his remarks—but of other species as well. In the course of his talk, Phil used the phrase “conserving little things that matter,” which struck me as an appropriate motto for all three of this year’s lectures, because each one showed us vividly how much these little creatures do indeed matter.

Charlene Donahue, retired Maine Forest Service Entomologist and President of the Maine Entomological Society, began her talk on terrestrial insects by noting a few of the crucial roles insects play in maintaining the ecological health of our world. Despite all the benefits insects provide to natural systems worldwide and to us humans as well, we have not been as considerate of them. Scientists in Germany have reported a 76-percent loss of flying insects over the last 27 years, and similar reports from around the globe have led scientists to declare half the world’s insect species in decline.

As to causes, the agricultural practice of using every square inch of tillable land and leaving no hedgerows for insects to winter over in is one major culprit, along with the use of insecticides and synthetic fertilizers. Also, invasive plant species can crowd out native plants. Then there are the impacts of global warming. In the final talk of the series, Roger Rittmaster, a retired endocrinologist and Maine Master Naturalist, reported on the many strategies he has used on his own property to combat these hazards to insects, strategies that make use of Roger’s extensive knowledge about the interactions between particular plants and insects. He also recommended some simpler steps all of us can take, which I’ll wager just about any entomologist would endorse: Don’t use pesticides and herbicides. Reduce lawn space. Grow native plants. Bushhog fields late in the fall. Let flowers bloom.

Conserving a Land Ethic and our Cultural Heritage

Avery Siler, Legacy Society member and past KLT intern

Before my internships with KLT, I had never been to Maine. Once I arrived, it didn’t take me long to understand why people love it so much – there’s something about it that just gets into your soul. I was lucky enough to see a fair bit of the state in my two summers at KLT, from Cutler Coast to Katahdin to the Bigelows, but I’m very glad that I was rooted in Kennebec County. Its hills and lakes, its forests and fields, all became a home to me. I can’t think of a better guardian of that home than KLT.

At a time when I was just beginning to consider what a career in conservation could look like, KLT shaped my idea of what conservation could and should be: a land ethic marked by a consideration of the whole system within which humans interact with the environment, and a dedication not only to land, but to people and cultural heritage. KLT’s work goes beyond just setting aside natural places to considering how conservation can be a tool to help communities of both the ecological and the human varieties. I’m consistently impressed by the creativity KLT’s staff and volunteers bring to their work, whether it’s creating the Local Wood WORKS initiative or restoring the blueberry fields on Mt. Pisgah.

As a young person working in a non-profit, I don’t have huge financial resources at my disposal, but I wanted to be able to make a meaningful gift to KLT and help ensure support for years to come. I made KLT a beneficiary of my 401(k), a step that enabled me to plan a larger gift than I could currently give otherwise. It was simple to name a beneficiary through my online account. There’s also the added benefit that because KLT is a 501(c)(3), the gift won’t be subject to the estate tax. I’m so grateful for KLT, and I’m thrilled to be able to support it.

For more information about our Legacy Society please click here.

Interns’ Vaughan Woods Wednesdays

For the second year, KLT interns supported our friends at the Vaughan Woods and Historic Homestead. Every Wednesday, Vaughan Woods hosts children from the city of Hallowell’s recreation program. Children visit Vaughan Woods for an environmental education or history program, and depending on the weather, get to spend a lot of time out in the woods. They host the youngest children on week one, and every week an older age group joins them until the program ends.

 Kate Tremblay, Executive Director at Vaughan Woods, says “The Kennebec Land Trust Interns provide youthful positive role models - its wonderful for our local kids to be exposed to young adults who are pursuing a career in conservation and who genuinely love and care for the natural world. We are grateful for this partnership and truly enjoy getting to know the interns each year!”

 This partnership has been a great opportunity for KLT to support the Vaughan Homestead and to help create meaningful outdoor experiences for youth in our community. Jordan Tanguay, one of our 2018 interns, said, “The other day, we walked up through the stream catching eels and frogs, and saw a snapping turtle. The kids also made stick boats, went searching for butterflies in the field, and got a kick out of watching the Vaughan Woods chickens. I think the kids really like learning about local history and the environment in a non-classroom setting and it’s a lot of fun for us, too.”

To learn more about our internship program and to apply for current opportunities click here.


Land for Sale by Owner

30± ACRES OF LAND in West Gardiner, Maine, located between Lindsey
Lane and the Collins Mills Road on the west side of the Hallowell-Litchfield
Road with 288 feet of road frontage and further described as follows:
A certain lot or parcel of land situated in the said West Gardiner and bounded
and described as follows: Northerly by land now or formerly of Warren H.
Davis; easterly by land now or formerly of Reuben L. Snow; southerly by the
country road leading from Hallowell to Litchfield and westerly by land now or
formerly of the heirs of the late Orron E. Towle, containing thirty (30) acres,
more or less.
Being the premises described in deed of Thelma R. Wakefield to Thelma R.
Wakefield and Kendra W. Shaw dated August 8, 1988 and recorded in Book
3403, Page 232.
For sale by sealed bid offer only. All offers must be received on or before July
23, 2018. The successful bidder will be notified by August 1, 2018 and must
be prepared to close within 45 days. The owner expressly reserves the right to
reject any and all bids.
Mail sealed bids to: The Kennebec Land Trust, PO Box 261, Winthrop, ME 04364.
For all inquiries and additional information on the location, please call: (207) 377-2848.