Associated People Tin Smith
Develop a disaster response plan for the Wells Reserve and surrounding watersheds that complements and coordinates with local and county efforts and that will serve as a model for other natural resource organizations and agencies.
Why Do This Project?
The Julie N oil spill in Portland Harbor (1996), Mother's Day storm (2006), and Patriot's Day storm (2007) caused extensive environmental and infrastructure damage to the coastal areas of southwest Maine. More recently this region was narrowly spared the great devastation caused by Hurricanes Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012). These events have reinforced that:
- the occurrence of natural and man-made disasters is unpredictable
- a lack of preparation can result in a slower and less efficient response
- resilience of natural resources and man-made infrastructure to disasters can be "built in" in advance to some degree
The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune and Making It At Home Sunday editions, 3/2/2014.
The home we purchased last spring came with a wood stove, but up until last month, we hadn’t used it. Just in time for January’s second polar vortex, we got our chimney re-lined and, just like that, we had a cozy living room.
The only problem was that, by this point in the winter, seasoned firewood was scarce. We went through the small poplars I’d cut down in our yard last March within two weeks and then had to rely on those $5 kiln-dried bundles from Home Depot and Hannaford. Soon, even those were hard to find.
What burned me up even more than their price was that I had enough firewood stored up for the next five winters — 200 miles south of here.
Kids may have gotten a break from school this past week, but with two big snow storms, there was plenty of outdoor fun to keep them busy! Six campers from as far away as New Hampshire braved the snowy afternoons to spend Tuesday and Wednesday at the Reserve participating in our Winter Trekkers and Snow Survivors camps.
Each day was packed with activity, from wildlife tracking walks led by volunteer naturalists and a cottontail rabbit search led by Sue Bickford, to a day full of outdoor snow survival scavenger hunts and shelter building. Despite being on "vacation," campers were eager and excited to learn, and were a fantastic bunch to spend the wintery week with! Check out some of the photos of our adventures below, and head over to our Flickr page for even more.
This month customers of the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Wells Water District (KKWWD) got some news about the upgrades and repairs to the fish ladder on Branch Brook in the Winter 2014 Newsletter. Chief Plant Operator Greg Pargellis provided a nice write-up on a really positive collaboration with the Wells Reserve to bring the fish ladder back on line.
This isn't the first time that the fish ladder has been in a KKWWD report. In the 1954 Trustees Report (see pg. 14), the Water District mentions plans to increase the height of the dam by 2 feet and to build a fish ladder which was ordered by the Maine Department of Fish and Game.
Associated People Susan Bickford Kristin McCurdy
Often showy but frequently cryptic, butterflies are an attractive challenge.
During the early years of the Wells Reserve, butterflies drew attention from a few naturalists striving to characterize the site's diverse flora and fauna. The list they compiled was clearly incomplete, but still provided a foundation of 16 "species" for the reserve's Site Profile completed in 2006.
In 2007, the reserve joined the Maine Butterfly Survey, an intense 8-year study of the state's butterflies wrapping up in 2014. This focused effort has so far supplied well over 100 records representing 30+ species for the Wells Reserve.
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