Fields Pond Celebrates its 25th Birthday!

Fields Pond Butterfly Festival“I’m the same age as Fields Pond!” exclaimed Brianna Guy, educator and naturalist at Fields Pond Audubon Center, as she twirled around last weekend in a butterfly costume. Her enthusiasm for the center was contagious for all who celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Fields Pond in Holden last weekend, with a farm-to-table dinner last Friday and the annual Butterfly Festival on Saturday.

Fields Pond is located seven miles southwest of Bangor in Holden and Orrington and serves children and their families in the Bangor/Brewer communities both at the Maine Audubon center and with educational programs in the Bangor and Brewer school systems. In 1992, Maine Audubon received a planning grant to conduct a member survey on whether a Bangor-area environmental education center was feasible. The survey indicated a strong local interest in providing this type of facility and the rest is history!

Fields Pond is now an idyllic spot for birders and nature lovers, featuring a Nature Center, a 191-acre pond, and a 229-acre sanctuary with trails winding through fields, wetland, forest, and lakeshore. The Center offers dozens of year-round public programs, a Nature Store, and day camps for children. Fields Pond has a variety of habitats that are ideal for nature study, wildlife-watching, walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

The Friday night event was a celebration of the past, present, and future of the Maine Audubon sanctuary. Guests enjoyed a locally-sourced dinner prepared by our neighbors at Hart Farm and included people who have been actively involved at the center since it opened in 1998. The hardy group braved torrential rains and high winds to gather and share stories of days gone by and to reconnect with folks they hadn’t seen in person for years.

Attendees of Friday’s event were encouraged to bring items for a time capsule to be opened in 25 years when Fields Pond will celebrate its 50th anniversary. In addition, some folks recorded video memories to be included in the time capsule. Northern Programs and Operations Director David Lamon joked that in 25 years, no one knows what the technology will be and we might all be holograms at that celebration!

On Saturday, dozens of families attended the annual Butterfly Festival featuring the Insect BioBlitz, face painting, butterfly crafts, a local musician, and the Darling’s Ice Cream For a Cause truck. Children and adults alike participated in the costume parade at Noon. Special thanks to event sponsor First National Bank.Fields Pond Butterfly Festival

As if on cue, a monarch butterfly was spotted for the first time this summer at the Fields Pond Audubon Center. Lamon and UMaine student Wesley Hutchins collected the butterfly, added a nanotag, and released it to the delight of festival attendees! (Read more about Hutchins’ tagging and research here >)

You can explore Fields Pond Audubon Center online but visiting in person is the best way to experience all that the sanctuary offers! The 25th anniversary celebration continues on Saturday, October 7 with the Fall Foliage 5K, a trail run that takes you up through our beautiful, wooded trails, onto the adjoining Holden Land Trust trail system for the perfect fall foliage tour! Click here to see all the events scheduled for Fields Pond this fall.