There’s not much we love more than seeing young people experiencing the wildlife and habitat at Fields Pond Audubon Center. So our busy month of June brought us much delight, and with the start of summer camp, July and August promise to deliver more of the same.
In June, more than a dozen youth between the ages of 17 and 23 who are part of the WaYS (Wabanaki Youth In Science) Ancestral Lands Trail Crew camped out at the Fields Pond Audubon Center for a week of training prior to their summer work in Northern and Downeast Maine. The program participants will be doing trail work projects this summer in Acadia National Park, Katahdin Woods and Waters, Downeast Coastal Conservancy, and Maine Coast Heritage Trust. While at Fields Pond, the WaYS crew learned new trail maintenance skills and participated in a wilderness first aid course. The WaYs mission is to “inspire and support persistence in the sciences for Native youth by providing long-term educational opportunities that integrate Indigenous ecological knowledge with western science” and it was great to be able to host this year’s trail crew for the training session.
We also hosted fifth and sixth grade students from the Bangor School Departments 21st Century Summer Enrichment Program. These students spent several hours each day for two weeks with the Fields Pond Center staff learning about natural history and ecology through hands-on science. The group culminated their experience with a student-initiated environmental action project that involved creating two Monarch Butterfly Waystations, one at Fields Pond and one at the Fairmount Elementary school in Bangor. Monarch Waystations are places that provide the necessary habitat to produce successive monarch generations and sustain their migration. Students did this by planting native milkweed and goldenrod, and creating informational signage and a bulletin board display for the school.