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The Important Role of Sanctuary Stewardship

As a land steward for Maine Audubon, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to traverse each one of the organization’s eight sanctuaries regularly. The outdoor recreation opportunities at these sites vary between a short out-and-back hike, like the one found at the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center, to more primitive wilderness experiences such as our most remote sanctuary at Borestone Mountain. Despite the geographic differences among the sanctuaries, there is a common component that keeps each one of these special places open for the public to enjoy: volunteers.

Maine Audubon has a variety of different volunteer opportunities across our sanctuaries. Parking and picnic areas, visitors centers, and trails all require a great deal of annual upkeep to ensure that they continue to provide access for visitors, while also supporting Maine Audubon’s mission to protect wildlife.

April and May have already seen several volunteer events across our properties. From the Gilsland Farm stewardship team that serves twice monthly to combat invasive species on the property to the dedicated Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center volunteers that have been helping to renovate the buildings on site, there’s never a lack of work to be done.

The Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary and Mast Landing Audubon Sanctuary have also seen stewardship activity this spring. Maine Audubon staff and volunteers have been working diligently to revitalize picnic areas and parking lots, clip back overgrown trail corridors, and help create more sustainable tread surfaces throughout the Maine Audubon trail network. Whether you have one hour or an entire afternoon to commit to helping out, there are a host of tasks that can accommodate volunteers with different interests and abilities.

Maine Audubon staff relies on the dedication, drive, and skill sets that our volunteers bring to the table.

To learn more about how to get involved in Maine Audubon sanctuary stewardship please reach out to MA land steward Liz Thibault at lthibault AT or visit Maine Audubon’s website to see a list of current volunteer opportunities.