Maine Audubon Volunteer John Grew was our guest and speaker on June 19. John is originally from New Jersey and recently moved to Maine from Indiana when he retired from Indiana University.  He had vacationed in the Boothbay region for over 25 years and had long wanted to retire to Maine.  He and his wife love the natural beauty of the state and outdoor activities like hiking, biking and kayaking. Volunteering with Maine Audubon allows him to support our environment and natural resources that make these activities so enjoyable here.
Maine Audubon was founded in 1843. There are now seven chapters across the state, each governed by separate boards and serving the needs of their region. They connect people to nature using a science-based approach to conservation, education, and advocacy.  They work to conserve Maine wildlife and wildlife habitat. However, 96% of land in Maine is privately owned, largely because of the huge tracts of land owned by the lumber industry.  This can present a challenge to conservation.
They have three core areas of engagement.  Education – with staff naturalists they conduct summer camps and school programs. Conservation Projects – citizen habitat monitoring; partner with government; partner with landowners, foresters and volunteers. Policy and Advocacy – environmental policy advocacy in Augusta and DC, collaboration with Maine environmental coalitions.
Citizen science allows volunteers to get into the field on a project. These are opportunities for volunteers to collect valuable data useful for wildlife conservation efforts.  Annually, about 2000 people volunteer on projects across the state. One example is the Annual Loon Count which involves 900+ volunteers and detects trends in the health of Maine’s loon population. This year was the 35th annual count.
For more information on volunteer opportunities, go to:
John Grew signs a book for the
Baxter Library