UNITY — Matthew Chatfield will lead an exploration of Maine’s reptiles and amphibians, incorporating museum specimens and colorful slides, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, at Sebasticook Regional Land Trust office, 93 Main St. Chatfield teaches ecology and conservation biology at Unity College and has a special interest in herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians.
The talk is part of the land trust’s free monthly speaker series, “Restoring Connections to Place,” featuring a variety of conservation topics of interest to Maine.
• The 47-mile Hills-to-Sea Trail, expected to open this spring, will be the topic Wednesday, April 12.
Buck O’Herin and Tom Mullin of the Waldo County Trails Coalition will talk about the new footpath from Unity to Belfast. The western section from Unity to Frye Mountain in Montville has been open since June 2016, and the eastern side is just miles away from completion.
• Ecologist Aleta McKeage, of Belfast, will focus on invasive plants, one of the primary threats to environmental health faced today, on Wednesday, May 10.
Invasive plants take over natural areas, crowding out native species and changing wildlife habitats. Participants can learn which plants present the worst problems in the area, how to identify them, what they do to the ecosystem, and how to control them.
Striking examples of invasive plant infestations will be observed as well as successful control management that is being employed to combat invasive plants locally. McKeage specializes in land stewardship and restoration integrated with outreach and community building. She is an expert in invasive plant biology and control and restoration of native plant communities in natural areas as well as human-influenced landscapes.
• “Lessons from Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center: A Citizen’s Guide to Helping the Birds of Maine,” will be the subject on Wednesday, June 14.
Laura Suomi-Lecker, education and outreach coordinator, will discuss common reasons why birds are admitted to Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center in Freedom and what citizens can do to help local birds. The facilities and recent cases will be discussed. 2016 admissions include orphaned and injured eagles, owls, hawks, water birds, including gannets, loons, guillemots, petrels, and ducks and many species of songbirds.
Suomi-Lecker is the education and outreach coordinator and long-time volunteer with Avian Haven and also the technical director at Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District, where she does a variety of bird-related education and outreach.
For more information, email [email protected] or call 948-3766.