Staff and naturalist Lynne Flaccus will lead an exploration on Saturday, Feb. 14, of the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association’s Stester Preserve in Jefferson. It will start at 10 a.m., and will last approximately two hours depending on weather conditions, according to a news release from the association.

Those who attend can go on a scavenger hunt looking for tracks and other signs of wildlife, investigate what plants are doing above and below the snow, and explore off trail along the streams and through the oak and pine forests. Timber harvests in the past have created a variety of forest habitats with a diversity of tree species and ages. Dense stands of pines and fir provide good cover for grouse and hare, and small forest openings provide hunting spots for forest hawks and owls. The southerly and westerly slopes often show sign of deer taking advantage of these warmer spots in winter.

This will be a moderate hike and all ages are welcome. Bring snowshoes if needed. People also are encouraged to bring a snack, water and layers of warm clothes. Those to plan to attend are asked to meet at the parking lot on the Egypt Road in Jefferson at 10 a.m. Directions: From Route 194 Alna, take the Egypt Road (just south of the Alna Post office) and follow for 2.5 miles to kiosk and parking area on the right; from Route 215 in Jefferson, take the Egypt Road and follow for 1.25 miles to kiosk and parking area on left.

The Stetser Preserve is maintained with generous funding from The First through SVCA’s Adopt-A-Preserve Program, according to the release. The association is a member organization caring for Maine’s 58-mile Sheepscot River since 1969. Today more than 3,671 acres and 15 miles of riverfront are protected including seven public preserves. SVCA hosts walks, talks, paddles and other educational events free of charge as well as advocates for the health of the river. For more information, call the office at 586-5616, visit its website at www.sheepscot.org.


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