Join Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District for our annual gathering on December 15th at 3pm. The event will be a chance to meet some new faces in conservation for Midcoast Maine, including Allyssa Gregory of the Maine Forest Service, Joe Roy of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and our new District staff member Medea Steinman. We will also present an award for Conservationist of the Year and share a bit about 2021. All attendees will be entered in a raffle for several prizes.
Joseph Roy is the new Private Lands Biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He was born and raised in Jay, Maine, and attended the University of Maine in Orono where he studied Wildlife Ecology. Upon graduation he traveled the country working with a variety of flora and fauna, including deer, bear, elk, eagles, and loons. After working in environmental consulting for a few years he found himself back at MDIFW in his current role, where he helps individual landowners manage their property to support wildlife. Allyssa Gregory has recently moved to Maine after working in forestry in South Dakota. Allyssa Gregory is the Maine Forest Service’s District Forester for the Midcoast. She has most recently worked with the State of South Dakota as a Rural Forester. Allyssa offers landowner assistance, educational programming, and resources for woodland owners in parts of Waldo, Kennebec, Knox, and Lincoln. Allyssa and Joe will be collaborating with the Soil and Water Conservation District to offer some new workshops in 2022. Medea Steinman recently joined Waldo SWCD as Administrative Director. Prior to coming to the District, Medea worked in science education and education research for about 17 years—with K-12 schools, the University of Maine System, and with nonprofits. Before that she worked professionally in land conservation and environmental consulting. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Zoom link to our virtual event.
In late October and early November, we are all thinking about cleaning up the leaves in our yards, and many of us are also working on having yards that are healthy for all types of wildlife, insects and birds. Many of us also want our yard to have a neat appearance. I have a city yard, so this is certainly true for me. I thought I’d share a post I wrote on fall cleanup that shares some thoughts on being a bit messy for the benefit of nature, while also being neat.
Check out our slate of outdoor fall events, our new pollinator garden map and more here..
I spent sometime this morning enjoying the sweet-pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia) in my yard, taking in its heavenly scent and watching the many bumblebees visiting the plant. I have to say that it is one of my favorite shrubs for pollinators. It is one of our few native shrubs that blooms in late summer, with prolific spikes of showy white flowers in early August and a scent strong enough to carry on the breeze. It’s a great plant for eco landscaping, with a neat, showy appearance even when not in flower and with winter interest as well. Sweet-pepperbush can grow in sun and shade, and likes some soil moisture. There are thus lots of cultivars of this plant to choose from, but I find the straight native version to be just as beautiful. Sweet-pepperbush is native to Coastal Maine, although it is not found in our part of the Midcoast area.
We chose this plant for our new demonstration shrub planting at the Wales Park pollinator garden, where you can see it in bloom right now, along with other attractive native shrubs including meadowsweet, common elderberry, sweetfern, spicebush and redosier dogwood. The garden is a great place to start learning about pollinator plants. We recently completed most of our plantings and have labeled all the plants. We have also made a map and key for the garden. A guided tour of our pollinator garden will be offered August 27th from 10am to 4pm by the Belfast Garden Club Open Gardens event; see their website for more information.