Volunteers and Vital Signs: Helping and Serving to Steward the Next Generation

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It was a dark and stormy night...actually, it was a chilly yet sunny morning on the shores of Woolwich, Maine. On April 24th a group of 17 volunteers spent their Friday morning learning about and looking for the invasive green crab.

In collaboration with the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) and as a part of the Maine Land Trust Network Conference, the Vital Signs team had the pleasure of working with these fun and knowledgeable volunteers. They came from all over Maine representing 9* organizations.

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The focus of the day was to share stories of how volunteers have successfully worked with their local schools in order to get out into the field and monitor native and invasive species in various habitats. We were in the coastal zone focusing on green crabs, but the protocols and tools we used to collect this data are transferrable to any habitat whether it be upland, coastal, or freshwater.

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We learned about how KELT works with schools to identify, mark, and re-capture green crabs and the Vital Signs team shared our protocol and modeled how you can use it with students in the field.

It was so fun to get outside and learn with this group. We look forward to hearing how they all connect with their local schools this field season and many more in the future!

*Great Works Regional Land Trust, Boothbay Regional Land Trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Island Trail Association, Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust, Waterman's Community Center, Androscoggin Land Trust, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, and Southern Maine Community College