In 2014, The Holbrook Community Foundation created a fund to support the Holbrook Community Foundation Education Initiative. The goal of this fund is to support education about our marine environment in our local schools. HCF is continuing to support its Holbrook Education Initiative this school year with our two public schools: The Harpswell Community School (via support of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s outreach programs) and the Harpswell Coastal Academy.
HHLT’s Outreach Coordinator Julia McLeod continues to develop and present weekly in-class and outdoor environmental education programs for every grade level (K-5) at Harpswell Community School. Topics include animal survival needs, adaptations, observing seasonal changes, habitats, biodiversity, life cycles, weather and climate, and geology. Fifth graders, for example, are studying a great blue heron fitted with a tracking device and gathering data for a citizen science project which compares salt marsh to forest. Much to their delight, there is an abundance of red-backed salamanders behind the School! HCF’s Education Initiative also supports HHLT’s very popular Nature Day Camp which engages 70 young people with Harpswell’s natural resources.
HCF’s support has enabled HCA to continue its Harpswell Voices oral history collection. This year’s project, Voices of Conservation, involved a series of interviews conducted by upper school students with nine interesting Harpswell characters, including a marine mammal expert, a local historian, a forester, an environmental scientist, a naturalist, and a farmer. Each interview, having been recorded and transcribed, culminated in a short and compelling audio clip. These Voices of Conservation audio clips supplement those of the prior years’ Voices of the Sea and Voices of the Working Waterfront projects. HCA students are also working on a geographical information system (GIS) map of Harpswell which will locate and display, in layers, such information as ecological data, oral histories, audio recordings, and places of historical and environmental interest.
The video below, “Voices of the Working Waterfront”, is one product of the Harpswell Stories Project, designed to illustrate the challenges faced by local fishermen and how they have adapted. Visit the Harpswell Stories website to view the project's entire output.
Holbrook Community Foundation has published formal reports detailing the activities funded in each year of the program. Please click on the links below to read and download each report:
HCA students explore Cundy’s Harbor
HCS students enjoy salmon release