Can palm trees do that?

Sea smoke and frosty trees on the river

This “partial letter to friends in Florida” is taken from Barnaby Porter’s book, Twelve Miles from the Rest of the World. Let me tell you about yesterday morning. I went down to the shore as usual to check on things. It was still . . . whisper still. All the trees, most impressively the tall pines, were trimmed in pink and white hoarfrost, and the sun, which is a little higher these days, was beaming down through them with the bright promise of spring sometime in the not too distant future. The river was royal blue with frozen trimming. Every

Construction at DRA’s Round Top Farmhouse kicks off mid-March

The historic farmhouse at DRA’s Round Top Farms in Damariscotta will be undergoing renovations this year, with work scheduled to begin in mid-March. Damariscotta River Association (DRA) plans to relocate its administrative headquarters to the farmhouse when work is complete this fall. Preserving a piece of local history DRA inherited the property from Round Top Center for the Arts when that organization dissolved in 2008, according to a safe fallback arrangement made by former owner Nancy Freeman. Though maintenance of the buildings at Round Top Farms had long been deferred, DRA recognized the particular value of the farmhouse to the

Celebrating a new “Forever Farm” in Damariscotta

The farmers and their family in the field

60 acres of farm fields and woods on Route One just northeast of downtown Damariscotta are now permanently protected, thanks to a collaboration between Damariscotta River Association (DRA), Maine Farmland Trust (MFT), Slow Money Maine, The Morris Farm Trust, United States Department of Agriculture and Brady Hatch and Brendan McQuillen of Morning Dew Farm. “This complicated project has been almost seven years in the making, and it is hard to imagine a better outcome,” said Adam Bishop, Farmland Protection Program Director at MFT. Your support through DRA helped make this possible. Maine Farmland Trust, in partnership with DRA, and with

Kids help grow food for donation at Twin Villages Foodbank Farm

kids harvesting carrots at the farm

“I enjoyed harvesting beets and carrots. I learned there is a place that grows and gives produce to people who need it. It means a lot to me to be a part of it.” So wrote Zoie Wells, a fifth grader at Great Salt Bay (GSB) Community School, in a handwritten note to Twin Villages Foodbank Farm (TVFF) Manager Sara Cawthon. Zoie’s note is affirming of the farm’s intent to work with students to foster a sense of community stewardship as well as a connection to the local growing season. TVFF grows vegetables using organic growing practices on two acres

Mourning the loss of a landmark

DRA's 1910 hay barn

Passers-by will notice a significant change to the landscape at DRA’s Great Salt Bay Farm. Structural damage to the barn caused by recent wind storms made it necessary to take down the 1910 hay barn across the road from the farmhouse on November 20. Though we had made repairs to the barn over the years, including a new roof, cribbing, and substantial bracing, the structural timbers were compromised by the 70 mph winds of the October 30 storm as well as by the two subsequent gales. Four of the major vertical posts sheared completely so that the barn began to

Mr. Steele Gets a Twofer

student preparing a water sample for incubation

A Personal Reflection on DRA’s New Water Quality Lab: (One reason) why I went to work for DRA When I was in the seventh grade, I had the chance to take part in a water quality study of Blue Heron Lake in Bedford, New York. Mr. Steele was a wonderful teacher at our public middle school with a special interest in environmental science, and he invited me and another boy in my class to join him in this project. For several Fridays in a row through the fall, we took turns rowing a boat around the lake and taking water

South Bristol 5-6 students come out of the classroom and into nature

teacher and students on Witch Island

The above title is from an article written by Violet Bailey and Willis Colby (grade 6), who go on to report, “Witch island is one of the greatest places to experience nature at the fullest! The island is a perfect balance of nature. The ocean and the forest will motivate any kid. Learning about nature is so perfect!” “The 5th and 6th grade students traveled by boat every day for a week to Witch Island in South Bristol,” wrote Tyler Blanc and Quintin Esparza (grade 5). “They learned about the Wabanaki and their religion as well as what they eat

Volunteer Opportunity in support of GSB School: Four Winds Nature Program

kids collecting specimens

Would you like to share your joy for learning and exploring the outdoors? You can be a volunteer! DRA is supporting Great Salt Bay (GSB) Community School in their NEW endeavor to bring more outdoor education to all classrooms. One way GSB is doing this is by working with Four Winds, a Vermont–based organization that provides natural science education curriculum and volunteer training. We are looking for about 10 volunteers to help bring the Four Winds Nature Program to k-2 students at Great Salt Bay School. Adult Volunteers meet for two hours every month at Great Salt Bay school for

DRA’s wide open spaces broaden GSB Cross Country Program

running the trails at DRA

At the fire of the starting gun, a crowd of forty boys in multi-colored jerseys launches into motion. They charge downhill, past a cheering crowd of parents, grandparents, coaches, and schoolmates, and follow a broad mown trail winding through rolling fields, past a freshwater marsh and along Great Salt Bay. From their vantage on the hill above the fields at Damariscotta River Association’s (DRA’s) Great Salt Bay Farm, a public preserve in Damariscotta, spectators can see almost every moment of the race, with an expanse of Great Salt Bay as a sparkling backdrop. They clap and shout encouragement as the

Thank You from DRA

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We invite you to take a moment and see what your support has made possible over the last year!