Purple Martin Project at The Marx Preserve

 

 

Purple Martins & Partnerships:

 Purple Martins are known as some of the  largest swallows in North America. Purple Martins are known to nest in colonies and are particular about selecting their home base. This makes establishing a new colony  difficult without proper consideration and emphasizes the importance of fostering and sustaining current colonies.  The birds are less commonly seen in New England and Maine in comparison  to other areas; the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife suggests there are likely not more than a couple of hundred pairs in the state.  Furthermore, York County Audubon states that a colony on private property in Kennebunk is the only colony that has been identified in Southern Maine.  However, the number of colonies in Southern Maine may increase as a result of a project that the  York County Audubon, Fish & Wildlife, and Kennebunk Land Trust established to install a gourd rack on the Trust’s Madelyn Marx Preserve. It is the group’s hope that the gourd rack will assist in establishing a colony in the area.

 Purple Martins commonly feed high above the ground on various types of insects. Historically, Martins were known to live in a tree’s natural cavity but with increased development in the United States Purple Martins, like  many other birds, are now found nesting in man made structures like the one installed at the Marx Preserve.

If you are interested in viewing more photos of this project please visit the KLT Photo Gallery. If you would like to learn more about Purple Martins, The York County Audubon website is a fantastic resource.

 

Great Maine Outdoor Weekend

Great Maine Outdoor Weekend!

Kennebunk Land Trust hosted a nature walk on Saturday, February 4th at the Alewive Woods Preserve as part of Great Maine Outdoor Weekend! Great Maine Outdoor Weekend is a series of events led by outdoor oriented organizations and companies throughout the state to celebrate being active outside!

Alewive Preserve is located just off Cole Road, 3.5 miles west of Interstate 95 .The preserve boasts over 625 acres of land and a 45-acre pond at its center, and is ideal for mixed recreational uses. Parking is available at the trailhead. The 2.5 miles of trails can be described as easy to moderate in difficulty.

Maine Guide and KLT staff member, Sarah Stanley, and board member and naturalist, Scott Gasperin, lead the walk and provided guidance on the surrounding area. Walkers observed how the history of the area has affected the forest appearance we see today. They saw  red pine plantations which formed as a result of reforestation after the 1947 fire swept the Kennebunk area. Young stands of regrowth were spotted too and “legacy” white pine trees showing fire scars were also a topic of interest. Older dense hemlock stands that were growing in the floodplain along the stream were also observed; these dense hemlocks survived the ’47 fire due to the wetter soil.

The above courtesy photo displays some members of our enthusiastic group as they reached Alewive Pond!

Paint The Town Red- Soup & Snow Stroll

Kennebunk Land Trust Paints the Town Red!

Kennebunk Land Trust, Boulangerie, a Proper Bakery, and Rambler’s Way collaborated to host a Soup and Stroll event at KLT’s Mousam River Wildlife Sanctuary, located at the end of Water Street just before the treatment plant. The 38-acre preserve has over 2,400 feet of frontage along the Mousam River and is convenient to the downtown area. The trail is 3/4th of a mile one way and can be described as an easy to moderate walk.

The stroll took place on February 21st and was a part of Kennebunk &Kennebunkport’s Paint the Town Red Event which occurred throughout the month of February to celebrate the area’s many unique offerings.  KLT staff and board members offered guidance throughout the walk, indicating different species of trees, various animal tracks, and more! Following the stroll,  participants warmed up with a cup of soup at Boulangerie. To promote the red theme associated with Paint the Town Red, Rambler’s Way graciously donated a red men’s and a red women’s shirt which was raffled off at the event.