Stewardship occurs on many fronts, but all involve caring for the land that we protect and enjoy. Something as simple as picking up a can or bottle thoughtlessly discarded on the roadside is an act of stewardship. Over time, these small actions help to preserve the aesthetic beauty and ecological integrity of the forest. On a community forest, stewardship happens through the responsibility of the community and the generosity of its people.
Such generosity was in evidence at this spring’s Community and Forest Cleanup, sponsored by the Downeast Lakes Land Trust and the Grand Lake Stream ATV Club. More than 35 community members donated their time and energy on a beautiful Saturday morning to help remove trash from the Farm Cove Community Forest and the village of Grand Lake Stream. On foot and in trucks, tractors, and ATVs, volunteers searched the streets of town and the roads and trails of the community forest.
Not surprisingly, years of thoughtful recreational use of the forest and earlier cleanup efforts have left relatively little trash on the forest roads. Occasional bottles, cans, and candy wrappers were found in the roadside ditches, but large dump sites were rarely encountered. When large dump sites were found, they were cleaned by the volunteers who removed old furniture, tires, culvert pieces, and one ancient automobile. In all, DLLT and ATV club volunteers removed an impressive load of trash from the community and forest, leaving a cleaner place for the future enjoyment of all.
After the cleanup, participants returned to the GLS School Building, where they were treated to a lunch of soup from the Pine Tree Store served in ceramic bowls handmade by the Cobscook Community Learning Center and commemorative mugs from the Grand Lake Stream Historical Society. The lunch, and bowls were generously provided by the ATV Club in appreciation of DLLT’s commitment to recreational access for club members, and all participants took home beautiful bowls or mugs in appreciation for their service to the community and forest.
The Downeast Lakes Land Trust thanks all of the participating businesses, organizations, and volunteers for their commitment to stewardship of the community and forest. It’s just one more reason we are proud to call Grand Lake Stream and the Downeast Lakes Region home.
The DLLT regularly hosts speakers, community forums, work parties, and workshops and leads outdoor adventures that highlight the natural and cultural history of the Maine woods and waters. Visit our website to discover what is happening next, and keep an eye out for information on future efforts to keep our forests and waters clean for the enjoyment of all!