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Conservation Commission

 

Members Term Expires
Kenneth C Oelberger, Chair 2019
Jonathan Coggeshall 2018
Ingrid Mroz 2018
Leslie Hyde 2017
Dan Verrillo 2017
Ryan LeShane, Alternate 2017
Suzanne Hall, Alternate 2017

 

Responsibilities

The Conservation Commission is the natural resource planning body in Town of St George. It is comprised of appointed volunteers and acts in a consulting and advisory role with town staff, elected officials, and other local committees. The Conservation Commission also works closely with land trusts and other conservation organizations.

The Conservation Commission consists of five voting members appointed by the Select Board for terms of three years, and two alternate members appointed for a one year term.

Duties of the Conservation Commission:

  • Work with elected officials, Planning Board and others to protect the natural resources of the town.
  • Conduct field surveys and maintain an inventory of all publicly and privately owned natural resource open areas within St. George. These include: critical wildlife and marine habitats, wetlands, tree growth forest lands and other places special for their scenic, recreational, historic, ecological or cultural values.
  • Support the town Comprehensive Plan through the development of a Natural Resource Inventory, maps and an Open Space Plan.
  • Manage town conservation lands and enhance public access through the establishment and management of trails, kiosks and parking areas.
  • Acquire conservation lands in the name of St. George with the approval of the Select Board.
  • Support the acquisition of conservation/recreation lands and easements by local land trusts.
  • Develop public education programs and outreach materials to promote sound natural resources management and an awareness of the cultural, historic and ecological assets of the town.
  • Seek public and private funds to offset costs associated with local studies, or land acquisition and management projects.

PACE Program - Are you eligible?

In 2015 the Town of St George approved the Maine PACE loan program.  A Maine PACE loan is a loan taken by a property owner to finance the cost of making a qualified whole house energy upgrade with eligible energy savings improvements to the property. What makes a Maine PACE loan different from other loans is that it stays with the property.  For more info, please visit the Efficiency Maine FAQs web site.

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Current Programs

Natural Resource Maps and designation of Significant Ecological Areas

The Conservation Commission developed a set of six Natural Resource Maps in 2015 showing the location of significant natural resources and conservation lands within the Town of St. George.  The maps show wetlands, watercourses, wildlife habitats, farmland soils, protected lands, shore land access, footpaths and other features.

 

The maps are used as a basis for designation of Significant Ecological Areas within the Town.  The designation is for planning purposes only and seeks to identify locations where multiple natural resource and human made features create high value habitates for wildlife.  This designation also highlights opportunities for recreation, farmland conservation and access to the shore.

 

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Alewife Restoration

Over a span of many years the Conservation Commission has collaborated with the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), US Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Department of Transportation and others to reintroduce an alewife run to the "Town Marsh".  The fish run was disrupted many years ago in part due to ithe installation of a non-fish friendly culvert under Route 131.  The last run was seen sometime during the 1970s.  Since 2009 the DMR has annually released roughly 1,500 spawn ready alewives into the marsh.

 

A new fish friendly culvert was installed in the fall of 2015.  The Conservation Commission is collaborating with the St. George School eighth grade science class in an ongoing project to study the marsh and monitor the return of the alewives.  Listed below are links to key documents for the alewife restoration project:

Footpaths

The Conservation Commission is creating footpaths through the town in collaboration with George's River Land Trust (GRLT).  The two-mile Jones Brook Trail links an existing trail in the Town Forest on the Kinney Woods Road to the historic State owned Fort Point on the St. George River. The trail route passes through mature softwoods and mixed wood stands, and offers views of beaver lodges and moss-covered granite outcrops along Jones Brook.  Click here to download the Jones Brook Area Map and also Trail Map for Fort Point and Trail Map for Town Forest.  The Jones Brook Trail crosses private land and was made possible by the generous coopertion and support of participating landowners. 

 

The St. George School Nature Trail is being restored and expanded onto adjacent Jackson Memorial Library property with the support of students, teachers and the Conservation Commission.  Region 8 Mid-Coast School of Technology students and teachers are constructing a kiosk display board and nature trail interpretative sign boxes to be installed along the trail.

 

The St. George School Nature Trail will reopen for townspeople to celebrate National Trails Day.  Please join us for the welcome and ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:00AM.  The reopening is a collaboration between the St. George School, Jackson Memorial Library, the Town Parks and Recretion Committee, and the Conservation Commission.  Click here to access the St. George School Trail Map.

 

Footpaths are being planned for the newly established Maine Coast Heritage Trust Bamford and High Island preserves in the Long Cove section of Town.

 

Management of Town and Land Trust owned Properties

The Conservation Commission collaborates in managing several Town owned properties.  Click here to view Fort Point Trail Management Plan and Town Forest Management Plan.

 

The Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) High Island Preserve in Long Cove was created with financial support from Town residents, the Town of Saint George,the Land for Maine Future and many others.  On May 12, 2014, voters approved the following referendum question:  "To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate $25,000 for Maine Coast Heritiage Trust towards the purchase of High Island".  A Public Hearing was held April 22.  Click here to download the Public Hearing meeting minutesThe Conservation Commission supported the creation of the preserve and will work with MCHT to develop a management plan that meets the interests of Town residents.

 

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The MCHT created the Bamford Preserve on Long Cove Road with Conservation Commission support and grant funding from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program.  The Select Board authorized a quitclaim deed to the tax acquired "woodcrafters" property, which will be used as a parking area for the preserve.  The commission will collaborate in the development of public recreational trails and a management plan for the property.

 

St. George Solar Photovoltaic

The Conservation Commission has recommended the Town negotiate a Power Purchase Agreement with one of several possible Maine solar providers to install a photovoltaic solar system on the Transfer Station and Salt Shed roofs.  The solar system would reduce the Town electric expenses.

 

Educational Programs

A series of talks and other conservation education programs are conducted annually. Many of these programs are sponsored in collaboration with the Jackson Memorial Library and the “Friends of St. George”.  Information will be posted as details become available.

Dan Verrillo

The Cycle of Water:  Raindrops to Faucet

Saturday, June 28th at 10:00am at the Jackson Memorial Library, Tenants Harbor Maine

Tracing the journey of water with hydrogeologist Dan Verrillo and the Herring Gut Learning Center.  Bring water sample from your pond or faucet for testing demonstration.  This is a family friendly event, cookies provided!  Sponsored by the Conservation Commission, Herring Gut Learning Center, Jackson Memorial Library, and the Friends of St. George.

 

Spring Clean-up

First Saturday in May is designated Town Clean-up Day! Residents join to remove trash accumulated over the winter from our roads and beaches.  This collaborative effort involves the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee, the Conservation Commission, and everyone in the town.

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Explore the Activities and Natural Beauty of St. George

Fort Point Trail Walkers

Visit the St. George Community Access Map for a listing of local:

            • Walking trails
            • Scenic vistas
            • Conserved Lands (open to the public)
            • Paddling Access Points
            • Town Public Landings
            • Local Lighthouses
       

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Online Resource Center

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Documents & Ordinances

Visit the Documents page to view the following:

  • Trail Maps for Jones Brook Area, Fort Point and Town Forest
  • Trail Agreement with Georges River Land Trust
  • Forest Management Plan
  • Natural Resources Maps
  • St. George School Trail Map

Related Information

Planning Board

Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes    2017     2016

Websites of Interest

Link to our Online Resource Center

 


Town Report Archive

2012 2011 2010 2009 2008

2007 2006 2005 2004 2003

2002

 


Focusing on Conservation

St. George Students assisting with the Alewives Program

 


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