The School Nature is Complete!

We are ecstatic to announce that the School Nature Trail is complete. Thank You so much to our volunteers who made this project possible! Our Environmental Educator, Martha Bell, will be leading an official celebratory student parade through the trail next week. For further information please contact:

Environmental Educator


Welcome Jacob to the Team!

Help us welcome our newest staff member Jacob McCarty! He’s joining us as our Volunteer Coordinator & Office Manager, and we couldn’t be more excited. Stop by to say hello and see our groovy new office setup! Happy October all!

Update on the School Nature Trail !

This project has put in extensive bog bridging to allow students access to an incredible red maple swamp that will also serve as an alternative way to walk between the High School and Elementary School. Students have been involved since the beginning in building this trail. Although the trail is not 100% complete IHT continues to volunteer to see it though its completion. There will be an open volunteer day this Tuesday October 8th, meeting at 9:30 am next to the Elementary School in Deer Isle. If interested in offering a hand or making a contribution please contact Martha at 


GoFundMe Campaign for Trail Counters is Live!

Island Heritage Trust’s mission includes maintaining public access to natural areas for the local community and island visitors. This campaign is for infrared trail counters at our preserves in order to accurately count visitors and thus generate data on usage of these natural areas. This vital information would help us  to plan effective management and stewardship for these incredible lands we all share.

The Trust’s mission is also to contribute to the well-being of the island community beyond providing access to shorelines and natural areas. We would like to be able to show the community the direct economic impact we are having when visitors travel here to take a hike on one of our trails. These visitors end up staying longer, return in subsequent years, and patronize our business centers to purchase the gas, food, merchandise, art and other items and services offered there, adding to the local economy.

We are reaching out to you with this campaign to purchase a TRAFx System Package and 3 additional counters to deploy at select sites in order to start collecting data. The funds raised in this campaign would allow us to make the initial investment in equipment in order to get the project started. We feel that after successful deployment of these initial counters, we would be able to show how effective they are for our purpose. We would then build on this success to seek subsequent funding for the additional counters we need.

Please check out this link for more info and to view the products we would like to purchase:

Julia Zell, New Development Director

Island Heritage Trust is pleased to introduce and welcome our new Development Director, Julia Zell. A life-long lover of the outdoors and passionate about conservation, Julia is an exciting addition to the Island Heritage Trust Team. Some of her favorite times on the preserves are during the winter, covered in snow, and accessed by cross-country skis. With a background as an artist whose work was often informed by the natural environment, she looks forward to bringing her creativity to developing deep connections with the incredible beauty the Trust protects, and fostering strong relationships with the surrounding community.

Please stop by the office to meet her and say hello!

Paul Miller, New Executive Director

Island Heritage Trust is pleased to announce the arrival of Paul Miller as the Trust’s new Executive Director as of June 1st 2018. Mike Little has retired after ten great years with the Trust. Read more about Paul here.

Crystal Cove Preserve

Island Heritage Trust is excited to introduce our newest piece of land, Crystal Cove Preserve. This Oceanville property was generously donated by the Homann family, and will be open for visitors come fall of 2016.

Silent Auction Of Carolyn Caldwell Paintings

Island Heritage Trust is excited to present the silent auction of two Carolyn Caldwell paintings to benefit the Trust. Carolyn has generously offered these paintings, with IHT receiving 50% of the sales price, so that the Trust can “keep preserving the beautiful places we can all enjoy.”

Both paintings are on view at The Island Agency in Stonington. Place your bids by calling 207-348-2455 or by emailing Marissa. For more information about these paintings and to see where the bidding is, click here.

New Faces at the Trust 2015

Island Heritage Trust is pleased to welcome David Vandiver as its new Stewardship Director. David and his family live in Penobscot, and his wife, Marianne, works at Island Family Medicine. He brings us a wealth of experience and a passion for land conservation. For fourteen years – sometimes part time and sometimes full time – David served For Love of Children (FLOC), an outdoor education facility in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. At first working only in the summers, David says at the end of every summer he begged FLOC to stay for a few more days before he had to return to the city, reluctant as he was to leave the outdoor environment he loves. Eventually, they gave in and employed him year round.

FLOC occupies land which is part of a 1600-acre wilderness preserve owned and managed by the Rolling Ridge Foundation, a Virginia land trust which David also served. Realizing that this huge tract of land needed management, David made a proposal to the Foundation and was hired as its first conservation steward. For the next four years he worked to develop mapping, signage and a system for trail maintenance, which had previously been entirely lacking.

Explaining his devotion to the work of land trusts, David recalls a vivid childhood memory. He grew up in the White River Delta area of central Arkansas, where his grandfather, who supported himself by hunting and fishing, lived in a cabin in the midst of a large tract of privately owned land, fully wooded, susceptible to regular flooding, and adjacent to a large state owned wildlife refuge. When the land came up for sale, a group of citizens banded together to persuade the state to buy it and add it to the existing wildlife refuge. The state pleaded poverty, and the land was purchased by two brothers who planned to farm it. David’s grandfather warned them all about the flooding. But the Corps of Engineers planned to build a levee, despite his grandfathe’s warning that no levee could be sufficient to stem the flooding. Nonetheless, reassured by the Corps of Engineers, the brothers totally stripped the land, burning all the wood. The community, David recalls, never got over it. Every Sunday afternoon folks would gather and watch the burning woodland in horror and dismay.

Thirty odd years later the land came back up for sale. It turned out the brothers had never been able to farm the land profitably – principally because of the flooding about which David’s grandfather had warned them. With the timber long gone and after 25 years of fruitless plowing, some six feet of topsoil had been lost. The citizens regrouped. And this time, they were able to raise the money, together with support from the state, and purchase the land. They have begun replanting trees. But the consensus is that it will never be the same. The futile loss of luxuriant woodland is something that David has never forgotten.

Holding a master’s degree in divinity, David spent a number of years as part time Pastor at the Brooksville United Methodist Church. His theological background, combined with his childhood experience in the White River Delta and his subsequent work for FLOC and Rolling Ridge Foundation, have instilled in him, he says, a passion for land conservation. The earth, he believes, “comes to us as a gift that we can never repay. We must care for it as best as we can.”

Welcome, David Vandiver.

7th Graders’ Beach Grass Project At Causeway Beach

Martha Bell, Island Heritage Trust Environmental Educator, along with Mickie Flores, DISES Middle School Science teacher, and a handful of her 7th graders continue the work of studying and encouraging the strong growth of Causeway Beach’s Beach Grass this May. After having placed the flags up around the strip of grass last fall, the protected beach grass has shown great progress as it grew out beyond the flags!