We are hiring! – Full Job Description

Executive Director

Island Heritage Trust (IHT) seeks a full-time Executive Director to lead a growing non-profit organization dedicated to conserving the natural and cultural heritage of Deer Isle and surrounding islands.

The ideal candidate should have strong leadership and strategic planning skills, a passion for land conservation, and the ability to work effectively with the Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers and to serve as the public face of IHT with landowners, donors, local citizens and the broader land trust community.

Founded in 1987, Island Heritage Trust’s mission is to contribute to the well-being of the Island community by conserving its distinctive landscapes and natural resources, by maintaining public access to valued trails, shoreline and islands and by providing educational programming for all ages.  IHT owns 25 properties (totaling over 600 acres), holds conservation easements on 37 properties (covering more than 850 acres), and co-manages with The Nature Conservancy and the State of Maine three conservation properties totaling nearly 300 acres.

The Executive Director is responsible for the day-to-day management of IHT under the supervision of the Board of Trustees and is an ex officio member of the Board.  The organization is currently staffed by a Development Director, a Land Steward, an Environmental Educator, a Volunteer Coordinator and Office Manager, a Bookkeeper and a Seasonal Stewardship Assistant. Major organizational functions are overseen by volunteer committees, including a Stewardship Committee, Land Committee, Finance Committee, Development Committee and Program Committee.  Dozens of other volunteers help maintain trails, run our Nature Shop, help out in the office and participate in our other programs.  IHT is a membership nonprofit with more than 700 Members.

The Executive Director’s responsibilities encompass the following:


Leadership and Strategy

  • Work with the Board of Trustees to develop and implement strategies to carry out IHT’s mission
  • Lead program development and execution
  • Guide satisfaction of LTA accreditation requirements and compliance with LTA standards
  • Help devise strategies to improve IHT’s financial position
  • Recruit, train, supervise, evaluate and inspire staff
  • Promote active participation by volunteers in IHT’s programs and activities
  • Expand IHT’s community outreach
  • Represent IHT in its work with the public, donors and the land trust community


Land Conservation

  • Oversee the implementation of IHT’s land conservation programs
  • Evaluate and negotiate conservation easements and fee property acquisitions
  • Supervise the work of the Land Steward and oversee stewardship of conservation properties
  • Interact with property owners
  • Recommend responses to easement amendments and violations
  • Remain up-to-date on issues and trends in the land trust community


Community Relations

  • Develop and oversee public relations activities and relations with landowners, members, community leaders and other organizations
  • Disseminate information to the public on land conservation and on IHT, its programs and its projects
  • Oversee the work of the Environmental Educator in developing and implementing educational programs for the schools and public
  • Oversee the maintenance and updating of the IHT website, its Facebook page and its other social media feeds



  • Oversee the development and implementation of land program, operating and capital campaign fundraising activities
  • Supervise the work of the Development Director
  • Identify and pursue grants and other funding sources
  • Promote an active membership recruitment program


Budgeting and Accounting

  • Work with the Treasurer, the Finance Committee and other committees to prepare the annual budget
  • Manage expenditures in compliance with the annual budget
  • Ensure that restricted funds are expended solely in accordance with the donor’s instructions
  • Work with IHT’s accountant to prepare its Form 990 and annual financial statements
  • Oversee the work of the Bookkeeper in all of the Bookkeeper’s functions, including ensuring that IHT bills are paid in a timely fashion and that appropriate filings are made with respect to donations
  • Ensure that all insurance policies, documentation relating to IHT’s charitable status, IHT’s annual reports, tax filings and PILOT contributions are up-to-date and made in a timely fashion



  • Communicate regularly with the Board of Trustees and committees to maintain a consistent flow of information both inside and outside the organization
  • Prepare and circulate to Trustees documentation for each Board meeting
  • Attend Board meetings and Committee meetings as required
  • Maintain Board records and files of all Board minutes, agendas, and related documentation
  • Help prepare and organize materials and training for new and existing Board members
  • Supervise the work of the Volunteer Coordinator and Office Manager and other staff
  • Plan for, and allocate resources to meet, organizational and transactional deadlines
  • Keep current with relevant employment and tax laws and practices
  • Review and recommend to the Board appropriate changes to organizational structure and personnel policies
  • Manage IHT facilities
  • Maintain and secure membership lists, donation records and other IHT records in an orderly and accessible manner


Minimum Qualifications

Education: Undergraduate degree or equivalent
Experience: At least three years of relevant experience. Land conservation, supervisory, budgeting, nonprofit restricted funds management, fundraising and management experience preferred.
Knowledge, Skills, Attributes: Budgeting, facility with basic accounting matters, time management, delegation, excellent written and oral communication skills, relationship building, teamwork, excellent organizational skills, safety consciousness, high energy level, enthusiasm, action oriented personality, willingness to work a flexible schedule including occasional evenings and weekends and familiarity with, and a commitment to, the Deer Isle area.


To apply for this position: Send cover letter and résumé to Chair, chair@islandheritagetrust.org or to Island Heritage Trust, P.O. Box 42, Deer Isle, ME 04627. Deadline for application: September 1, 2020.


Friends From The Field Webinars

Co-hosted Webinar Series with Blue Hill Heritage Trust

Updated Schedule and Registration for the Summer


July 2nd: Stone Walls of Maine: Stone walls are windows through which we can learn about human history and natural history. Maine Master Naturalist Cheryl Laz will help us understand why there are so many stones and stone walls in Maine, as well as what the walls and surrounding terrain can tell us about the human settlement and land use. We will also examine the role of stone walls in the natural landscape as a habitat for animals and plants.



Recording of Webinar


July 9th: Old Maps, GPS and GIS Ways to Visualize, Navigate and Document – Join Deer Isle resident, Dr. Norbert (Bert) E. Yankielun, P.E. former researcher for the U.S Army Cold Regions Laboratory who specialized in sub-surface instrumentation research for a webinar presentation. This is a non-technical, and hopefully, enlightening and entertaining presentation that examines use of readily available, open-source, digital historical maps and imagery of Deer Isle to better visualize the terrain, environment, and cultural transformations that have historically occurred in our community from 1776 to present. After this presentation, you’ll never look at your local surroundings in the same


July 16th: Integrating Science into Art – Join Barbara Putnam for a Friends from the Field Webinar and learn why this artist/teacher chose to integrate science into her art and how she challenges her students to do the same. Barbara will share her presentation from an International Conference in Spain, including the work of students at St. Mark’s School. She will touch base on what problems Marine mammals face in the Mediterranean and problems faced by the scientists who study them.



July 23rd: coming soon


July 30th: Why Use Native Plants in the Garden? – Native Gardens of Blue Hill cofounders, Cathy Rees and Avy Claire, will discuss their motivations for creating a garden of plants native to Maine. The talk will outline the challenges and potential of the site and how to find the right plant for the right place. It will provide strategies that listeners can use to incorporate natives into their home gardens.




WEBINAR: Seaweed Biology, Natural History, Edibility, and Art!


Join Hannah Webber, Marine Ecology Program Director for Schoodic Institute and BHHT board member. She will take us on a virtual tour of seaweed at both BHHT and Island Heritage Trust properties and teach us about identification, natural history, biology, debility, and even how to make art with this amazing local life form!

This is the 7th in our webinar series co-hosted by BHHT and Island Heritage Trust, featuring local naturalists, professionals from environmentally focused organizations, and outdoor learning experts to share their knowledge, virtually, during a time when we can’t all be out in the field together.

The webinars take place LIVE every Thursday from 4-5 pm! We will record the webinar so that if you wish to view it but can’t participate at that time, the presentation will be available to you on our websites and social media.

Click the link below to REGISTER for this webinar:


Webinar: Sustainable Foraging with Brighid Doherty

May 28th: Sustainable Foraging with Brighid Doherty, founder of The Solidago School of Herbalism – The intrigue around harvesting wild medicinal plants is ever-growing.  It is important to know how to harvest wild plants in ways that support their populations.  We are currently putting many medicinal and edible wild plants at risk of endangerment from over-harvesting and poor wildcrafting techniques.  Learn how to tend wild populations of medicinal plants, so future generations may also benefit from their gifts.  Learn what plants are safe to harvest from the wild and what plants are endangered.  This is information anyone who works with wild plants needs to know.



We will continue to update this page as necessary with new information. Check our events calendar HERE.

Heritage House is closed to the public, and the staff is working from home until further notice. We will check phone messages every day, but emailing iht@islandheritagetrust.org with any questions or concerns is the best option. Thank you for understanding.

  • Get outside for physical and mental wellbeing, but do it safely
  • While getting outside, please follow the CDC guidelines for health and safety. PLEASE, DO NOT go for a walk if you are exhibiting symptoms. Clear recommendations can be found here.
  • When you visit a preserve, always have a plan B and C if you arrive at a full parking area. View preserve and access information here.
  • You will notice the below sign posted at our trailheads, for everyone’s safety please do not use the sign in box and there are no brochures available at this time. Regional trail guides are available for free on our office door at 420 Sunset Rd. Deer Isle.
  • We request that dog owners to keep pets leashed in order to better prevent close contact interactions.

Library Talk: Intertidal Zones

Join Island Heritage Trust’s Environmental Educator, Martha Bell, to explore

Deer Isle/Stonington’s intertidal zones.

This pre-recorded educational video is scheduled to premiere on our youtube page, Tuesday, May 12th at 4:30pm.


Part 1: Reach Beach

Part 2: Salt Marsh

Questions? Email: jmccarty@islandheritagetrust.org

Evergreen Medicine

Come for a virtual medicinal evergreen walk with local herbalist, Brighid Doherty at Pine Hill Preserve. The walk will focus on the health benefits of a variety of evergreen trees including Pine, Cedar, Juniper, and Spruce. We will also look for spring medicinal weeds that may be sprouting, along the way. All ages are welcome!


For More Info: https://www.solidagoherbschool.com/

Monthly Nature and Bird Walk – May

We hope you enjoy this early May nature and bird walk with our Executive Director, Paul Miller. We will be pre-recording and sharing our monthly nature and bird walks with you on facebook, youtube, and our IHT website until we can walk together again. ENJOY!



BIRDS: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/

Ruffed Grouse:

Yellow-rumped Warbler: 

Pileated Woodpecker: 

Black-capped Chickadee: 

White-throated Sparrow: 

Ring-billed Gull: 

Herring Gull:


Red-breasted Merganser: 

Common Loon: 

Common Merganser: 


PLANTS ‘Go Botany’: https://gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org 

American trout-lily: 


Common strawberry: 

American dog violet: 


Wooly blue violet: 


Today is the day! #GivingTuesdayNow is a day of global unity and giving. Our goal is to reach, or surpass, 50 individual donations – of any size!

We hope you’ll consider participating, not only by supporting us – but others as well; if you canYour support helps to ensure open space, public access to the outdoors, wildlife habitat, and educational programming for all. During these difficult and unprecedented times, we are reminded how important wild, natural places are to our health and well-being. What are some of your stories of what green spaces and wild landscapes mean to you? We’d love to hear from you!

Below is a special video from the staff. We feel grateful and proud to be able to continue our work, safely, to provide this critical resource for out community. It is thanks to your support that we are able to do so.

Thank you.

We hope you, and your loved ones, are safe and well.


Friends From the Field

Friends From the Field Webinar Series

We are excited to announce a NEW Webinar Series co-hosted by BHHT and Island Heritage Trust, featuring local naturalists, professionals from environmentally focused organizations, and outdoor learning experts to share their knowledge, virtually, during a time when we can’t all be out in the field together.

The webinars will take place LIVE every Thursday from 4:00 – 5:00 pm! We will record the webinar so that if you wish to view it but can’t participate at that time, the presentation will be available to you on our websites and social media.

Please email landere@bluehillheritagetrust.org with any questions!


Schedule and Registration

April 30th: The Firefly and Mantis World Tour with Carol Leonards, Maine Master Naturalist – Carol is a graduate of the 2019/20 class of the Maine Master Naturalist Program in Ellsworth. She committed to a sits-spot for a full year observing all that went on in this circumscribed area through all four seasons. She chose to sit on a rock—a fabulous large glacial erratic in the middle of a beaver flowage. Join us to hear her story of this experience and to see her amazing nature journal. Registration 


May 7th: Seeing Smelt: Monitoring Sea-run Fish in Downeast Maine with Sarah Madronal, Downeast Salmon Federation – Sarah Madronal works for Downeast Salmon Federation and has been working with others in her field over the past year to create a state-wide citizen science Smelt Spawning Survey on GMRI’s Ecosystem Investigation NetworkJoin us for a webinar presentation to learn more about this project and how you can help! Registration


May 14th: Brooks to Bays and Back: Anadromous Fish around the Peninsula with Chris DeVore, Craig Brook Fish Hatchery, Ciona Ulbrich from Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Alex Drenga, FWS Term Biologist and outdoor educator- Chris Devore from Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery and colleagues will share educational information about anadromous fish including brookies, eels/elvers, alewife, and Atlantic salmon. The presentation will be geared to fish on the Blue Hill Peninsula and will provide video clips from some of BHHT’s trails and streams. Registration.


May 21st: Family Outdoor Learning with Hazel Stark, Maine Outdoor School – Hazel Stark from Maine Outdoor School will share outdoor learning ideas for families with kids in 5th grade and up. Topics will include: seasonally-relevant things to look for in nature, journaling prompts to incorporate language arts and recording of scientific data, and ideas for extending backyard nature observations into other subjects, including math and art. Registration.