Health & Safety guidelines during COVID-19

As the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic is evolving rapidly, 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 with any questions or concerns is the best option. Thank you for understanding.

  • Beginning April 2nd, 2020, Governor Janet Mill’s “Stay healthy at home” order takes effect. Luckily for us, getting outside for a walk or a hike has been deemed an “essential” activity! Here is an article with more information.
  • 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 sign below posted at our trail-heads. For everyone’s safety please do not use the sign in box. 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 keep pets leashed in order to better prevent close contact interactions.

Heritage House Closed to the General Public.

In light of the recently declared global pandemic and National Emergency, Island Heritage Trust has made the decision to close Heritage House to the general public.

The risk will continue to be assessed two weeks in advance for upcoming events. Updates will be posted on our website and facebook page.

This plan will stay in effect until the threat is deemed to have passed by the CDC.


Photo Source: file://iht-pc/Users/Public/Documents/IHT/Photos/Bridge/Evening%20bridge,%20Deer%20Isle-Sedgwick%20_%20The%20Deer%20Isle-Sedgwick%20%E2%80%A6%20_%20Flickr.html

Community Meeting on Browntail Moths

Managing a Health Risk on Deer Isle


Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 4:00 – 5:30 pm

(early enough so you won’t miss dinner with your sweetie)

Deer Isle Town Office: 70 Church St, Deer Isle

Show your love for Deer Isle! Join us for a community meeting on the browntail moth and learn how you can help protect our island (and yourself) from this invasive forest pest. State Entomologist Thomas Schmeelk will present on the browntail moth’s biology, human health impacts, and what community members can do to mitigate human health risks on their own property.


Browntail moths are an invasive forest pest that is currently impacting a large portion of our state. Contact with the caterpillar’s hairs can cause a severe rash and respiratory problems. Defoliation by browntail moth caterpillars also poses a threat to the health of the hardwood trees and shrubs they feed on. Learn more about browntail moths in Maine at:


Thomas Schmeelk is a Forest Entomologist with the Maine Forest Service. He has presented widely on the browntail moth in communities throughout Maine.


Valentine’s Day treats will be provided and the meeting will be over in time for you to keep any special Valentine’s Day evening plans you may have!


For more information, contact Paul Miller, Executive Director at Island Heritage Trust at or Jim Fisher, Deer Isle Town Manager at




This past weekend was the Island-wide Roadside Cleanup! What a success!!! Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our Autumn Roadside Cleanup. We look forward to seeing our active community members in the spring for our Earth Day Roadside Cleanup! If you are interested in volunteering through the winter please email Jacob at

The School Nature Trail 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


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!

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.

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!