Friday, August 19, 2011

Wells Reserve Marks 25 Years

The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve marks its 25th anniversary with tours, talks, and special activities at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm on August 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information, visit or call 207-646-1555.
Bring your lunch for a noontime talk, “Wells Reserve, Then and Now,” with Mort Mather and Paul Dest. Mather, founder and first president of Laudholm Trust, will return to the place he helped preserve to recall the against-the-odds community effort to protect a coastal oasis in Wells. Dest, 10-year director of the Wells Reserve, will carry the story through the years since the Wells Reserve’s creation, following the evolution of an organization increasingly involved with protecting coastal resources throughout southern Maine.
At 1 p.m., join the Wells Reserve staff for a 1-hour behind-the-scenes tour. The historic Laudholm Farm campus was restored and adapted to support a modern mission of research, education, and stewardship. Activities featured on the tour include observing plankton through a microscope, finding out how scientists use fyke nets to catch fish, seeing birds up close, exploring the specialty library, and learning why Laudholm was such a successful progressive farm a century ago.
At your own pace, trace the history of New England’s landscape from the last ice age to the recent conservation movement by viewing the Changing Landscapes exhibit in the Visitor Center, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As always, miles of walking trails will be open from 7 a.m. to sunset. Visit several habitats and enjoy glimpses of wildlife along the way. Trails feature a network of interpretive signs that cover a range of natural history topics and Discovery Backpacks are available to check out for a small fee.
The Wells Reserve was dedicated on August 31, 1986, after a grassroots drive to protect Laudholm Farm grew into a local, state, and federal collaboration to establish Maine’s only estuarine research reserve. The Wells Reserve at Laudholm has become a leader in salt marsh research, environmental education, water protection, and land conservation, all while maintaining one of the region’s most important historic farm sites.
The work of the Wells Reserve is made possible by Laudholm Trust, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organized in 1982 to protect two estuaries and a historic saltwater farm. Over the years, members of Laudholm Trust have continued to provide vital monetary and in-kind support to the Wells Reserve. This local support enables the Wells Reserve to receive additional funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Wells Reserve at Laudholm is located just off U.S. Route 1 near the Wells-Kennebunk line.