April eNewsletter

April is the ______ month, depending whom you ask. It is certainly the messiest. Those of us with dirt driveways, pets to walk, or children fond of puddles spend much of it whisking gravelly mud out the front door, back into the warming yard. Housekeeping of a more serious order is underway for many birds returning to Katahdin Woods and Waters from their winter homes. The roads may yet be gated or too muddy for driving (check conditions here), but locals and visitors venturing into the monument by foot to birdwatch will be rewarded. Download Friends’ Bird Checklist before you go, and consider taking part in community science endeavors–your data can help park service staff learn more about the monument’s ecosystem.

Spring Membership Appeal

Check your inbox for a very special letter from Steve Richardson, Friends’ board vice-president and local leader. Now is the time to renew your support for everything Friends will do in 2022–from resource protection to visitation to youth programming, and so much more!

Friends’ Board Endorses Legislation

At the March 29th convening, the board of directors voted to endorse three bills that are being presented this session in the Maine State Legislature: LD1626LD906, and LD585. The three bills address Wabanaki tribal rights and activities, and more information is available from the Wabanaki Alliance.

Wabanaki Reach Training available to Members

Have you wondered what it means to “decolonize” your thinking? Would you like to learn more about Wabanaki issues and perspectives? Friends will again partner with Wabanaki REACH to offer their Interacting With Wabanaki-Maine History training on two dates this spring: May 24th, 5-7 p.m. and June 13th, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. This program will deepen your understanding of Wabanaki history since colonization and inspire reflections on the story we are writing for your grandchildren. Stay tuned for a registration link via email soon!

April Vacation Camp

Friends’ place-based learning program Katahdin Learning Project is partnering with the Millinocket Memorial Library for another Vacation Kids Camp. Kids will not only have a fun, safe place to go during April school break, they will also learn about the environment around them and practice giving back. Each day features a theme including: outdoor skills, creative critters, nature games, astronomy & atmosphere, and Earth Day. A week of engaging lessons will culminate with a community Earth Day project!

Save-the-Date for Teacher Camp

Katahdin Learning Project will host its popular Teacher Camp June 28-29th in the Katahdin region. Teacher Camp is for any educator who is interested in engaging their students in place-based learning. Educators will learn the principles and foundations of place-based learning, see examples and then make a plan of their own. For more information and registration, contact Education Director Kala Rush at kala@friendsofkww.org.

Ripple Effect – Partner News and Notes

As the non-profit philanthropic partner to our National Park Service unit, we strive to amplify the work of our local, regional, and national colleagues, and bring news to you from inside Katahdin Woods and Waters. In this monthly section we also share community “ripples” highlighting the work of connected organizations.

Open NPS jobs at KAWW

We join NPS and dark-sky advocates everywhere in celebration of International Dark Sky Week–April 22-30. April is the perfect time to plan your astro-tourism trip to the only IDA-designated Dark Sky Sanctuary east of the Mississippi River, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument! Whether you are a seasoned stargazer or newly curious, you’ll find much to help you enjoy and protect this natural, cultural, and economic resource in the Night Skies section of nps.gov.

Learn more: Access the recording and resource list from our 2021 Stars Over Katahdin virtual presentation here.

Finally, we noticed in March that Outside Magazine listed Katahdin Woods and Waters as a top under-the-radar destination of our national parks system–highlighting the dark skies and its part in a “wide swatch of protected lands.” Even in the off-season, with muddy roads and bird songs mostly enjoyed by fellow avians, Friends is deeply committed to supporting NPS and the communities of the Katahdin region in welcoming more visitors each year. We hope that among the visitors in 2022 will be you and your family.

—This blog post was adapted from an email transmitted on April 24, 2022. To sign up for our email list, please email info@friendsofkww.org—