Volunteers take three dumpsters of trash off two Casco Bay islands | Community Spirit

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Volunteers take three dumpsters of trash off two Casco Bay islands

Portland, ME -  On Saturday June 4th, The Maine Island Trail Association worked with 24 volunteers to clear trails, pick up trash, clean campsites and post signs on two popular public islands in Casco Bay: Jewell and Little Chebeague. By the end of the day volunteers had filled three dumpsters with debris removed from the islands. 

On Little Chebeague, 14 volunteers assisted Chebeague Island resident and Little Chebeague program coordinator Erno Bonebakker.  They spent the day painting signposts, cleaning up the shoreline and clipping back the invasive plant bittersweet to open up paths, clear meadows, and protect trees.  Over the past year, grants from the Maine Humanities Council, Casco Bay Island Development Association, Maine Historical Society, and the Recreation Trails Program have helped bring the island back from inaccessibility.  In 2010, MITA worked with Rippleffect, Oceanside Conservation Trust of Casco Bay, Chebeague Cumberland Land Trust, the Southern Maine Sea Kayaking Network and the Bowdoin Outing Club.  Approximately 50 individuals worked on the island during the season, investing almost 800 person hours on more than 40 different days.  In addition to the day long cleanup, the Maine Island Trail Association is developing interpretive signage and other material, continuing to reclaim tr!
 ees and meadows from bittersweet and clearing sections of a perimeter trail to make it possible walk around the island at all tides. 

On Jewell Island, 10 volunteers worked with the Casco Bay Caretaker to scour the beaches and remove shoreline trash accumulated from winter storms.  Several volunteers also assisted in seasonal campsite maintenance, clearing fallen branches and re-building fire pits. 

The Maine Island Trail Association organizes 8-10 island cleanups and workdays open to the general public each year, in five regions along the coast, including Casco Bay, Muscongus Bay, Deer Isle, Mount Desert, and Downeast.  Upcoming dates are: Muscongus Bay – June 11th, Deer Isle - June 18th, and Downeast – June 25th.  The three dumpsters filled with trash from the Casco Bay cleanup were emptied by Waste Management Inc. who generously provides them to the Maine Island Trail Association free of charge.

About the Maine Island Trail Association

Established in 1987, the Maine Island Trail Association is a membership organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the wild islands of coastal Maine. With 182 trail sites and over two decades of community-building, stewardship and education, the organization developed a model of sustainable recreation while creating America’s first recreational water trail. Named the “best trail in Maine” by Downeast Magazine in 2010, the 375-mile waterway extends from the New Hampshire border to Machias Bay. Current members enjoy access to Trail properties for day use or overnight visits in return for observing low-impact techniques and guidelines outlined in MITA's annual 250-page trail guide. In 2010 an online version of the guide was released at http://guide.mita.org.

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