Portland's Sustainability Series: 4.25.18 5:30-7:30pm

Join Us Wednesday, April 25th, Portland Sustainability Series: What Have Loons Told Us? 35 Years of Maine Audubon's Loon Count

Maine Audubon Presentation by Susan Gallo, Wildlife Biologist and Director, Maine Loon Project. Learn about the history of this innovative project, and the things you can do to help make Maine an even better place for loons to thrive in the future.



Solar 101: Have you ever thought about how to start your clean energy transition? 4.10.18 5:30-7:00pm

Join Us Tuesday, April 10th, for a Revision Energy Workshop at Friends School of Portland 11 Route One, Cumberland Foreside 

In 2015, the Friends School of Portland installed 144 solar panels on their new building to completely offset the electric loads they use, saving them money and becoming the first net-zero school in Maine. Join Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative (SMCC) and ReVision Energy for an educational workshop to learn how you can use this technology to become more energy efficient, save money, and make the transition to 100% clean energy. Find out what made the school a good site for solar collectors and how your household can take advantage of these systems.

This event is free and open to the public but please RSVP to Jill at or 207.221.6342.


Portland's Sustainability Series: Keynote Event - NEW DATE! 4.4.18 6:00-7:30pm

Wednesday, April 4th, Portland Sustainability Series "Ocean's End with Colin Woodard" Local author and journalist, Colin Woodard will present Ocean’s End: The Crisis in the World’s Seas and the Gulf of Maine.

Read about Colin here


Portland's Sustainability Series: 3.28.18 5:30-7:30pm

Wednesday, March 28th, Portland Sustainability Series Citizen Science: A Revolution in Scientific Research 

Sarah Kirn, Education Programs Strategist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, will present stories and perspective gained from 15+ years of work in citizen science. Sarah will speak about using citizen science platforms to learn more about the world around us, and as a tool to engage community in stewardship.


Portland's Sustainability Series: Event - 2.28.18 5:30-7:30pm

 Portland Sustainability Series "An Inconvenient Sequel" Movie Screening and Discussion with NRCM



Portland's Sustainability Series: The Making of a Monument from the Inside Out - 11.29.17

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 - 5:30 pm- 7:30 pm
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Free and open to the public, seating given on a first come first serve basis.

The Making of a Monument from the Inside Out - The creation story of the newest Maine National Monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters, as told by Lucas St. Clair and Michael Degnan. Lucas was (and still is!) the voice of the Monument from the Maine ground up and Michael worked in the White House as one of President Obama’s Conservation Team Members to shepherd the process through.

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (KWWNM) permanently conserves a portion of Maine’s iconic forests, safeguarding over 30 miles of pristine rivers and streams, and protecting prime habitat for beloved and rare wildlife. KWWNM offers spectacular views of Katahdin, special ecological features, and extensive historic and cultural resources.

Join us for a panel discussion and learn about the process within the federal government to move a great idea to reality, and the partnership these two forged while working to make it all happen.

About the Speakers

Michael Degnan

Michael Degnan serves as an advisor for several non-profit organizations and is currently focused on supporting strategies to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, scaling an Obama-era program to connect underserved youth with the outdoors, and recruiting new business and health voices to support the outdoors. Previously, Michael served as the Associate Director for Land and Water at the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which is one of the White House policy offices.

The CEQ is charged with coordinating environmental priorities and initiatives across Federal agencies. During his more than three years at CEQ, Michael oversaw the land and water policy team and led its work on national monument designations, outdoor recreation, and youth engagement in the outdoors.

Lucas St. Clair was born and raised into a subsistence living family in the North Woods of Maine, with no running water or electricity for most of his childhood. He left that lifestyle to attend a boarding school in the Western Mountains of Maine and went on to study abroad, pursuing a Culinary Arts degree at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Lucas worked in the beginning of his career in the restaurant and wine industry in New York City, Maine, and Seattle.

In 2011, Lucas took over his family’s operating foundation, Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. (EPI). EPI owns 125,000 acres of timberland in Northern and central Maine that they have been purchasing since 1998. They have been managing the land and adding infrastructure for recreation over the last several years. To celebrate the 100 anniversary of the National Park Service, President Barack Obama accepted the gift of 89,000 acres of land from EPI and created the newest unit of the National Park Service, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Aug 24th, 2016. Lucas and EPI continue to play a role in the development of the region and enhancing the community’s ability to capitalize on the newly realized asset.


Portland's Sustainability Series: Green Energy at Portland Public Library - 10.25.17

Join us for Portland’s Sustainability Series event that will focus on one of Portland Public Library’s more recent projects: The residential-size solar array that was installed on Main Branch’s roof in early August. The solar array was installed by local alternative energy company, Green Sun and generously supported by the Spillway Fund.
Rocky Ackroyd, of Green Sun LLC, will speak about the technical aspects of the solar energy and some of the decision making around PPL’s array.Peter Shevenell of The Spillway Fund will speak about the organization’s Clean Read: Solar for Libraries project.

The Spillway Fund is working to help libraries in Southern Maine convert to clean energy to defray energy costs and help libraries become examples for their communities of the benefit of converting from greenhouse gas creating energy sources.

Join Us Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 - 5:30 pm- 7:30 pm
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Free and open to the public, seating given on a first come first serve basis.

SMCC Fall Event 10.10.2017

Knowledge is Power: Emerging Solar Incentives, Benefits and Strategies for Land Trusts

Join Us Tuesday, October 10th from 5:30-7:30pm at Maine Audubon – 20 Gilsland Farm Road, Falmouth, ME 04105
Free to SMCC Members; $10 for Non Members

Please Click Here to RSVP

Have you ever wondered how you can transition into a clean energy future? Please join us on TuesdayOctober 10th to find out the multiple ways that land trusts can engage with solar energy. Hear about examples of successful projects from around Maine. Learn more about the opportunities to what makes your land a good site for solar power, how much these systems cost, and what you can expect for a return on investment while owning a system on conserved land.

Over the past 10 years, solar technology has dropped in price by more than 75% making today, more than ever, a great time to invest. Join us for a panel presentation on solar incentives, benefits, and strategies for land trusts. 

  • Guest Speaker: ReVision Energy - Nick Samson, Commercial and Institutional Solar Consultant, discussing current solar options and technology, including community solar farms for land owners.
  • Guest Speaker: Gilsland Farm Maine Audubon Center - Eric Topper, Director of Education, presenting on the history of Maine Audubon’s longstanding embrace of sustainable energy including background about what they envisioned, planned for and how they financed their existing photovoltaic array and the benefits they have enjoyed.
  • Guest Speaker: Rob Levin, an Attorney at Law, specializing in nonprofits and land conservation will present legal considerations for land trusts interested in supporting solar energy development in and for their communities.


Portland's Sustainability Series: Conservation and Kegs: How Keeping Land Green is Good for Maine Breweries- 9.27.17

Explore the role of Sebago Lake’s surrounding forest in our local beer economy. The event will feature Paul Hunt and Laurel Jackson from the Portland Water District in conversation with Luke Truman from Allagash Brewing and Nathan Sanborn from Rising Tide Brewing.

Join Us Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 - 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Free and open to the public, seating given on a first come first serve basis.

Click Here To View Flyer

Paul Hunt and Laurel Jackson of the Portland Water District will present information on our drinking water source, Sebago Lake, where they’ll speak about their new initiative to protect the land around the lake. The land around Sebago, the watershed, does incredible work as a natural filter that eliminates the need for a water treatment plant in our community and provides all of us with high quality water for drinking and for beer making.

Luke Truman and Nathan Sanborn will speak about the beer making process, how they use the water in their processes, and how the quality of Portland water impacts their product and their business. They’ll also discuss the individual sustainability practices of their breweries and some of the challenges that they’ve encountered.

After the presentations, the panelists will be in discussion, answering questions from each other and the audience. There will also be a Beer Tasting. Please join us to learn more about the role of land conservation in water quality and its impact on our local economy.

AUGUST Portland's Sustainability Series: FILM SCREENING: "Sacred Cod: The Fight for a New England Tradition"- 8.23.17

What kind of future do New England cod have? Learn how you can be a part of the fight for this century old industry.

Join Us Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 - PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Free and open to the public, seating given on a first come first serve basis.

Portland’s Sustainability Series is pleased to host a screening of Sacred Cod: The Fight for a New England Tradition. Sacred Cod is a feature-length documentary that captures the collapse of the historic cod population in New England, delving into the role of over fishing, the impact of climate change, the effect of government policies on fishermen and the fish, and the prospect of a region built on cod having no cod left to fish. Join Coastal Enterprises Inc., Camden International Film Festival, Maine Coast Fisher men’s Association, Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, The Nature Conservancy, and Working Films for this free screening and discussion with local experts to learn more about the fight for this New England Tradition.

Click Here To View Event Flyer

SEPTEMBER Portland's Sustainability Series: "Of Conservation and Kegs: How keeping land green is good for Maine's breweries"-  9.27.17

Join Us Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Free and open to the public, seating given on a first come first serve basis.

A panel of speakers from Allagash and Rising Tide Breweries, and the Portland Water District, will talk about the importance of the clean Sebago Lake water - and the work taking place to ensure it stays so clean by conserving land in the Sebago Lake Watershed.


CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR RAFFLE WINNER, CELINE KUHN, WHO WILL ENJOY A BASKET ISLAND OYSTER COMPANY TASTING TOUR FOR FOUR! Celine Kuhn is awesome and just happens to be the Executive Director of The Telling Room, a nonprofit writing center in Portland, Maine, dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers.

A Huge Thank You to all who tried their luck and participated in our 2017 Raffle! Your generous contributions are greatly appreciated and will be put to good use supporting conservation projects all over Southern Maine! A Big Thank You to Maine Audubon-Gilsland Farm Audubon Center for hosting our Raffle Drawing Event on August 1st on a beautiful summer evening!

Brought to you by the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, supporting land and water conservation in Southern Maine through partnerships, education, and technical assistance.

Environmental Education: What is our Role? - Thursday, August 3rd, 2017, 5:30 - 7:30
SMCC Summer Event
East End Community Center, 195 North Street, Portland, Maine
Free to SMCC Members; $10 for Non Members -  Please Click Here to RSVP

Should we all be doing environmental education? Are we already all doing environmental education? Could we be doing something together to address the need for greater environmental literacy and have a bigger impact?


Matt Dubel, board member of the Maine Environmental Education Association, newly appointed executive director of Portland ConnectED and past Director of the Cathance River Education Alliance, will give an overview of the current trends in environmental education and new data on the need for action from the Maine Environmental Education Association.

Laura Newman, founder and Coordinator of the School Ground Greening Coalition (SGGC) will inspire us with story of this innovative program, including her process to design this specific model to address their place based needs. The school ground at East End Community School, where the event is located, is the result of a partnership with the SGGC.
Group discussion to identify shared needs and opportunities for growth. SMCC has received funding from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation for this purpose.

Free for all member organizations staff and volunteers; Non Members are asked to pay $10.
Drinks and snacks will be provided.

Portland's Sustainability Series: "Bringing Nature Home" in Maine- 7.26.17

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm | Free and open to the public
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Join Maine Audubon’s Director of Education, Eric Topper, to explore the plants, practices and perks involved in restoring native food webs in our gardens, yards and communities.


Like many places, the landscape of coastal Maine has changed dramatically.  Today, gardens, yards, neighborhoods and towns are playing increasingly critical roles in supporting native food webs for birds, pollinators and other wildlife.  Our individual efforts to support wildlife can be both intimately rewarding and broadly beneficial.  With an overall focus on Maine birds and their habitats, Eric Topper, Director of Education for Maine Audubon will introduce what individuals and groups can do, including what plants to choose and how to manage and maintain our gardens for their full ecological function and benefit.  Eric will also discuss the large selection of beautiful native flowers, shrubs and trees we can incorporate into our yards to attract and support a multitude of birds, butterflies and other interesting native wildlife.

“Bringing Nature Home” is Maine Audubon’s new community engagement initiative around restoring native plants and wildlife food webs.  The initiative is named and modeled after the best-selling book of that title by Doug Tallamy, an entomologist from the University of Delaware.  Dr. Tallamy studies the number of insects attracted by various plants and trees, particularly those common in urban and suburban landscapes.  The real focus of Tallamy’s efforts, however, are the birds and other wildlife which depend on abundance and diversity of those insects to feed their young.

At its heart, this project is about restoring native plants, shrubs and trees, as well as the natural genetic biodiversity.  Whether on an apartment balcony in Portland, a backyard, a city park or a large woodland owned by a land trust, some of the simplest planting and maintenance choices people make can have profound impact on the local food web.  We need pollinators to help produce our food just as a pair of Black-capped Chickadees need thousands of caterpillars to fledge chicks.  In addition to our backyards and local green spaces becoming opportunities to recruit and train new naturalists, they become potential refugia for species of plants and trees facing real challenges across broader landscapes.

Click here to view event flyer

Portland's Sustainability Series: Renewable Energy Activity - Global to Regional- 6.28.17

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm | Free and open to the public
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Join us on Wednesday, June 28th with guest speaker Lawrence Mott, Director Americas of SgurrEnergy, a global renewable engineering firm, speaking on the current status of large scale wind and solar projects, technology, and policy here and abroad.

Click here to view event Flyer

Portland's Sustainability Series: FILM SCREENING: Just Eat It, A Food Waste Story- 4.26.17

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Free and open to the public

We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly half of it in the trash?

Did you know that 40 percent of the food produced for humans in the U.S. is wasted every year? That’s enough to fill the Empire State Building nearly 100 times. Meanwhile, Maine ranks first in New England in terms of food insecurity, including for children, and the State struggles to manage the costs and impact of our municipal solid waste stream, 43 percent of which is organic material.

Join us on Wednesday, April 26th with Ryan Parker, Natural Resources Council of Maine’s "Food Guy", for a community screening and discussion of this 74 minute documentary film on food waste and food rescue.

Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of food waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that has been discarded. In a nation where one in ten people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling. But as Grant's addictive personality turns full tilt towards food rescue, the 'thrill of the find' has unexpected consequences. 

Featuring interviews with author, activist and TED lecturer Tristram Stuart, food waste expert Dana Gunders, and acclaimed author Jonathan Bloom, Just Eat It looks at our systemic obsession with expiry dates, perfect produce and portion sizes, and reveals the core of this seemingly insignificant issue that is having devastating consequences around the globe. Just Eat It brings farmers, retailers, inspiring organizations, and consumers to the table in a cinematic story that is equal parts education and delicious entertainment.

Portland's Sustainability Series: Surfing the Wave of Sustainability Science - 3.22.17

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Click here for to view the Event Flyer

Exploring the unique role of surfers in our coastal systems through the lens of sustainability science.

Surfers in Maine and New Hampshire hold a wealth of local ecological knowledge (LEK) especially around issues of water quality. Surfers represent a culturally and economically important group of beach-goers who are subject to higher risks associated with impaired water quality. Gulf of Maine surfers were the subject of a National Science Foundation funded sustainability science research project. The New England Sustainability Consortium (NEST) Safe Beaches and Shellfish Project was an interdisciplinary sustainability science project focused on water quality in the Gulf of Maine with respect to shellfish bed closures and recreational beach advisories. With this research the hope is to show that surfers' knowledge of their environment can prove useful to researchers and help drive policy changes related to water quality management. Sophia Scott and Dr. Shannon Rogers focused their research on the robust surfing population in southern Maine and New Hampshire surveying 291 surfers and conducting 20 interviews with key informants in the surfing community.

Guest Speaker: Sophie Scott
Sophia Scott received a Bachelor of Agricultural and Environmental Science from McGill University and a Masters of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from Plymouth State University. A Maine native,. Sophia has a deep affinity for the social ecological systems that are our coasts and strives to keep their ecological integrity and important cultural heritage alive and well. Her passions center around bridging the gap between science and policy, science communication, and increasing science literacy.

Skills for Action: Advocacy 101 - 3.13.17

Monday, March 13th 2017 | 5:00- 8:00pm
Gilsland Farm Audubon Center - Falmouth, ME

Click here to view the Event Flyer


An informative investigation of conservation advocacy with three expert advocates from Maine's Environmental Priorities Coalition.

Learned about current issues, threats and conservation legislation at the state and national level.

Gained a deeper understanding of the limits and details of legal advocacy for non-profits in Maine.

Learned about skills and activities you and your organization can use to start making a difference right now.

**This event was free to all staff and volunteers of SMCC's 20 Member Organizations. SMCC's Member Events happen throughout the year and focus on addressing shared needs and vision along with providing inspiration and relationship building opportunities.

Portland's Sustainability Series: Journey Into Climate - 2.22.17

Wednesday, Februrary 22nd, 2017 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Click here to view the Event Flyer

How is data gathered and analyzed to understand climate change impacts?
Paul Mayewski, Director of the UMaine Climate Change Institute and internationally acclaimed scientist and explorer described how data is gathered on climate change, and how analysts have thought about this data and analyzed it to understand past, present, and future climate change impacts.

Paul Andrew Mayewski is director and professor of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. He is an internationally acclaimed scientist and explorer, leader of  more than 55 expeditions to some of the remotest reaches of the planet including many field seasons traveling across Antarctica, more than 100 first ascents of mountains in Antarctica, traverses over Greenland and many field seasons at high altitude throughout the Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau and the Andes. He has more than 350 scientific publications and two popular books The Ice Chronicles and Journey Into Climate.

His contributions to science include discovery of: human impacts on the chemistry of the atmosphere; modern Antarctic and Himalayan ice loss; abrupt climate change and the impact of climate change on past civilizations. He has received numerous national and international honors such as the first-ever internationally awarded Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research and the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Medal. He has developed several highly prominent international research programs (notably the International Trans Antarctic Scientific Expedition) in addition to public outreach efforts with organizations such as the American Museum of Natural History and the Boston Museum of Science; and appeared hundreds of times in media such as: New York and LA Times, NOVA, NPR, BBC, CBS 60 Minutes and most recently in the Emmy Award Winning Showtime series “Years of Living Dangerously”.

Portland's Sustainability Series: An Introduction to Solar Energy and Heat Pump Technologies

January 25th, 2017 - 5:30-7pm
Rines Auditorium at the Portland Public Library 5 Monument Way in Portland, Maine

Click here to view Event Flyer

Have you ever wondered about how you can capture more solar energy? – Maine has an abundance of sunshine, 33% more than Germany, the world leader in solar installations. Learn how you can use this renewable resource to your benefit, become more energy efficient, save money and have less of an impact on the climate.

ReVision Energy provided an educational workshop on solar energy and heat pumps. We learned about hot water systems, solar electricity, efficient electric heating systems, electric vehicle charging stations and more. We learned about what makes your home a good site for solar collectors, how much these systems cost, and what you can expect for a return on investment.

Guest Speaker: Nick Sampson

Nick grew up on the coast of Southern Maine. Through frequent family trips spent camping, hiking, fishing and skiing he developed a love for the state and the outdoors. Nick attended Bates College where he majored in environmental studies and economics, and was able to further his exploration of Maine.

Driven by his passion for fishing and skiing, Nick headed west after school. During his summer seasons, he worked as a fly fishing guide in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. Nick spent the majority of his winter seasons in Aspen, Colorado working for an environmental education organization. Aspen expanded Nick’s exposure to the problems of climate change, as well as several energy efficiency and renewable energy programs the area was using to reduce its carbon emissions. Through this exposure, Nick developed a strong passion for this field. He furthered his interest in renewables and energy efficiency while working for Maine Huts and Trails at the organization’s Flagstaff Lake Hut. There he had the opportunity to teach visitors about the hut’s extensive solar array and other sustainable energy systems.

As a Solar PPA Relationship Manager, Nick works with local schools, towns, and other non-profit organizations to help them save on their energy expenses and carbon emissions through solar energy and advantageous financing partnerships.

Portland's Sustainability Series: Synthetic Biology and The Future of Nature

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

Synthetic biology is a broad and fast-moving field of innovation involving the design and construction of new biological parts, and the re-design of existing, natural biological systems.  It has many potential applications that may change human relations to the natural world including:

  • replacing natural products (e.g. vanilla, ambergris) with synthetic ones
  • reviving extinct species
  • creating powerful tools to address wicked conservation problems. 

Despite this promise and the vast sums being spent on its development, synthetic biology is virtually unknown to the conservation community.  We must engage promptly, honestly and with a broad discussion to see how conservation perspectives can help shape this major emerging field.

Guest Speaker: Kent H. Redford
Kent is Principal at Archipelago Consulting ( established in 2012 and based in Portland, Maine, USA. Archipelago Consulting was designed to help individuals and organizations improve their practice of conservation and has worked with the Global Environment Facility, U.S. National Park Service, Moore Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Packard Foundation and the American Zoo and Aquarium Association amongst others. Prior to Archipelago Consulting Kent spent 14 years at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in New York. Previously he spent five years in The Nature Conservancy.  He started his career with a decade on the faculty at University of Florida. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University and has written numerous articles and books on synthetic biology and conservation, national parks, local peoples, conservation, and wildlife.

- Click here to view the event flyer

- Click here to learn more


Map Making Workshop with MollyMaps

Thursday, Nov. 3rd, 2016 - Casco Bay Lines, Portland, ME

A fun-filled evening was had by all at SMCC's Map Making Workshop. The attendees came from near and far and from all walks of life. Creative and unique paintings were produced coupled with great conversations and new ideas on refreshing ways to engage with our places and our communities. The workshop was led by Molly Holmberg Brown, artist and owner of MollyMaps.

We are grateful to the Bangor Savings Foundation and the Quimby Family Foundation for their support of this Event.

Conversation Stories with Maine Environmental Filmmaker Bridget Besaw

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 - Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library - Main Library at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME

A presentation of a series of Besaw’s short films about conservation in Maine was held on August 24, 02016. Each presentation followed with Q&A. This was the first event in Portland's Sustainability Series co-hosted by the Portland Public Library and the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative.


Bridget Besaw is the founder of Seedlight Pictures, where she produces advocacy film and photography for environmental stories. The subjects of her two photo books, Wildness Within and From the Land, serve as a spring-board for her film projects about wilderness preservation and food sustainability. Bridget’s current film project, The Mountain and the Magic City, is on the national park debate in northern Maine. She will show a few short films on projects past and present, including a story from her most recent film for Maine Farmland Trust called, Growing Local.

Portland's Sustainability Series: Leading Community Conversations On Maine’s Changing Climate

August - December 2016 on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 5:30

Sustainability (from sustain and ability) is the endurance of systems and processes through time. The Portland Sustainability Series will present a diversity of speakers to share different aspects of the work moving Maine to greater endurance and sustainability. Please join the Portland Public Library and the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative as we engage in these important issues and conversations.

Mark Your Calendar: The August 24th Bridget Besaw presentation is the first in a series of events that SMCC is co-hosting with the Portland Public Library. From August through December 2016 on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. please join us at the Rines Auditorium in the Main Library located at 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME. (Note: November’s event will take place on the 5th Wednesday on November 30th).

Click here to view Portland's Sustainability Series Upcoming Events

July 19th, 2016

SMCC Summer Event - OneWater! Exploring the connection between land and water

Click here to view Citizen Science Resource List

Click here to view video of the presentations and discussions

SMCC OneWater! event held at the University of New England - Biddeford gathered more then 11 different conservation minded organizations from Southern Maine. An esteemed panel of speakers shared their knowledge and inspired dialogue about water based programs, community connections, regional partnerships and collaborations.

A special thank you to all who attended and to our panel of speakers: Paul Hunt - Portland Water District; Kevin Ryan and Maggie Burns-FB Environmental; Dr. Christine Fert-University of New England. We also would like to thank the Community Television Network (CTN) for filming this event and creating a video of the presentations. A special thank you to the University of New England - Biddeford for hosting the event. We are grateful for Bangor Savings Foundation for supporting this event and the rest of the events this year.

April 6th, 2016

SMCC Spring Event - Using Abundance to Reveal Hidden Opportunities in Conservation Work
SMCC Spring Event 2016


Click here to see a video of the presentation

SMCC's Spring event featured a special presentation by Jay Friedlander, the Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible Business at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine and founder of its vanguard sustainable business program. Jay created the Abundance Cycle, an actionable model that builds on a venture's competitive strenghts and weaves in the latest tactics enterprises across the globe are using to maximize abundance for shareholders, the planet and society.

This event was part of an annual series of events we offer to our community and member organizations.

For those of you who would like to learn more or share additional information about the Abundance Cycle here are some links you may find informative.

We are grateful to Bangor Savings Foundation for supporting this event and the rest of the SMCC events this year. We also would like to thank the Community Television Network (CTN) for filming this event and creating a video of the presentation. Lastly, a special thank you to Maine Audubon for hosting the event.


December 2nd, 2015

Longreach Hall, Maine Maritime Museum, Bath

Building your Group: Recruiting and Managing Volunteers - Brought to you by Maine Coast Heritage Trust

**The Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative Members received a special discount - $15 off the price per person

Brought to you by Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Community organizations need three kinds of resources to grow and succeed: time, money, and the leadership to use both wisely. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to find new volunteers and develop them into a team of committed leaders.

Topics included:

  • Identifying and filling the holes in your leadership team
  • Member and volunteer recruitment
  • Motivating and managing volunteers (and easing out the ineffective ones)
  • Creating and using volunteer agreements
  • Designing and running effective meetings

This was an interactive workshop. Contact Donna by email or phone at 207.607.4577 for more information or visit: MCHT WORKSHOP

November 5th, 2015

SMCC Fall Gathering: Reaching a Balance Between Thinking Regionally and Acting Locally.


On a beautiful Fall evening fifty plus people came out to Camp Ketcha in Scarborough, Maine to attend SMCC's Fall Gathering. The evening event featured a special presentation from Rob Baldwin, PhD, an Associate Professor of Conservation Biology at Clemson University specializing in understanding the relationship between local action and regional planning. Prior to the event Kelly Boland, New England Cottontail Specialist from Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, led a group walk at Libby River Farm, a 120 acre parcel adjacent to Camp Ketcha and owned by the Scarborough Land Trust. Scarborough is in a key focus area for the state-endangered New England cottontail rabbit and near the extent of its's range in Maine. Scarborough Land Trust has stepped up to the plate and manages parts of Libby River Farm as young forest habitat. This will not only help the New England cottontail,but several of the 60 other declining shrubland wildlife species like chestnut-sided warblers and American Woodcock. The walk was enjoyed by all and took the group through a regenerating timber harvest, old field habitat, and out to a platform on the Libby River. On their return they joined others at Camp Ketcha to hear a presentation from Rob Baldwin. PhD who brought a better understanding to the relationship between local action and regional planning. Attendees were inspired and shared their own thoughts and experiences with the diverse group.

June 8, 2015

SMCC RAPID FIRE - PROBLEM SOLVING: Building community and fostering dialogue to solve pressing issues.

The first SMCC RAPID FIRE EVENT fostered dialogue to help solve pressing issues our Collaborative Members are facing. At our June event, there were four different topics for discussion. Prior to each discussion a short presentation introduced a problem one of the SMCC Member organizations was grappling with. Each presentor gave a 7 minute presentation. After each presentation the group of attendees as a whole discussed the issue by sharing experiences, ideas and advice to help find possible solutions and/or advice to the problem. A Special Thank You to our event Sponsors: Rosemont Market and Bakery who donated delicous goumet foods and Maine Audubon who provided the fantastic meeting space at their Falmouth Gilsland Farm Audubon Center location.

April 1, 2015

BOOTS ON THE GROUND MAPPING: Using ArcGIS Online and Mobile Mapping Apps

An in-depth workshop led by Wells NERR staff and GIS specialists, Sue Bickford and Annie Cox. The popular training covered the basic use of the ArcGIS Online website using examples and tuturial workbooks. Participants headed outdoors to investigate the use of Mobile Mapping Apps that allow onsite collection of GPS points and photographs using mobile devises. Attendees to the event left eager and more confident to use their new and/or refreshed mapping skills. A special Thank You to our event Sponsors including: Otto Pizza who dontated the delicious pizza and the very generous Raffle Prizes from Ace Oak Hil Hardware and Beals IceCream in Scarborough and Eastern Mountain Sports - EMS in Portland.

SMCC Spring 2015 Workshop



October 14, 2014

A great turn out at Portland Greendrinks for SMCC! More than 300 people attended and had the opportunity to meet board members and volunteers of SMCC Member organizations. Various learning areas were set up throughout the event location featuring interactive learning stations that provided information about the work, activities and opportunities our land trust's provide. Of particular interest to the attendees was learning about volunteering and the boudless amount of outdoor activities that are available to the public on our land trust properties. The highlight of the evening was a featured short video called CONNECTING WITH OUR PLACE, CASCO BAY STORIES. A highly anticipated raffle drawing folllowed concluding a great night of fun, connecting with new and old friends, sharing and learning new things.


May 19, 2014

Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative hosted an event with guest speaker, Michael Steinberg, PhD, to learn about enhancing bird habitat on land trust property and beyond.



Nov. 2, 2013

As a follow up to the SMCC Fall Regional evening event, Peter Forbes hosted a day long in-depth workshop for SMCC member organizations. The workshop facilitated a day of learning focused on strengthening our abilities to engage community support. Peter has worked with groups all over the country and presented examples of programs that have had great success. The workshop was funded by a grant from the Sewall Foundation.


Nov. 1, 2013

An evening of inspiration and networking. Peter Forbes spoke on community conservation and the importance of Collaboration in strengthening community and conservation by bringing them together. This gathering also served as an opportunity to inform our neighboring conservation organizations on the work and success of the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative since our first meeting in January 2011.

Stewardship Training Workshop: Technical Aspects of Proactive Conservation

July 22, 2013

We had a great event on Monday evening. Although there seemed to be a threat of rain through the day, the skies cleared and we had lovely weather for exploring the grounds of Maine Audubon. A special Thank you to Tin Smith from Wells Reserve and Great Works Regional Land Trust, Bob Bittenbender from OCT and Maine Audubon, Kevin Ryan and Forrest Bell from FBEnvironmental and Brian Marcaurelle from MITA for informative presentations.

In attendance we had representatives from 8 land trusts; the group was lively and engaged and participated fully in all aspects of the packed four hour agenda.

In our efforts to create events that inspire, educate, build the network, and are fun we gathered a wonderful group of experts to present on topics including Proactive Conservation, Invasive Species Managment, Violation Management, Stewardship Reporting, Idenfication of Vernal Pools, Forest Management and Volunteer Retention and Management.


Vounteer and Membership Recruitment Workshop

April 4, 2013

Volunteers and Members are the backbone of our organizations. The workshop provided a comprehensive approach to help organizations build on thier volunteers and members. A panel of guest speakers shared valuable insight with a room full of attendees who also contributed greatly to the discussion topics. The Panel Topics included: Land Trust membership success stories; Lessons for recruiting volunteers; Technology resources and donor management tools; Enhanced communications throught the use of video; and Building an Outreach Plan. Panel Members:

Chris Corbett, Membership Chair Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust

Charlie Baldwin, Volunteer Coordinator and Trails Foreman for Portland Trails

Elizabeth Pope, Senior Researcher, Idealware

Lesley MacVane, Membership Director from CTN5

Jeremy Gabrielson, Development and Planning Consultant

Delicious Pizza provided by Otto Pizza and Savory Desserts by Crema



Events are offered throughout the year for our member organizations. They are free to our members and offer opportunities for networking, sharing and learning.

Turning Volunteer Potential into Finished Stewardship Projects

May 29 2012

This event was on May 29th and featured a presentation by Charlie Ba