March 2022 E-news
2022 Spring Hikes!

Happy first week of Spring! The snow and ice have melted and the waters have thawed. We've got a full calendar of spring events, including a history hike with OBHS, the Checkerberry Trail opening, and the return of birding walks and our "Stories in the Woods" walks for young families. Join us on a Spring outing in April or May!

April 2, 10am-noon, South Berwick
10am-noon, Wells

April 6, 10am-noon, Eliot

April 9, 10am-noon, South Berwick
*Partner Program with OBHS

April 16, 10am-noon, Wells

April 21, 7am, South Berwick
10-11am, Wells

April 23, 9am-noon, South Berwick

April 30, 10am, South Berwick

May 4, 10am-1pm, South Berwick

May 5, 7am, Berwick

May 7, 10am-noon, North Berwick

May 14, 7am Birding, 9-10am Family Program, South Berwick

May 19, 10-11am, South Berwick
*Partner program with SBPL

May 21, 10am-noon, Berwick

*Some outings have changed from our printed Winter/Spring Calendar, the website has the most up-to-date calendar of events.

Please follow CDC guidance regarding masks and social distancing.

Stay healthy and enjoy!
Plein Air Day

Beach Plum Farm
Saturday, June 18th, 2022

Artists, email to register your spot today!
What is a Vernal Pool?
Vernal pools are small temporary, fishless water bodies. Woodland amphibians including wood frogs, mole salamanders (yellow & blue spotted salamanders, Jeffersons) and a variety of invertebrates including fairy shrimp depend on vernal pools as breeding sites. "These waters differ from other freshwater habitats in their alteration between extended flooding and periodic drying. This distinguishing hydrological cycle gives aquatic animals enough time to complete their life cycle during the flooded phase, while drawdown keeps out fish and allows for production of nutritious food from the damp, decaying leaves. Lacking predatory fish and offering abundant food, vernal pools provide specialized habitats for a remarkable variety of wildlife species. (Colburn, Vernal Pools: Natural History and Conservation, p.2)"

The small and shallow pools are highly active with amphibian breeding in early spring. The chorus of wood frogs can be heard throughout the spring and often egg masses (of frogs and salamanders) can be seen along the surface of the pools clinging to high bush blueberry and other wetland shrubs.

"The Big Night" phrase refers to the annual migration of mole salamanders and other amphibians back to their ancestral breeding pools (vernal pools or woodland wetlands). This occurs after a big rainfall when the temperature is above 40 degrees at night.

Southern Maine is full of vernal pools, and many of GWRLT preserves are dotted with them. We are offering two guided Vernal Pools outings at our Tatnic Woods preserve in Wells this spring: "Vernal Pool Walk," with naturalist Sue Bickford, April 16th, 9-11am & "Stories in the Woods: Vernal Pools" with vernal pool nerd and Outreach Coordinator, Brenna Crothers, April 21st, 10-11am (this outing is for young families with children ages 2-5, siblings welcome). If you are unable to attend we do have a few trails that take you by vernal pools, Tatnic Woods and Payeur Preserves. *Remember when visiting vernal pools these habitats are highly sensitive, keep all animals out of the pools.* Learn more about the big night and vernal pools from this article by Sue Pike It's a perfect time for the Big Night of amphibian migration.
Volunteer News
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities:

Stewardship Work Days have returned, are you interested in working on our trails? See the current work day schedule here.

Community Engagement Committee, we are looking for volunteers to help plan events, and develop different opportunities to connect with our 6 towns!

Lead Spring Birding Walks: GWRLT morning birding walks will return this Spring! The walks are Thursday mornings, at 7am. If you're interested in leading a spring Migration Mornings birding walk, please contact us. To volunteer email
THANK YOU: Spring Auction 2022
Thank you to everyone who donated and participated in the 2022 Spring Auction, if you missed our formal thank you email and stats on the auction, link here.

Many thanks to all who make the Spring Auction possible every year, the volunteers, donors and sponsors!

Thank you to our auction volunteers: Joanne Lamothe, Marie Pimley, Margaret Miller-Weeks, Nancy Geneseo, Pam Kryskow, Patti Mitchem
& Pat Robinson!

Staff picks on local and environmental news.
Kids Corner
have you heard spring peepers yet?
Hop into Spring: Origami Jumping Frogs, how-to
Nothing quite says spring like the chorus of peepers and wood frogs and a vernal pool full of life again. Lets make an origami frog to celebrate the return of amphibians!

1. Begin by reading these fun books about frogs and the magical world of vernal pools:

The Secret Pool - published by a Maine Publisher!

2. Following the book go for a spring peeper/wood frog walk in the evening at Orris Falls Conservation Area, Tatnic Woods Preserve, Kenyon Hill Preserve, Negutaquet Conservation Area, Keay Brook Preserve, Rocky Hills Preserve, and Payeur Preserve. These GWRLT preserves are full of vernal pools and woodland wetlands, where spring peepers/wood frogs can often be heard from the trails. *Remember to not disturb the pools on your walk. Often just your presence too close to a pool will silence the chorus of frogs.

Some Essential questions to frame your exploration: What is a vernal pool? What is a woodland wetland? Why do frogs sing in the spring? What is an annual migration? How do the amphibians know how to annually return to the same wetland or pool?

3. Now its time to make!

What you will need:
  • Paper either cut into a square or origami paper, 6x6"

Photos of Great Works
Images from the trails.
An early spring hike at Rocky Hills Preserve and the York Pond Area.
Quick and easy ways to give:
Great Works Regional Land Trust