You can keep up to date with the latest "sightings" on Vinalhaven by following Kirk Gentalen's Sightings Report. Kirk reports his findings with enthusiasm and humor, and welcomes your observations, photos, and questions. His blog is jointly sponsored by Vinalhaven Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

VLT Annual Meeting: A Focus on the Health of Penobscot Bay

Join us at Skoog Park on Friday July 28th at 4 p.m. for this year's annual meeting. We hope you will come catch up with board members, staff, and friends while learning about how to secure the future of fishing in Penobscot Bay.

The title of this year's talk is "Wild Fisheries and Alewives: Their Loss, Potential Recovery, and Resilience of Coastal Communities." Vinalhaven native, fisherman, and historical fisheries ecologist Ted Ames will team up with Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries' Executive Director, Robin Alden, to talk about Penobscot Bay’s past fisheries, current alewife recovery efforts, and the hopeful resiliency of fishing communities like Vinalhaven in the face of climate change.

Ted is a MacArthur Award winner for his work on local cod stock structure and Robin was recently named a Benchley Ocean Award Hero of the Seas for grassroots work in fisheries.


Alewives Delivered to Old Harbor Pond

The Maine Department of Marine Resources brought the second batch of mature alewives to rebuild the spawning run on Vinalhaven. Dropped into Old Harbor Pond in mid June, these adult fish will quickly spawn in the shallows before heading back out to sea. Their juvenilles will stick around until August, when they will have grown large enough to start their own four-year odyssey through the ocean, before returning once more to repeat the spawning cycle on Vinalhaven.

Keep an eye on the pond this summer for some great wildlife activity. While they spawn, you'll see the water boil with moving fish, a sure sign that otters, loons, cormorants, ospreys, herons, and eagles will be dropping in for a snack.


Miss Rumphius Visits the Story Trail

Thanks to a wonderful team of volunteers, the Story Trail at Granite Island Preserve has been spruced up and updated with Miss Rumphius, a beautifully illustrated children's book by Barbara Cooney.

Come take a leisurely hike to the shores of the Basin while following the story of Alice Rumphius, the lupin lady who made the world more beautiful by planting flowers. The full-color pages are framed and mounted on granite boulders and ledge along the path, tucked neatly into the natural landscape so you can appreciate our island's nature while delving into a tale of beauty.

This family friendly trail is perfect for readers of all ages. Find it at location 2C on our preserve map.


Spring Is a Time for Renewal

Not only for the natural world outside, but also for your membership in Vinalhaven Land Trust. All around us we are beginning to see signs of spring, from blooming buds to pluming birds, and it's clear that the icy grip of winter has finally loosened. There's no better time to get out on VLT trails to take it all in.

While enjoying our preserves, keep an eye out for students and teachers gearing up for their VLT sponsored field trips. Vernal pool explorations, inter-island geology expeditions, and overnight trips to Hurricane Island are just some of what's in store for Vinalhaven students this spring. And if you haven't yet, be sure to check out the season's bustling Walks and Talks calendar for the latest programs and events, some of which will take place on the brand new trails VLT is opening this summer.

Please renew your VLT membership (or join if you are not already a member) and, if you can, consider making an additional gift. Your contributions will help us sustain our work and keep us ready for opportunities as they arise. Thank you for helping to conserve the nature of Vinalhaven for today, and for generations to come.


Land for Maine's Future Turns 30

Established by Maine voters in 1987, the Land for Maine’s Future program has since conserved more than 150 special places, totaling over 600,000 acres. As the State of Maine's primary funding vehicle for conserving land, the program has made Maine a more desirable place to live while strengthening some of the state’s most important industries, including tourism, forest products, agriculture, and fishing. Unfortunately, the program has faced political setbacks over the past few years and needs public support to ensure that it can continue helping land trusts like us invest in Maine's future by preserving its nature.

Show your support for conservation and this important state program by getting out and enjoying the incredible work that LMF has accomplished. Learn more about the program, its projects and its hopes for the future at


Tides: Science and Spirit of the Ocean

You might remember the talk Dr. Heather Deese of the Island Institute gave in 2015 that explored the causes and consequences of tides. She recently recommended a brand new book by Jonathon White to all VLT members and island residents. The book, titled "Tides: Science and Spirit of the Ocean," chronicles White's voyages across the world--from the Arctic Circle to the Qiantang River in China--and comments on the implications of tides on cultures and societies around the globe. Learn more about this relevant read at the author's website:


Tick Check

We're not the only ones getting outside and active to make the most of this warm weather. Don't forget to perform frequent tick checks on yourself, your friends, and your pets, and follow these rules to help avoid ticks altogether:

  • Wear long sleeves and long pants, and tuck pant legs into your socks
  • Wear light colored clothing so ticks are easier to spot
  • Stay on the beaten trail to avoid brushing undergrowth
  • Wear insect repellant with DEET