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.

Blueberries for Sal

An old Maine classic has arrived to the Story Trail at Granite Island Preserve! Blueberries for Sal, a beautifully illustrated children's story by Robert McCloskey, tells the story of a girl and her mother picking blueberries to can for the winter, while a bear cub and his mother are picking blueberries nearby. Sal becomes so involved in her picking, she doesn't notice that she's following the wrong mother, an equally startled mother bear! .

Come take a leisurely hike to the shores of the Basin while following this amusing and suspenseful story. The full-color pages are framed and mounted on granite boulders and ledges 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.


Renewed Accreditation

Vinalhaven Land Trust is proud to announce that its accreditation as an officially recognized land trust has been renewed by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a program that promotes the highest national standards for ensuring permanence in the conservation of American lands. The accreditation seal we have been awarded recognizes VLT's sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship of our lands.

This recognition would not have been possible without the support of our members and community. Thank you for helping to conserve the nature of Vinalhaven.


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

Thank you to all who participated in making our 32nd Annual Meeting a success. The weather was fantastic, the company wonderful, and the food and refreshments a complete treat.

At the meeting, Vinalhaven native, fisherman, and historical fisheries ecologist Ted Ames teamed up with Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries' Executive Director, Robin Alden, to discuss Penobscot Bay’s past fisheries, current alewife recovery efforts, and the hopeful resiliency of fishing communities like Vinalhaven in the face of climate change. These award-winning fishery researchers delivered inspiring remarks on the resiliency of coastal communities.

Their slideshow presentations are available at the following links:    Ted Ames       Robin Alden


Alewives Delivered to Old Harbor Pond

The Maine Department of Marine Resources have brought the third batch of mature alewives to rebuild the spawning run on Vinalhaven. Dropped into Old Harbor Pond in late May, 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.


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
  • Wear a hat
  • Stay on the beaten trail to avoid brushing undergrowth
  • Wear insect repellant with DEET