Becky Gallery (left) and Linda Wilkins, of the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership, talk about how to identify invasive plants during a Harpswell Garden Club meeting in July. (SUZANNE BUSHNELL PHOTO)
There have been changes at the Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership in 2022. The year began with Ellen Shillinglaw as the newly installed chair of the group’s steering committee. Ellen launched two new projects nearly simultaneously: developing our own website, and revising and updating the guidebook to Harpswell’s invasive plants.
Sadly, Ellen’s term was shortened by an unexpected move to Pennsylvania with her partner, Jeff Stann. Both Ellen and Jeff had done much to lead HIPP over the years.
The steering committee met to determine how the organization should move forward in Jeff and Ellen’s absence. The result: a trio of co-chairs leading the effort to reduce the numbers of invasive plants in Harpswell and to broaden the scope of knowledge about these invasive plants for our residents and visitors.
Don Westfall, of Harpswell Neck, Linda Wilkins, of Bailey Island, and Becky Gallery, of South Harpswell, have committed to lead HIPP through this transition phase. They worked with a website designer to establish a presence on the web independent of other organizations. They teamed with a graphic designer to put the finishing touches on the 2022 version of “A Steward’s Guide” and they hosted a fundraiser in August to replenish the coffers.
The new website can be found at hippmaine.org. When the group first needed a way to reach people on the internet, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust provided a page on the HHLT website. It was filled with fact sheets and links to more information, but not controlled by HIPP.
When HHLT began a redesign of its website, HIPP knew it was time for independence on the web. Shortly before HHLT’s newly designed site debuted, hippmaine.org launched on July 1. The fact sheets and links are still there, with news updates and photos appearing more regularly.
The 2022 edition of “A Steward’s Guide” was delivered to HIPP from the printer in late June. The revised edition includes two more plants and has been reformatted for easier use. Copies are available at the HHLT office and can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. A donation of $12 per copy is appreciated.
And the fundraiser? Johnson Field, at Mackerel Cove on Bailey Island, was the site, where several dozen attendees feasted on tasty lobster rolls and hors d’oeuvres while enjoying a beautiful evening on the seaside. Any donor of $50 or more was named a HIPP-Hero. (A complete listing of our heroes will appear in the October edition of the Anchor.) Raffle prizes were distributed and a silent auction completed the festivities.
Now, HIPP volunteers are gearing up for more work days on public lands in Harpswell. Late summer and fall are ideal times to battle invasive plants, and HIPP is taking advantage of the cooler weather.
Volunteers are always needed. With thousands of invasive plants to tackle, every hand helps. Visit us at hippmaine.org to learn where you can lend a hand in preserving the beauty of Harpswell.