Join Friends of Merrymeeting Bay (FOMB) on Saturday afternoon August 18th from 1:30-3:30 pm for walk amongst the rare mud plants of Merrymeeting Bay at Choice View Farm in Dresden.
The walk will be led by Justin Schlawin, ecologist with the Maine Natural Areas Program. Merrymeeting Bay is home to a dozen rare mud plants, some like Eaton’s bur-marigold (Bidens eatonii) and Parker’s pipewort (Eriocaulon parkeri) considered globally rare.
This spectacular site, near the mouth of the Eastern River was protected by FOMB in 2001 from development of a five-home subdivision. It was purchased with funds from Land for Maine’s Future, Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, the North American Waterfowl Conservation Act, The Nature Conservancy and a variety of other grantors along with individual donations.
Choice View Farm offers one of two excellent Bay views from a numbered state road (the other from Rte. 24 in Bowdoinham) and ownership was transferred from FOMB to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Shortnose sturgeon, an endangered species have been known to winter in the lower Eastern River just off the Farm and when doing a phase 1 archaeology survey (a condition of LMF grants) of the property, an important prehistoric camping site was found. This triggered a substantial archaeological dig, in a joint venture between Maine Historic Preservation Commission and FOMB. Choice View turned out to be quite a hot spot for rare mud plants.
Along with the globally rare species cited above, the following rare plants have also been found in the 9 acres of wetland below Choice View’s 16 acres of upland: mudwort (Limosella autralis), pygmyweed (Crassula aquatic), estuary bur-marigold (Bidens hyperborean), horned pondweed (Zanichellia palustris]) spongy arrowhead (Sagittaria calycina), and stiff arrowhead (Sagittaria rigida).
Event: Merrymeeting Bay Rare Mud Plant Walk
When: Saturday August 18th, 1:30-3:30 pm
Where: Choice View Farm, Dresden
Registration: Ed Friedman, 666-3372
Leading this walk is Justin Schlawin, ecologist with the Maine Natural Areas Program, now part of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. FOMB’s Summer Outside! Series is the warm weather counterpart to their popular Winter Speaker Series.
This event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration with Ed Friedman at 666-3372 is required. The next FOMB Outside 2018! event will be the ever-popular Swan Island outing, September 7th from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm with Friends of Swan Island president, Jay Robbins. Pre-register with Jay at 737-2239. This outing requires an $8 Island fee.