Friday, April 29, 2016

Theodore Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award Ceremony - Maine Woods Forever 4-15-2016

Breaux Higgins (R) accepts the Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation
Award from John Rust (L) of Maine Woods Forever.
Image courtesy of MWF
Maine Woods Forever announces winners of the 2016

"Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award"

For more information"
John Rust, chairman, Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award Committee

Unity, Maine - Maine Woods Forever is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 "Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award" - a youth-oriented award created to recognize young people and youth groups whose efforts are in the spirit of Roosevelt's conservation ethic and achievements. The award recognizes what Maine's youth are doing to appreciate and conserve our forest heritage. It also encourages them to become future conservation leaders.

The 2016 awards were announced on april 15, 2016, at Maine Woods Forever's 33rd Roundtable event, held at Unity College's Center for the Performing Arts.

"The Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award honors today's young people and the legacy of America's most celebrated conservationist, President Theodore Roosevelt." notes John Rust, chairman of the award committee. "Many credit his rugged sojourns in Maine during the late 1800s with shaping his determination to conserve out natural world.
This year's awardees have clearly lived up to this ethic."

Awards were presented to:

1) Breaux Higgins, an Eagle Scout from Bar Harbor, was presented an award for an individual youth who has shown outstanding dedication, leadership, and strong and steady growth in exhibiting Maine's conservation ethic. One of  is notable projects was to restore Bates Cairns at Acadia National Park and increase the public's awareness of their use and significance.

Bates Cairns are stone trail markers. They suffer from significant chronic vandalism because hikers may not fully understand their meaning. Park visitors (2.5 million in 2015-PWM) add or remove rocks from the cairns, build new ones pointing in different directions and even destroy them completely. This behavior is a safety issue because it leads hikers astray, a natural resource issue because rocks are taken from the already thin mountain soil, and aesthetic issue as these man-made objects clutter the beautiful natural landscape.

Breaux partnered with the US National Park Service staff at Acadia for his Eagle Scout Service Project to offer a multidimensional service project to optimize promotion of preservation and safety. Breaux developed a program to educate the public by raising awareness of the meaning of the Bates Cairns in Acadia, and combined the simple message of the cairns with principles of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. His message reached a substantial number of visitors and, more importantly, created a program that can be sustained by Park and volunteer staff.

Massabesic Middle School’s 7th Grade Aroostook Team accepts the
Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award (front: 7th Grade Team
members Andrew Lawpaugh, Brenna Ramsdell; back: John Rust of
Maine Woods Forever, 7th grade science teacher Patrick Parent).
Image courtesy of MWF

2) The Massabesic Middle School's 7th grade Aroostook Team was presented an award for outstanding achievement by a youth organization to recognize their many collaborations as citizen scientists to study and then educate the public about many environmental conditions concerning Maine's forests. These have included:

* The 2nd Annual Invasive Species Forum which reached over 100 community members and hundreds more of their peers;
* Collaborating with the Vital Signs Program as well as state entomologists and Forest Service employees to present their work;
* Contributing to Maine Project Learning Tree's biannual newsletter which reached over 1,200 educators and natural resource professional throughout the State;
* Participating in Invasive Plant Patrol training and certification with Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program;
* Assisting the York county Soil and Water Conservation District with a survey of the state endangered New England Cottontail;
* Surveying their home towns for forest pests such as red pine scale (Matsucoccus matsumurea), hemlock wooly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), and winter moth (Operophtera spp).

The award was accepted by 7th grade Aroostook Team students, Brenna Ramsdell and Andrew Lawpaugh, both of Limerick, and their 7th grade science teacher, Patrick Parent.

"Each year this group of about eighty 7th graders impact and influence others because they experience their natural world, its complexities and its importance," said Pat Maloney, Coordinator of Maine Project Learning Tree. "They communicate their passions, their knowledge and their appreciation of the Maine woods as a natural system in need of human understanding."

"The Aroostook Team's work will have lasting impacts beyond their graduation. The influence these students have had on the Vital Signs community of scientists, managers, educators, and fellow students is testament to their dedication to Maine's forests." - Team Vital Signs (Christine Voyer, Molly Auclair and Caroline Casals), Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Portland, Maine.

John Rust (L) presenting the Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award
to the Rangeley Region Guides & Sportsmen’s Association represented by
Sam Spaulding (R). Image courtesy of MWF

3) The Rangeley Region Guides & Sportsmen's Association was presented an award for outstanding achievement by a youth organization to recognize their Junior Guides Program which offers children ages 9 through 12, as well as graduate Junior Counselors (ages 13-18) an exceptional outdoor skills education and experience. Sam Spaulding accepted the award on behalf of the Rangeley Region Guides & Sportsmen's Association.

"This program has done an excellent job of educating, preserving and protecting the future of our natural resources while sharing the rich outdoor traditions and history of the region," said Bill Pierce, Executive Director of the Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum in Rangeley. "The program has had alumni return every year as Junior Counselors who volunteer and help indoctrinate new Jr. Guides. In a has created LEADERS."

Pierce adds. "The children of Rangeley community, often from single parent or overly-busy families that may not have otherwise had these experiences, have benefitted greatly. Parents have witnessed its lasting rewards highlighted in the sun-kissed faces and rousing stories of their now empowered and confident children."

Congratulations to all.

Maine Woods Forever

Maine Woods Forever is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating and protecting the legacy of Maine's forests and woodlands. Maine Woods forever was founded in 2004 to foster collaboration between the many people and organizations devoted to conserving our forests and woodlands for today's and future generations. for further information, please visit:

Additional Background About the "Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Award"

Award Criteria

The Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award is given to youths or youth organizations who demonstrate a commitment to Maine's forests and woodlands, and those accomplishments may include:

* Effectively working alone or with others in educating others on the importance of conserving Maine's forests and woodlands, large and small
* Outstanding contributions toward conserving Maine's forests and woodlands
* Leadership in local, regional or statewide project that increases awareness by the public at large of a significant issue relating to Maine's forests and woodlands
* Educating and increasing public awareness of the heritage of the Maine Woods.
* Improving the quality of life in Maine woods-dependent communities
* Fostering increased appreciation of Maine woods resources
* Fostering stewardship of private forestland
* Fostering or supporting a conservation organization or foundation seeking to conserve large tracts of land and the indigenous wildlife
* Forming or fostering alliances between conservation organizations
* Making improvements in the quality of conservation and/or conservation education

Special attention is paid to unsung nominees who have achieved success not otherwise recognized. Weight is given to leadership qualities demonstrated by inspiring others to participate or influencing conservation and education practices.

Qualifications for the Award:

* Must involve activities within Maine
* Must be age 10 through High School (applicants older than 18 are acceptable if still attending High School) or youth organizations whose conservation projects primarily involve youths of these ages.


From the Narcissus 1912 Renovation Project Blogger - Phil Morse

I have attended each of the past two Maine Woods Forever Roundtable gatherings at Unity College in Unity, Maine. I have thoroughly enjoyed the setting of the meetings, the guest speakers,  the opportunity to meet representatives of the various organizations in attendance, and the opportunity to make new friends. As a member of two nonprofit organizations that have direct connections to Theodore Roosevelt; the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine with its historic 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban No. 14, Narcissus, the luxurious high-speed interurban in which, Theodore Roosevelt was a passenger between Lewiston, ME and Portland, ME on August 18, 1914,  and also the New England Chapter of the Theodore Roosevelt Association (Oyster Bay, NY), I'm delighted with the Maine Woods Forever's annual presentation of their Theodore Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award.

The Narcissus 1912 Renovation Blog was started a year ago with the intent to share information relating to Theodore Roosevelt and his connections in Maine, his connection to the Narcissus , the restoration of the National Register of Historic Places, Narcissus, and its relationship to Maine's railway history.

Here are links you may find of interest:

Click Here - Theodore Roosevelt First Visited Maine as Young Teenager
Click Here - Theodore Roosevelt International Highway - Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon
Click Here - Theodore Roosevelt - Conservation - National Parks & Monuments
Click Here - Theodore Roosevelt's Bible Point in Island Falls, Maine
Click Here - Theodore Roosevelt Grieved in Dark Harbor, Maine
Click Here - Seashore's Trolleys Relative to Theodore Roosevelt Timeline - 1858-1900  
Click Here - Seashore's Trolleys Relative to Theodore Roosevelt Timeline - 1901-1909
Click Here - Theodore Roosevelt Association and the Narcissus
Click Here - Theodore Roosevelt Artifacts in Maine - at Trolley Museum 8-5 though 8-7, 2016
Click Here - Great, great, great granddaughter of Narcissus owner visits Trolley Museum
Click Here - Troy R. Bennett's Musical adaptation: ode' to The Grand Old Interurban
Click Here - Oral History - Clyde Walker Pierce, Jr reminisces his days during the trolleys of Maine
Click Here - Ninety Communities in Maine had Electric Railway Service - 57 Million Riders 1915

If you have any questions concerning the Narcissus Project and the Theodore Roosevelt connections in Maine, please contact me, Phil Morse, at or call 207-985-9723 - cell.
Click Here - for the Narcissus Project Blog

Narcissus with several of the original ornate leaded stained glass windows
in place temporarily  and back-lit for the Teddy Roosevelt Days fundraising
event at Seashore Trolley Museum, August 2015.
Patricia Pierce Erikson image

Narcissus interior - August 2015
Patricia Pierce Erikson image

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