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Hog Island Program Presented to Bristol Area Lions Club 11/28/2013

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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Bristol Lion Carolyn McKeon, right, thanks Juanita Roushdy for her program on Hog Island Audobon Camp.

Bristol Lion Carolyn McKeon, right, thanks Juanita Roushdy for her program on Hog Island Audobon Camp.

Hog Island in Muscongus Bay is the oldest and first conservation camp in the United States, according to Juanita Roushdy, president of the Friends of Hog Island who spoke recently at the Bristol Area Lions Club in New Harbor.
With fifteen historic buildings and presumably the oldest old-growth forest on the East Coast, the island is a natural laboratory for the numerous programs and activities of the National Audubon Society, which owns the property.

This island owes its preservation to the forward thinking of Mabel Loomis Todd, who in the early 1900s purchased most of the island to spare it from being logged. Her daughter Millicent Todd Bingham was able to buy up the rest of the island and in 1936 arranged for the National Audubon Society to open a conservation camp there on the grounds of a former summer compound.

Today Audubon holds fourteen one-week adult sessions, a family camp week, and several service sessions each summer, all devoted to teaching about ornithology and conservation education. Over 150 species of birds can be seen on Hog Island, including an osprey family whose exploits are caught on an osprey-cam during nesting season.



The Friends of Hog Island (www.fohi.org) are a new volunteer group formed in 2011 to preserve the legacy and to support the programs and activities of the Audubon Camp in Maine.

Under Roushdy’s guidance, whose background is in community relations, the Friends have raised over $197,000 for Hog Island and have provided over 16,000 volunteer hours of gardening, cooking, cleaning and maintenance for the camp’s century-old buildings, where campers and instructors live during each summer session.

Hog Island is a public island, and individuals are welcome to hike its extensive trail system. Thanks to the Friends of Hog Island, this “conservation jewel” of the Midcoast has a bright future ahead.

In the business meeting following Roushdy’s talk, the Club heard from the Maine Lions’ First Vice District Governor Steve Johnson, who discussed upcoming state-wide events and reported on Lions International disaster relief in the typhoon-ravaged Philippines. The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club, on Monday, December 2, will feature Heather Wolfe speaking on the Tufts University Medical School program at Miles Hospital. To make dinner reservations for that meeting please call 677-6191.  To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, contact Walt Johansson at 677-2584. 


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