SEARSPORT — The Carver Memorial Library has a new backpack available for library patrons to check out: the Sears Island Exploration Backpack, intended to inspire locals to visit the nearby conservation area and interact with nature in a variety of new and meaningful ways.
Thanks to a Community Building grant that Friends of Sears Island received from the Maine Community Foundation to enhance self-guided educational opportunities on Sears Island, the organization was able to purchase a collection of exploration tools and donate the backpack to the library.
“We are very pleased to have this Sears Island Exploration backpack to lend, with its connection to the local area,” said Sue McClintock, Library Director, in a Friends of Sears Island news release. “It will become part of our backpack collection, which also features a State Park pass, beginner fitness, and reminiscing backpacks for adults and a variety of topics for children such as dinosaurs, cats, and Maine authors.”
The items in the backpack are intended to appeal to all ages, and include: a small monocular spotting scope with smartphone attachment for taking photos of birds and other far away objects, a GPS with instructions for geocaching, a large magnifying lens, and a pocket microscope for examining discoveries up close, a deck of nature activity cards, a field guide, a compass and wilderness navigation book, an insect net and bug box, informational sheets on the history of the island and the work of Friends of Sears Island, and flora and fauna checklists.
“While FOSI offers a wide range of educational programming throughout the year to the public, most people visit Sears Island on their own,” said Ashley Megquier, FOSI’s outreach coordinator, in the release. “We are grateful to the Maine Community Foundation for the funds to make this backpack available to our community, because it provides access to fun and useful tools that can enrich experiences in nature, and includes educational content that can deepen appreciation for this special place,”
The Sears Island Exploration backpack can be borrowed for a week at a time.
For more information, visit Carver Memorial Library, at 12 Union Street, in Searsport, call the library at 548-2303, or visit www.carverlibrary.org.
To learn more about visiting Sears Island and FOSI, check out www.friendsofsearsisland.org.