***Update on "The Little Boat that Could"  See below!!!!!!***

Throughout the country, the mission of land trusts is evolving.  Originally, land trusts were reacting to the threat of cherished properties being lost to development.  The question asked was “what are we saving the land from?”  The question now being asked is, “what are we saving the land for?”

 

The goal of Trust In Our Children is to give kids a sense of place, form a bond with the lands and expose them to the natural wonders of the world.  Our program has been recognized on a state-wide level as an example of the future of land trusts.  It began by offering spring and fall field trips to each grade at Consolidated Elementary School.  Since its inception, TOC has expanded considerably.  Winter field trips have been added for kindergarten and first grade.  Middle school students have been working on various projects for Trust properties. Students from the high school’s alternative education program built the Learning Trail on the Emmons Preserve.  TOC continues to evolve as we are striving to bridge the gap between generations by offering addition adult and family educational programing. 

THE LITTLE BOAT THAT COULD HIT LAND!

After 168 days and 12 hours, and a wildly circuitous route, "The Little Boat that Could" hit land fall in Scotland.

  

After 6 months of rolling on waves, surviving storms, and turning in circles, “The Little Boat That Could” has hit landfall in Scotland!  The “Lil Boat” as it is affectionately called by the students from the Kennebunk High School Alternative Education program who built her were somewhat skeptical as to whether this 5 foot boat could traverse the open sea.  They were pleasantly surprised when their teachers Ed Sharood and Jacqui Holmes, as well as Leia Lowery the Director of Education for the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust were suddenly contacted.  After receiving notification by the  Coast Guard in Balivanich, Isle of Benbecula, Western Isles, Scotland and a furry of social media posts, and announcements it is hard to remember her humble beginnings!

A joint project between the Kennebunk High School’s Alternative Education program, Kennebunk Conservation Trust, and the Landing Boat School in Arundel, has proven to be a great learning tool and community builder.  As Josh Ellis, a now graduated senior at Kennebunk High School, stated in his original press release about the Lil Boat, “we know less today about the ocean than we do about space.”  He and his classmates were looking forward to learning more about the ocean especially here in Maine.  They had learned that the gulf of Maine is warming at a faster rate than anywhere else on earth which piqued their interest.   It was an opportunity for the students to learn about the ocean, and also possibly about other cultures if the boat were to actually make landfall.

That is where we are today. The Little Boat That Could was launched near Georges Bank on January 2nd. It's 168 day journey took it past the Azores, Spain, and Portugal. Just roughly 150 miles off the coast of Spain, the Lil Boat made a u-turn and looked as though it was coming back home. Back in the middle of the Atlantic it made a B-line north east, heading directly for the UK. Just a few weeks later, on Kennebunk High School's last day of school, Ed Sharood, a Alternative Education teacher at Kennebunk High school got the notification that it had landed..

Two tourists from British Columbia happened across the Lil Boat while beach combing.  They alerted the police, who then contacted the coast guard.  Within 24 hours in a flurry of FB posts, and emails, the vessel had found its home in a local primary school, Sgoil uibhist a taut (Gaelic) or North Uist School.  Jacqui Holmes, who is the Alternative Education teacher in charge of curriculum has had contact with the school and they are already planning how to connect the students from both schools in the fall, and make this a great learning experience for all.  Both schools are out for the summer now.

The Director of Education for KCT, Leia Lowery, and the two KHS teachers, Jacqui and Ed, dream about being able to bring the KHS students to Scotland to help repair and relaunch the Lil Boat. Regardless, they will spend the summer collaborating with teachers at North Uist School to figure out how to retrieve the data she collected on her journey and how to get her back in the water.  Stay tuned to hear about the Little Boat that proved she could’s next adventure and the fun learning that will begin in the fall.

See the update from wcsh 6 from 6/27/2017

Dropping off "The Little Boat that Could" at the Portland Fish Exchange... fingers crossed!  

Dropping off "The Little Boat that Could" at the Portland Fish Exchange... fingers crossed!

 

 

The Learning Trail, a project that reclaimed the lost student. Building this trail re-engaged a group of students and created a strong partnership between a land trust and some teens who were looking for a new path. Listen to this account written and read by one of the students who worked on the trail.

Come have fun learning with us!  Attend a program, volunteer on a field trip, or share your talents with our community!  For more information, please contact our Director of Education, Leia Lowery by emailing leia@kctoffice.org or call her at 207-967-3465.  For the all the latest,  please like us on the Trust In Our Children's Facebook Page!