News & Events

Spaces available for April camp

April 17th, 2015

CREA's April Vacation Camp runs from Monday, April 20 through Thursday, April 23.  Spaces still remain and campers can register for individual days.  To register or learn more about camp, click here, fill out the April Camp Registration Form 2015, and send to  Payment can be made in person at camp.  For more information, contact us at (207) 331-3202 or

Vernal Pools program on March 31

March 31st, 2015

Vernal Pools: Balancing Growth and Conservation
Tuesday, March 31
6:30-8:00 p.m.
Topsham Public Library

Dr. Aram Calhoun, Director of Ecology & Environmental Sciences at UMO, will be on hand to discuss current conservation projects, and how vernal pools are central to healthy ecosystems. Dr. Calhoun's team, in partnership with the towns on Topsham and Orono, is seeking practical and flexible solutions to strike a balance between economic development and vernal pool conservation.

FREE and open to the public. For more information, email

Volunteer Opportunities

January 29th, 2015

Interested in volunteering with CREA?  Whether you can help out one time or on a regular basis, we'd love to find a volunteer opportunity that fits your expertise and interests.  The list below describes a wide variety of volunteer needs.  If you see something that interests you, contact Matt Dubel at (207) 331-3202 or to get started.  Thanks!


  • Join a Committee (this is where much of our planning is done; committees include: Program, Development, Finance, Communications, Policy, Facility)
  • Help us move out of our current office (late April)
  • Help plan our 15th anniversary event (May)
  • Find donations for our online auction
  • Coordinate volunteers
  • Distribute CREA materials to public places/local businesses, help with mailings
  • Send out press releases and events for program calendars
  • Write article for newsletter or website
  • Write grant proposals
  • Advise the Board on legal matters (an attorney, but not necessarily a member of the Maine Bar)
  • Advise the Board on financial matters (CPA or finance background)


Ecology Center/Preserve:

  • Help with maintenance or cleaning projects at Ecology Center
  • Help to monitor/maintain solar and wind energy systems
  • Mowing
  • Host Open Hours at the Ecology Center
  • Inventory/organize equipment
  • Assist with ecological monitoring (water quality, biodiversity surveys, population studies)
  • Help organize/compile data from monitoring and research



  • Assist with programs for families, schools, or adults
  • Publicize programs
  • Take pictures at programs
  • Lead golf cart or trail tours
  • Lead a program in an area of expertise
  • Help conduct surveys of program participants, collect evaluation data
  • Create interpretive materials
  • Mentor a student research project

Winter 2014 Newsletter

December 30th, 2014

CREA 2014 Fall:Winter Newsletter

Upcoming Community Nature Programs

August 6th, 2014

These programs are family friendly, FREE, and open to the public. They are held at the Topsham Public Library the last Tuesday of each month from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm. For more information, email

September 30

Inspired By Nature

How are people drawing on the wisdom of nature to solve human problems?  Join Matt Dubel, Executive Director of CREA, as he shares the stories of eco-innovators who are using nature as a model for everything from growing food to designing products to making decisions.


October 28

Gray Fox: “Tree Fox”

An almost mythical creature, the Gray Fox has a brownish-red chest and sides, and gray back. They are quite different from Red Fox in their stout, more powerful build, unique coloration, and their ability to climb trees!  Come hear more about the oh-so-interesting and territorial Gray Fox from professional Wildlife Biologist Sean Moriarty.


November 25

Chewonki Presents: Predators! (LIVE ANIMALS)

Although often misunderstood, predators can ultimately hold the key to the overall health of our ecosystems.  The Chewonki Foundation will be on hand to illustrate this concept of intricate balance with a live owl, bat, and turtle ambassador.

Bring the whole family to this live-animal, interactive program!

June 1: Wind Over Wings Program at UU Church

May 19th, 2014

The Brunswick Unitarian Universalist Church, and Cathance River Education Alliance are joining together to co-sponsor a very special event.

Wind Over Wings
Character and Courage: Lessons Learned From Eagles

Sunday, June 1, 2:00 – 3:00 PM

Held at the newly rebuilt Brunswick Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle Street.

Our event will feature the renowned and exceptionally talented Wind Over Wings founder Hope Douglas. This is a special presentation about eagles, their amazing character, and their stories of courage after injury.

Come meet the live Golden Eagle Skywalker, and hear about the two injured Bald Eagles currently being cared for at Wind Over Wings. Featured also will be three other live birds, the Eastern Screech Owl, the American Kestrel, and Zachariah the Common Raven.

Hope Douglas founded the nonprofit organization Wind Over Wings about twenty years ago. Wind Over Wings brings birds into classrooms, homes, conference centers, auditoriums, and places of worship for environmental education programs. Birds in their care are unable to survive in the wild. Each of them inspires us with their stories of courage, adaptability, and resilience. Programs are conducted by trained educators.

This program is FREE and family friendly. All interested members of the public are invited to attend. There is limited church parking. Come early to assure parking and seating. This is also a great opportunity to see the new church, which has been newly rebuilt after a tragic fire on June 6th, 2011.

Watch Hope’s interview on 207

You won’t want to miss this very special community event!

CREA Seeking Volunteers

July 17th, 2013

CREA is a vibrant, community-based non-profit organization seeking interested individuals for committees, the board of directors, or for short-term defined projects. We are looking for people with a passion for environmental education and the operation of a nature preserve. Interested persons and anyone with a questions should contact CREA's president, Louisa Edgerton, at

Mt. Ararat biology students to share findings from fall CREA field studies

January 24th, 2012

Article originally appeared in The Times Record.

Mt. Ararat High School teacher Glenn Evans’ honors biology students, as a part of their ecology and environment unit, visited the Cathance River Preserve and ecology center weekly last fall to conduct field study research.
Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA) educator Cheryl Sleeper and several area professional mentors, including local scientists and professionals from Stantec, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine State Forest Service, worked with the students.
“Working in small groups, with help from their teacher and mentors, students designed a scientific study and collected data for their study weekly,” a CREA release states.
The projects ran for the first quarter of this school year.
To kick off CREA’s 2012 monthly Community Program series, the students will give presentations about their work at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at Topsham Public Library on Foreside Road. The presentations will include a digital poster, lab report and a short, student-produced I-movie.
The eight topics that students researched include:

  • Terrestrial Insect Sampling by Jake Papa and Jake Demosthenes.
  • An ongoing study, Forest Inventory Growth Plot, conducted by Shea Nelson, Marie Ring and Zach Collins, mentored by Kevin Doran.
  • A Mammal Study, conducted by Jonah Levy, Bru Abreu and Cat Johnson, mentored by Stantec professionals Steve Pelletier and Adam Gravel.
  • Cathance River Water Level and Quality Monitoring, conducted by Ellison Etnier, Emma Vernard and Emma Cota, mentored by Glenn Evans.
  • Habitat Hole Project, undertaken by students Sam Wood and Nick Rogers, mentored by Stantec professionals Steve Pelletier and Adam Gravel.
  • A Butterfly Project, conducted by students Liz Kneebone, Jessica Wright and Danielle Krause, mentored by Sarah Sparks.
  • A Mushroom Project, led by Saree Boutin, Maggie Broughton and Connie Hodge, mentored by Cheryl St. Pierre.
  • A Dragonfly Study, conducted by Belle Fall and Izzy Leon, mentored by David Reed.

Monthly CREA programs will take place on the last Tuesday of each month and represent an ongoing collaboration between CREA and the Topsham Public Library. This year’s topics include programs on the Maine black bear, live bird presentations, vernal pools, Cathance River history, dragonflies, local geology, insects and the movie “Mother Nature's Child.”
Visit for more information.

Brunswick High School Class of 1961 Donates Underwater Video Camera

January 11th, 2012

After recently celebrating their 50th class reunion, the Brunswick High School Class of 1961 decided to give something back to their alma mater. Intrigued by an independent study in Ecology which Brunswick High School Seniors Baxter Worthing, Sam Katz, and Cece Carey-Snow were conducting, the class made a generous donation to their project after raising funds through a silent auction.
The students, in conjunction with Brunswick High School teachers Andrew McCullough, Rick Wilson, and the Cathance River Education Alliance purchased a Delta Vision Industrial underwater video camera. The camera will enable them to view and record the world of aquatic species in the Cathance River. Use of the camera is one of many field study experiences which the students are conducting.

"This independent study is a great opportunity for students to learn in a diverse environment outside the classroom where they can experience data collection in the field with professionals," says Andrew McCullough Brunswick High School biology teacher and one of the advisors for the Independent Study.

Besides their work with the camera, the students are also conducting field studies in telemetry tracking of painted turtles, grass regeneration on the Cathance River, and baiting and maintaining a remote animal camera.
"I never thought that in my high school experience I would be able to learn this much outside of the classroom. This independent study is changing my view of education," says Baxter Worthing.

Cathance River Nature Preserve Featured in Book

January 5th, 2012

See the Cathance River Nature Preserve featured on pages 32-34 in Best Nature Sites of Midcoast Maine: