News & Events

Annual Meeting: Tuesday, May 17

May 12th, 2016

CREA members and others interested in the organization are welcome to join us for our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May 17 at the Highland Green Community Center (7 Evergreen Circle) in Topsham, from 4 to 6 p.m. Business meeting will start at 4 p.m. (agenda below), followed by a social gathering with refreshments. For more information, contact

1. Election of members to the CREA Board of Directors

2. Election of officers of CREA Board of Directors

3. Annual financial report

4. State of CREA report by Executive Director Matt Dubel

Gary Lawless & Jim McCarthy will also join us to share their experience as CREA's Poet / Photographer Laureate.

Visit the Ecology Center on Sundays

January 23rd, 2016

Based on the turnout the Ecology Center enjoyed during the winter months on Sundays from 12-2, we are extending the program through the summer at least.  Volunteers from Highland Green and from the CREA Board are ready to welcome hikers as they pass by and give visitors an informative tour of the building and its fascinating contents!

Those who would like to volunteer for the Ecology Center Sunday Open Houses should contact

-Lisa Durrell, CREA Board Member

Trail Crossing Rebuilt

January 23rd, 2016

Trail Crossing Rebuilt

Hikers on the west end of the Cathance River Trail will be happy to see the new crossing over a very wet, stream gully. Drizzle and 36 degree weather didn’t deter Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) Associate Director and stewardship program coordinator Caroline Eliot, Highland Green volunteer Joe Feely, and BTLT Trail Worker Cheri Brunault from building the needed replacement bridge in December.

Heavy (100-pound) planks of hemlock and base logs of solid cedar were carried to the work site over the trails before construction could be started. Hemlock and cedar are chosen for their needed rot-resistant qualities.

The trails of the Cathance River Preserve were constructed in 2004 and after ten years, they require ongoing maintenance. The partners in managing the Preserve--Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA), BTLT, and Highland Green--are working on a long-term maintenance plan. Work on the Heath Trail and other areas will continue in 2016.

Trail maintenance is dependent on funds, as well as the availability of strong volunteers who can help move heavy materials along the trails to areas needing work. Donations targeted for this ongoing trail work can be made to CREA or BTLT.

-Lisa Durrell, CREA Board Member

Highlights from 2015!

December 31st, 2015

2015 was a great year for CREA and we thought we'd share a few highlights.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!

IMG_0029Our school programming grew to include more classrooms than ever before. In 2015, we led 132 programs that reached 1,957 students and teachers from grades K through 12. We've also piloted a slate of new programming that aligns with the new Next Generation Science Standards.






Looking at barb wire RRL 11.1.15New community programs, such as our Reading Nature series, drew enthusiastic crowds. Our community programs reached a total of 837 people this year.





IMG_0019CREA offered a record 7 weeks of camp this year, with programs that served campers from 1st to 8th grade and a Naturalist-in-Training program for high school students.






IMG_0019With funding from the Maine Community Foundation, CREA has started to design a Sustainable Energy Lab curriculum that will use the Ecology Center as a real world lab for students to explore energy choices using authentic data. As part of that process, we've installed a new battery bank for our solar energy system.







Ecology center photoWe've focused on opening the Ecology Center for the public more often, with weekly open hours on Sunday afternoons throughout the year. Our new cohort of volunteer hosts leapt in to help make that possible.






Thanks to all of our members, volunteers, community partners, and participants who made 2015 a great year!  We're looking forward to 2016.

Take Our Adult Program Survey!

November 24th, 2015

Got 3 minutes to help us improve our programs? Take our Adult Programs Survey! Click here and share your hopes and wishes for CREA's adult programming. Thanks!

CREA Fall Newsletter: CREAtivity

September 28th, 2015

CREA Fall 2015 Newsletter

Reading Nature Field Walk on October 11

September 8th, 2015
Reading Nature Field Walk
Sunday, October 11
1-2:30 p.m. at the Cathance River Ecology Center & Preserve
Reading Nature
Ever wonder why certain plants seem to grow together or why certain birds always show up in particular places?  Ever discover a stand of dead trees or a perplexing set of tracks and wonder what happened to leave these clues?  With a little help, anyone can learn to read nature and decipher the stories written in the landscape.  Join CREA Director Matt Dubel for this interactive field walk!  Designed to be a companion program to the October 8 presentation at the Topsham Public Library, though you don't need to attend the presentation to participate in this field walk.
Meet at the Ecology Center.  Directions available here.
To see the list of all Community Nature Programs, click here.
For more information, contact

Solar Energy in Maine & Ecological Economics: CREA Interns Present on August 5

August 4th, 2015

CREA Intern Presentations

Come see Cathance River Education Alliance interns present the results of their summer research projects!

Wednesday, August 5, from 4:30 to 6:30 PM in the Highland Green Community Center, 7 Evergreen Circle, Topsham

Cameron McPherson, McGill University, "Solar Electricity in Maine: Investigating the Progress, Potential, and Prospects of Solar Energy in our Community" 

Colleen Thrasher, McGill University, "An Introduction to Ecological Economics"

Refreshments served

Live Animal program May 26th at Topsham Library

May 26th, 2015

CREA & The Topsham Public Library present:

Wildlife in Spring (Live Animals)!

Tuesday, May 26, 6:30-8 p.m. at Topsham Public Library

Early spring is a busy time for wildlife.  The Center for Wildlife from Cape Neddick will be on hand to present an interactive family program featuring seasonal adaptations and several of their live non-releasable wild animal ambassadors.  Using hands-on displays, educators will share great tips for spotting spring wildlife in your own backyard.

Bring your whole family to this live animal interactive program!  FREE and open to the public.

We’d love your feedback on our programs for adults

May 15th, 2015

Click here to participate in our adult program survey (approximately 5 minutes of your time).

Thanks for your feedback!