2013 marked the 10th anniversary of Beachcombers' Rest Nature Center. In 2003, two Pemaquid Watershed Association members who live in Bristol had a wild idea. These two friends shared a passion for the ocean, beach environment, art, and teaching. They came up with the idea of having a nature center at Pemaquid Beach Park where they could merge science and creativity with marine education .. more
Joan and Diane Started It All!
In 2003, the PWA
formed a partnership with the Town of Bristol
Parks & Recreation Commission to open
Beachcombers’ Rest, a nature center located in the town pavilion
at Pemaquid Beach Park. In addition to its displays and interactive
exhibits, the Center serves as base of operations for a variety
of multidisciplinary programs that draw upon beach resources. The
overall intent is to foster awareness and appreciation for the
local environment, thereby helping to ensure that this rare and
remarkable beach will be enjoyed by future generations of beachgoers. Interested
in volunteering at the Nature Center – email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-563-2196
Directions: Click on the green arrow below for an interactive map to Beachcombers' Rest at Pemaquid Beach – or simply click here.
DIRECTIONS: From Damariscotta, take the Bristol Road (State Route 130) about 12 miles. Take the first right about 50 yards after the Fire Department (and just before Hanna's Store) onto Snowball Hill Road. Travel 9/10ths of a mile. At the bottom of the hill, on the left, there is a sign for the entrance to Pemaquid Beach Park (there's also a smaller Beachcombers' Rest Nature Center sign). BRNC is in the pavilion.
Founders at the Beachcombers' Rest Nature Center Joan Lyford (left) and Diane Perry (right)
Information for the 2014 season is posted below. A complete list of events can be downloaded here (PDF).
Ecology of the beach is complex and fascinating. PWA has created a Pemaquid Beach Interpretive Guide that is available at the nature center, and also can be downloaded here - check it out!
TOUCH TANK TUESDAYS: July 15 to August 26, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., courtesy of the Gulf of Maine Foundation and Darling Marine Center.
Visitors experience first-hand many of the animals and plants that inhabit our coastal waters. Gentle handling of the creatures, observation, drawing, and discussion, with a period from 11:30 to noon of ‘quiet no-touch time’ to give the critters a rest. Sponsored by The Edward A. Myers Marine Conservation Fund.
Story Hour - Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. – Children and their caregivers are invited to enjoy a story read to them in the picnic area at Pemaquid Beach Park. Download the list of books here (PDF).
• 7/17 The Eye of the Whale
• 7/24 Mabel Takes The Ferry
• 7/31 Stella, Star of the Sea
• 8/7 Osprey Adventure
• 8/14 Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out
• 8/21 Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas
• 8/28 Surprising Sharks: Read and Wonder
FRIDAY WORKSHOPS IN JULY: From 10:30 a.m. to noon on Fridays, Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center at Pemaquid Beach Park hosts educational workshops for the public.
Pre-registration is required at least 2 days prior to the workshops by calling PWA at 207-563-2196. Workshops will take place rain or shine. The workshops are free, but participants must pay the Town’s admission fee to the Park.
• 7/18 Invaders On Our Coast , with Briar Bradgon. All ages are welcome.
• 7/25 Printmaking with Nature with Mary Beth Owens, using ink, rollers, and leaves, grasses, shells, and other natural objects found at the beach. The ink is water soluble, and aprons will be provided. This workshop will be geared for grades Kindergarten through 4th (ages 5-10) and is limited to 12 youth. Children under 8 should be accompanied by an adult.
Other Events (full schedule PDF here):
• Saturday, July 19, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.: Native American Celebration in Memory of Joan Lyford: In the Native American tradition, which was so important to Joan, please bring a potluck item featuring foods from Native resources. There also will be a display of photos and memorabilia, music and games for children, and a time for sharing stories and memories. Festivities will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the picnic area. Please arrive with your potluck item at 4:50. In case of inclement weather, we will gather in the Community Room of the beach pavilion.
• Friday, August 1, 10:30 - noon: Seabirds Here and There. Come join Susan Schubel, a.k.a. Seabird Sue, to learn about the seabirds in the area. Become an expert on five different Maine birds with "Be a Bird Mystery Boxes". We also may look for birds or bird clues at the beach. Families and all ages welcome.
• Friday, August 8, 10:30 - noon: Ocean Acidification: Nature Center Naturalist Briar Bragdon and Maine Representative and marine scientist Mick Devin will discuss chemistry and dangers of the increasing acidity of the ocean and how it could affect Maine’s economy. Find out about current legislative initiatives aimed at preventing ocean acidification, and learn how you can help be part of the solution. This program is for ages 13 and up.
• Friday, August 15, 10:30 - noon:
TWO CONCURRENT SESSIONS FOR DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS:
FOR AGES 13 AND UP: Tide Pool Prowl. Jean McAlice. Discover the tidal pools teeming with life, from mussels, crabs, worms, snails and barnacles to periwinkles, lichen, seaweed, rock weed, and maybe even sea lettuce. Come learn fascinating facts, like how barnacles, which are crustaceans, define the upper tide line, are dormant during the lower tides, feed when wet, that they shed their skin in late winter or early spring, and build limestone houses for themselves.
FOR AGES UNDER 13: Treasures in the Sand. Diane Perry, educator and co-founder of Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center, will share facts and myths about the white sand found at Pemaquid Beach Park. Participants will see microscopic images of crystals and particles that make up the sand, make their own sand, and then go off on an adventurous quest. Be ready to stroll with eyes and ears wide open to the many treasures in the sand! This workshop has a scavenger hunt component for families and friends. A mature caretaker will be needed for any non-readers. Pencils and clipboards will be supplied, but please bring your own if you can. Workshop is limited to 15 youth.
• Saturday, August 16, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.: Under the Sea: A Diving Show-n-Tell. Have you ever wondered what was under the sea off the coast of Maine? Come join us at 9:00 a.m. as local diver, Brian Boone, shows us the beauty under the sea and talks about the sport of scuba diving. He will dive and bring up some sea life for you to examine. Bring your wet shoes and prepare for an exciting time! All ages are welcome. Children under 8 should be accompanied by an adult. Go directly to the shore for this event.
• Saturday, August 16, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.: Beachscapes Contest. Contestants are encouraged to let whimsy and fantasy be their guides in the construction of castles, sea creatures, forts, or even raked sand gardens adorned with rocks, seaweed, or found objects. Sign up that day at the nature center between 10:00 a.m. and noon to receive a numbered stake and reserve a space on the beach. All constructions will be gently judged, and prizes will be awarded in the Beach Park picnic area at 2:00 p.m. by King Neptune and Queen Neptune. Participants will be responsible for leaving their site tidy after the contest. BYOS (bring your own shovel). Families and all ages welcome. Children under 8 should be accompanied by an adult.
• Friday, August 22, 10:30 - noon: A World in a Drop of Seawater. Keri Kaczor, Marine Professional with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, will lead this workshop that explores the beauty, diversity and ecological significance of marine phytoplankton. Participants will get hands-on with microscopes to view the tiny phytoplankton, learning about harmful algal blooms and ocean food webs. Come learn how to build your own phytoplankton replica. All ages are welcome. Children under 8 should be accompanied by an adult.
• Friday, August 29, 10:30 - noon: Lobster Tales. Come and learn more about Maine’s iconic seaside creature - the lobster. Workshop topics will include what a day spent on the water by a commercial lobster fisherman entails as well as many interesting biological facts about lobsters. Kristina Hamrin will lead this workshop. Kristina is a marine biologist and the co-owner of a commercial fishing vessel (lobster/crab, shrimp and blue fin tuna). She has spent time researching lobsters as well as harvesting lobsters and has many stories to share. There will be a live lobster at the workshop, along with a trap and some basic commercial fishing gear. All ages are welcome. Children under 8 should be accompanied by an adult.