July 1, 2020: Maine Audubon is closely monitoring news and CDC guidance regarding COVID-19, particularly recommendations related to K-12 schools and childcare centers. Based on this information and guidance, we have made the difficult decision to keep all buildings and facilities at our visitor centers closed to the public (though our Nature Store is offering curbside pickup in Falmouth). Please check our website and social media channels regularly for updates. Many of our programs are available as online programs and we are now offering a few outdoor programs and services.
If you or any of your guests are registered for a program that has been or gets cancelled, we are prepared to waive Maine Audubon’s standard cancellation policy and offer refunds for the entirety of your party. Please contact Beth Pauls at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 781-2330 ext. 273 to have your name(s) removed and facilitate your refund. Please consider donating your registration fees to Maine Audubon; we are a nonprofit that relies on the support of members and the community to protect our wildlife and habitat.
Our top priority is public safety and we feel a strong responsibility to our members, supporters, and fellow Mainers. Thank you for your ongoing support and consideration of this very serious community health matter.
We encourage you to visit our sanctuaries to find peace in nature at this trying time; all eight sanctuaries are currently open, dawn to dusk. However, our first priority is public safety, so we ask that you follow these Three Steps for Mainers guidelines if you are interested in walking our trails and visiting our sanctuaries. No dogs, even on leash, are allowed at Maine Audubon sanctuaries.
Find the Right Time and Place
- Know What’s Close to Home: Consider visiting the sanctuary closest to your home.
- Check before you go: Visit websites to see the latest information on closures or conditions. Please respect all property closures.
- Have a plan B: If the parking lot is half full, the destination is too crowded. If your first destination has a busy parking lot, go to the next spot on your list! Consider visiting a nearby Wildlife Management Area, or a less-trafficked state park, public land, or local land trust (Maine Trail Finder is a great resource!)
- Avoid peak times: Get out earlier or later in the day.
- Recharge in your backyard and neighborhood!: Spring in Maine means there is a lot to see and explore right in our own yards.
Be Prepared Before Heading Out
- Expect limited services: Be advised that there is no access to public restrooms or drinking water.
- Pack snacks and water: Do what you can to avoid having to make stops along the way.
- Dress for success: It is spring in Maine, so trails are likely to be wet, muddy, slippery, or icy; bring appropriate gear to match the conditions. Local outdoor brands are open for online sales and are available to give advice on appropriate gear and equipment.
- Don’t take risks: Stick to easier terrain to avoid injuries, which add stress on first responders and medical resources.
- Watch out for ticks: Wear light-colored pants, closed-toe shoes, and apply EPA-approved bug repellent.
Heed All COVID-19 Health Warnings
- Practice social distancing: Stay at least six feet away from other people who do not live in your household. If necessary, step aside when passing other people on the trail. And remember that groups of 10 or more are prohibited (at least through June 1). Bring a mask and wear it when distancing is not possible.
- Don’t linger: Shorten your stay when visiting natural stopping points such as waterfalls, summits, and viewpoints so everyone can enjoy them while maintaining a safe distance.
- Don’t touch: Avoid touching signs, kiosks, buildings, and benches to minimize the potent spread of the virus.
- If you’re sick, stay home: It puts others at risk when you leave home while exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19, or if you have recently been exposed to the virus.
Maine Audubon Online Programs
Most of Maine Audubon’s online programs use the video meeting platform Zoom, which means attendees may participate from their own homes (or anywhere with a reliable, fast Internet connection).
On the day of the event, attendees will be emailed a link that they may click to enter. You are not required to create a Zoom account to participate, and you are not required to download the Zoom application, though the quality of the broadcast will be much better if you do. You can join from your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) but we recommend that you download the application for free at zoom.us and try it before the event starts.
For viewing only: You may be asked to allow use of your computer video and audio; it is not necessary to share access to view this presentation.
For interactive events/webinars: You will need a reliable, fast internet connection, speakers & a microphone, and a webcam (an internal camera built in to your computer, laptop, iPad, or mobile device; or a camera plugged in to your device).
If you would like to quickly and easily test your internet connection and your computer’s compatibility with Zoom, click here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115002262083-How-Do-I-Test-Prior-to-Joining-a-Meeting-
Full details on supported Operating Systems, internet browsers, and more can be found here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362023-System-Requirements-for-PC-Mac-and-Linux
Maine Audubon Standard Cancellation Policy
(See above note for current status)
Participants may receive a refund – minus a $50 processing fee – if they cancel their registration at least fourteen (14) days before a program begins. Registration processing fees are nonrefundable. Programs with registration fees below $50 are nonrefundable.
Refund requests must be made in writing. Written requests for a refund due to a medical emergency must include a doctor’s note, and must be received no more than two weeks after the program’s start date. Refunds due to medical emergencies will be paid minus the $50 processing fee.
If Maine Audubon cancels a program, participants will receive a full refund. In the event that Maine Audubon needs to cancel part of a multi-day program, such as camps, Maine Audubon will make an effort to reschedule that part of the program, but refunds will not be issued.
Program proceeds benefit the work of Maine Audubon.
Maine Audubon Commercial Use and Photographer Policy
Commercial entities are asked to notify Maine Audubon at least 5 days prior to visiting to receive written permission to use our grounds. This helps ensure the site is available and that the expectations while on site are clear.
For commercial entities using our property, we ask that you purchase a household membership for one-time use (a $50 donation) or a household plus membership (a $100 donation) for annual use. Photography or other operations must not interfere with the ability of staff and visitors to enjoy their experience, or visit our sanctuaries and centers safely. No exclusive use will be granted. All signs, established protocols, and restricted areas must be observed. This is for the safety of visitors and wildlife at the sanctuaries.
Please read our complete Commercial Use and Photographer Policy guidelines here.
- A commercial entity is a corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, association, organization, joint venture, or other legal entity, whether or not for profit, that transacts business. This includes, but is not limited to, photographers, artists, and wedding planners
- Any agent, employee, servant, independent contractor of, or owner of a photography or videography business, freelance, or photographer, who uses Maine Audubon grounds or facilities for portrait settings of individuals, groups, commercials, training films, movies, documentaries, or advertisements is considered a commercial photographer.
The following forms are required by certain programs and activities. If you are required to have one of these on file, you will be notified before the program. All forms are due a week before the program starts.
Required for all camps, preschool programs, and family trips:
Required for adults participating in trips:
Through the generosity of local businesses, organizations, and individuals, partial scholarships are available for Maine residents who need financial assistance. For more information, please call 207.781.2330. The Maine Audubon Financial Aid Form (pdf) will need to be submitted as part of your registration.
Emergency Weather Conditions
Occasionally, severe weather or other circumstances will alter our usual program schedule. If Maine Audubon’s buildings are closed unexpectedly, all programs are cancelled during the closed period. Please note that we may close for only a portion of the day. If our buildings are open, unusually severe weather conditions can still force the cancellation of a program for that day.
If Maine Audubon is closed due to weather or other unanticipated circumstances, a message will posted on our website and on local TV stations closure lists.