Local artist Jennifer Steen Booher in front of her traveling exhibit, “We Change With Them,” which had its pubic debut on June 4 at A Climate to Thrive’s climate solutions fair on the lawn of Jesup Memorial Library. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDI HISTORICAL SOCIETY

MDI Historical Society opens gardens with talk, traveling exhibit 

SOMESVILLE — Mount Desert Island Historical Society is opening its Somesville Museum & Gardens for the season and kicking off its summer program series on Thursday, June 23, with a talk by Billy Helprin of Somes Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary from 4-6 p.m.  

Helprin, the first speaker in the “We Change With Them” series, will provide updates on alewives in the region, along with other local species. The Somes Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary protects and conserves over 250 acres of forested and wetland areas surrounding Somes Pond. 

In addition to the talk, there will also be a new “We Change With Them” traveling exhibit on display by local artist Jennifer Steen Booher. In 2021, Booher identified six changes she observed taking place around her: the collapse of shrimp populations and the influx of squid due to warming seas; colonization of oysters into island bays and harbors; species that cause public health issues, like brown tailed moth caterpillars and ticks; invasive species that impact traditional Maine fisheries, like green crabs on clams; and threats to anadromous fish due to extreme weather events.  

Booher layered cyanotype, drawings and data to tell the story of these local climate-related phenomena, creating a six-image series that explores shifting ecosystem dynamics resulting from climate change in the Gulf of Maine.  

With financial support from the Maine Humanities Council and Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, the Historical Society created the traveling exhibit and speaker series. Scientists, public health experts, historians and Booher will be available to answer questions and share the work being done to document and respond to climate change. All images in the series will be available for viewing. 

The exhibit and speaker series are part of the award-winning Landscape of Change project, the Historical Society’s joint initiative with Acadia National Park, Schoodic Institute, the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, College of the Atlantic and A Climate to Thrive. 

For more information, visit www.mdihistory.org/wechangewiththem, email [email protected], or call (207) 276-9323.