Brewer conservation group wants to recruit younger members to continue its mission

Protecting natural resources is at the heart of the efforts of the Brewer-based Penobscot County Conservation Association.

The group, which also works to preserve outdoor heritage with hunting, fishing and trapping, has been a fixture in eastern Maine since 1938.

“[Penobscot County Conservation Association’s] core mission is conservation and the work we do to conserve lands and habitat,” said organization board member Daniel Bell, “but above that we also provide scholarships for outdoor education, forestry, ranger programs, Game Warden school and things like that.”

As the group moves into the summer of its 84th year, it faces challenges in continuing to provide the services, education and scholarships that are at the core of its mission. The organization of approximately 200 members is aware that to prosper in the years to come, it must recruit new — and younger — members.

That’s part of its motivation for holding “Family Fun Day” on Saturday on the Penobscot River at 570 North Main St. in Brewer.

“It’s a day that families can bring the kids out, enjoy the outdoors, maybe learn a little bit about some of our outdoor heritage and just have fun,” Bell said.

The group hopes providing a positive experience can serve as the impetus for encouragement youngsters to embrace early conservation.

“The challenge is to get our younger folk involved, to not only be members of the club, but also be working members,” Bell said. “In other words, be working volunteers who can come out and support the projects that we do, and eventually be on the board, be the next leaders of the club.”

Bell pointed to his own personal introduction to Penobscot County Conservation Association as providing some inspiration to join the group. He took his hunter safety course through the organization in 1976, when he was 11 years old.

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