Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Spectacle Island, Stewardship, and Treasure!

Hi all! My name is Megan, and I'm a new Development Intern for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.

This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to be a part of a group of about 280 people who headed to Spectacle Island aboard the Provincetown II for the Treasures of Spectacle Island. Though the day was threatened by early morning rain, the skies cleared in perfect time for us to venture around the island for several hours. We (several other interns and I) enjoyed our time exploring, including a walk to the south drumlin summit, but let me share my favorite experience of the day...

“Does anyone know what a steward is?” Park Ranger Elliott asked us. Our group was silent. About twenty Boston-area citizens, young and old, had decided to join Elliott and well-known Boston archaeologist Ellen Berkland on a Sea Glass Explorers guided tour and mosaic-making adventure. “A steward is a good citizen,” Elliott explained. “This means we'll be leaving the beach in better shape than we found it and leaving treasures for others to enjoy!” Elliott handed out plastic bags – one for trash and one for treasure – and sent us out onto the beach, challenging us to each pick up five pieces of trash as well as any treasures that caught our eye.

Let the treasure hunt begin!
With only 15 minutes to collect, the pressure was on...what would each of us find? What would be worthy enough to be deemed treasure? Within minutes, young explorers were piling their pails and bags full of blue and green sea glass, pottery fragments, and broken shells – I found myself so pleasantly distracted by their enthusiasm, I spent much of the 15 minutes simply watching them explore.

We came back together as a group to share our findings and were also treated to some archaeological history of the island and artifacts, courtesy of Ellen. Once we'd all shared our favorite treasures (all very different!), Elliott tasked us with making mosaics with our finds.

Jactyne, age 4, of Dorchester, created this heart with a castle inside.  This was her first trip to Spectacle Island with her mother and sisters. Jactyne told me that her favorite treasure was a blue mussel shell, "because it's blue!"
Elijah, of Mattapan, contributed both this treasure, a shoe sole, and a feather to our abstract mosaic - his finds completed our effort!
Katherine, of Quincy, filled her pail (to the brim!) with shells and also found a set of dentures, with which she made a sea turtle.

Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines treasure as “something of great worth or value” - In addition to the Sea Glass Explorer Certifications our group received (see below!), we take home stories to share about the people we met, pictures of sea glass (or dentures!) that we found, and overall, the memory of enjoying being outside and on Boston Harbor.

Certified Sea Glass Explorer!
It's official!

Thank you to all of those who made it out to Spectacle Island with us – you truly made it a treasure of a day!

Until next time, 


Megan Rawson
Development Intern
Save the Harbor / Save the Bay

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