Highstead works to inspire curiosity and build knowledge about plants and wooded landscapes in order to enhance life, preserve nature, and advance sound stewardship practices.


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Read 2017 W&W Report


Highstead Supports Maine Efforts to Conserve 1,400-acre Community Forest

The Sebago Clean Waters Partnership (SCW), along with several local partners, announced the permanent protection of 1,400 acres of forest in Sebago, ME. Highstead serves on the SCW steering committee and worked with The Trust for Public Land, Loon Echo Land Trust, and others to reach this milestone achievement.

The land will provide space for outdoor recreation, support the local economy, and protect the water of Sebago Lake. This effort is part of SCW’s goal is to protect 25 percent of the lake’s watershed in the next 15 years. Photo by Jerry Monkman, ecophotography.com.

Study: Climate (Not Humans) Shaped Early Forests of New England

A new study in the journal Nature Sustainability co-authored by David Foster, board president of Highstead, overturns long-held interpretations of the role humans played in shaping the American landscape before European colonization.

The findings give new insight into the rationale and approaches for managing some of the most biodiverse landscapes in the eastern U.S. Read the study here.

Photo on right by Wyatt Oswald. Undergraduate researcher Maru Orbay-Cerrato collecting a sediment core from Green Pond, central Massachusetts.

Research Documents Changes in Highstead Forests

Long-term research documents dramatic, novel changes – particularly among nonnative species – that have taken place in Highstead’s maple-ash forest over an 11-year period, compared to relatively small changes that have occurred in Highstead’s oak forest. Highstead Senior Ecologist Ed Faison, along with Board Chair David Foster and other colleagues published a scientific article in the Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society documenting the long-term forest changes. The paper is also among the first to document a long-term decline in garlic mustard in northeastern US forests. Read article here.