Guided Stonington walk May 7

STONINGTON — The town of Stonington and community partners on Saturday, May 7, will host Jane’s Walk: Pier to Pier, a Walk through Time, Fishing, Quarrying and Culture. This free, 90-minute guided walk starts at 11:30 a.m. on Stonington’s Commercial Fish Pier and ends at 1 p.m. at the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries on the Hagan Dock/Public Pier.

Along the way, participants can learn from guest speakers and share their own stories about Stonington’s past, present and future.

This event is part of an annual festival of community-led walks around the globe inspired by Jane Jacobs, whose book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” and citizen activism spearheaded successful community initiatives to sustain the vibrant communities. Jane’s Walks are coordinated through Maine by Maine Preservation, the Maine Downtown Center and Greater Portland Landmarks. Local partners include the Harbor Cafe, Stonington Public Library, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries and the Deer Isle-Stonington Chamber of Commerce.

Participants are encouraged to visit the newly renovated and reopened Harbor Cafe before the walk for a special Jane’s Walk Breakfast, and/or to join with others for an after-walk lunch and locally brewed beer — Jacobs’ favorite beverage.

“Stonington is unique in so many ways and has such a rich history that there are always details people don’t yet know,” said Kathleen Billings, Stonington town manager. “Right now, we’re in danger of losing some of what has made Stonington so special over the years, and this gives us a fun and informal chance to start getting this information out and talking about it.”

Stonington is home to approximately 300 individually owned and operated lobster boats and a Main Street with historic buildings directly along the working waterfront.

Topics to be discussed on the walk include sea level rise, local history, public spaces, mixed use neighborhoods and what it means to “face the sea” historically and today, from the perspective of an area fisheries specialist. Participants’ stories, questions and concerns are welcome.

Special guest speakers include Ardis Cameron, a Main Street resident and distinguished professor emeritus of American studies at the University of Southern Maine; Carla Guenther, chief scientist at the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries; journalist Leslie Landrigan; and Linda Nelson and Judith Jerome, two of the four co-founders of Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House.

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