Published on January 21, 2021

A Fond Farewell for Dave McLain

Dave McLain with group from Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary

For almost 30 years, Dave McLain has been involved with our conservation work at Arcadia and around the Valley. First, he was a regular volunteer, then Property Manager, then Conservation Caretaker. His radio name for summer camp was Mussel Man because he took campers out on the Mill River in search of freshwater mussels, a specialty of his after studying them in graduate school. 

His ecological knowledge is extensive to say the least. Over his years here, he inventoried and monitored a wide range of wildlife including birds, frogs, salamanders, dragonflies, butterflies, mussels, and rare plants. He discovered a number of populations of rare species at Arcadia that had never been documented. He also helped manage the diverse habitat that supports the incredible biodiversity found at Arcadia, including grasslands and shrublands so important to many bird species. 

For years, he led Arcadia’s volunteers on Saturday mornings working to monitor wildlife and remove invasive plant species. He also taught adult education programs on a range of topics including birds and insect sounds. To campers, volunteers, visitors going for a walk, Dave has been a tremendous resource for connecting people to the natural world and educating them about its wonders. 

We are grateful for his decades of ecological work at Arcadia and wish him well.