Members of the Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse are busy preparing for another banner year at historic Rockland Breakwater and Owls Head lighthouses.

In preparation for the upcoming season, the Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse held its annual membership meeting March 3. The meeting provided the public a look back at the preservation milestones achieved in recent years. Attendees also learned about what new and exciting things are on tap for this year.

During the meeting, Mark DeMichele of Maine Coast Construction presented a program on the unique challenges associated with restoring Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse’s boathouse in 2009, while videographer Craig Mathieson of Owls Head offered a sneak peak of his forthcoming DVD documentary about the lighthouse and its history.

Finally, Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse Executive Committee member Brian Trask provided attendees with an update on the restoration of an historic peapod boat that has come into the possession of the nonprofit group.

Trask explained that John MacDonald of Windham donated a wooden peapod to Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse last fall. The peapod, which traces its roots back to Mount Desert Light Station, is presently undergoing a full restoration thanks to the generosity of The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, which is partnering with Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse on the project. The peapod will eventually be on exhibit inside the boathouse at the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.

In other news from the meeting, Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse held its annual elections of the group, which is a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation.

The Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse officers for 2010 are Eric Davis, chairman; Brian Trask, vice-chairman; Sally Cran, treasurer; and Laura Davis, secretary. The executive committee also includes Dot Black, Sandy Clement and Tricia Dixon.

The Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse also announced that the fourth annual Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge, which is sponsored by the group, will be held June 26-27, with more information to be released on the fun-filled event later in the spring.

In addition to the participating lighthouses and other lighthouse-related sites (Pemaquid Point, Marshall Point, Owls Head, Rockland Breakwater, Grindle Point, Fort Point and Dice Head lights, as well as the Maine Lighthouse Museum and U.S. Coast Guard cutter Tackle), the 2010 Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge will feature a new Friday evening sunset cruise to see five more lighthouses by water.

The cruise aboard the P/V Elizabeth Ann, which is also sponsored by Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, will occur June 25. The cruise will depart from the Monhegan Boat Line in Port Clyde. Cruise patrons will be treated to water views of White Head, Two Bush, Tenants Harbor on Southern Island, Franklin Island and Monhegan lighthouses, as well as Marshall Point.

The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse will open to the public for tours on Memorial Day weekend, and remain open on weekends through Columbus Day as well as holidays and special event days. Owls Head Light, which also falls under the auspices of Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, will be open to the public for touring during the same time period. However, due to renovations to the tower that will be occurring beginning this spring, the open house schedule will be determined at a late date. Last year, there were more than 19,000 visitors to the two light stations.

To learn more about the activities and events of the Rockland Breakwater and Owls Head lighthouses, or how to help by volunteering, visit rocklandlighthouse.com or call Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse at 542-7574.

The public is invited to attend the next monthly meeting of the Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse on March 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rockland Yacht Club in Harbor Park in Rockland.