Tri-Town Notes: June 8

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Freeport Civil War veteran to be honored

The grave of a Civil War veteran was found at the Woodlawn Cemetery on West Street, according to Joyce Clarkson of the Freeport American Legion, who has been leading an effort to clean and repair headstones of local veterans. The Legion has received a military headstone for the soldier, who will get the recognition he deserves.

On at 1:45 p.m. Saturday, June 10, the American Legion will be hosting the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Ladies Auxiliary as they conduct a dedication ceremony for the headstone. Members of the 3rd Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment will also be present. The public is invited.

The 3rd Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment was mustered in at Augusta for three years’ service on June 4, 1861, and mustered out June 28, 1864. Veterans who had re-enlisted and those recruits still liable to serve were transferred to the 17th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Today, Company A, 3rd Maine Regiment Volunteer Infantry is a nonprofit educational and living history organization dedicated to preserving the memory of Maine’s role in the American Civil War. Through living history events, battle reenactments, and educational presentations it works to teach others about what life was like for Maine soldiers and civilians during the years 1861-65. The organization strives to serve as a living memorial to all who gave their lives during the War, and, in doing so, gave us these United States of America.

Members portray Company A of the 3rd Maine, a regiment recruited early in the War from several communities of Maine’s Kennebec River Valley. The regiment was therefore known as the “Kennebec Regiment.” Company A was formed from a Bath militia unit called the Bath City Grays, which mustered into federal service June 4, 1861. Shortly before traveling to Virginia and their first encounter with Confederate troops at the Manassas railroad junction, Company A exchanged their gray militia uniforms for federal blue. During the next three years the 3rd Maine participated in most of the major campaigns in Virginia and Pennsylvania, operating as part of the Army of the Potomac. By the time it mustered out of service on June 28, 1864, around 1,600 men had served in the regiment. Of those, 134 had been killed or mortally wounded in battle, 149 had died of disease, and 33 had been incarcerated in Confederate prisons. A great many more were discharged prior to the end of their term of service because of serious wounds or chronic illness. Learn more about the history of the 3rd Maine by visiting thirdmaine.org.

Durham Warriors Survival Challenge

The Durham Warriors Survival Challenge will be held June 23 – 25 with a full day of challenges with names such as Fish Toss (first tribe to toss their fish down the line and fill their bin wins gets to keep their fish); Rolling Right Along, when a rolling cart is assembled before heading out onto the course and into the water to collect puzzle pieces; and Amazing where members make their way through a maze searching for keys needed to unlock puzzle pieces. The past two years have had six former “Survivor” contestants participate. Bob Crowley, Maine’s own “Survivor” winner, is a ring leader for the games. The Challenge raises money to support Durham Warriors Project Inc., a nonprofit which covers the costs for disabled veterans, active duty military and their families, and other nonprofits to stay at Maine Forest Yurts in Durham. Donations are accepted during the event or online at DurhamWarriors.org or MaineForestYurts.com.

The games are held at the yurts property on Runaround Pond, which is two shallow, river-like tributaries approximately 2 miles long.  There will be concessions available for spectators from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., roughly the time the games are held.

The Durham Warriors Survival Challenge came from a discussion between Crowley and John Vataha in the summer of 2012. Vataha had been considering a Survivor-themed challenge but did not have a location to hold an event of that size. Crowley had 100 acres of property in Maine and had already had founded the Durham Warriors Project. Putting together a challenge on Crowley’s property that benefited the project was a natural fit.

After much planning and preparation, the DWSC 2013 challenge sites took shape and 18 participants were recruited. A team of volunteers gathered to test out the challenges. In September 2013, after more than a year of planning the first Challenge was held and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

DWSC 2014 took place in August 2014, and took the competition to another level. A small army of volunteers made it possible to build and set up more elaborate challenges and tend to the logistics of the game. In addition, the public was encouraged to come and watch the competition, to which more than 125 spectators responded. For more information, go to MaineForestYurts.com.

Saturday to Sundae 5K Scholarship Fund Run

The annual Saturday to Sundae 5K on Saturday, June 10 will begin with a 9 a.m. shotgun start at the Freeport Community Center. The race loop begins and ends at the Freeport Community Center, located at 53 Depot St. in Freeport. Following the race all participants will have the opportunity to make their own ice cream sundae. There will be awards to the top finisher in each age category.

Register early at http://bit.ly/2qXXfWb. Race day registration begins at 8 a.m. on June 10 and is $30 per person. The first 100 registrants will receive an aluminum water bottle.

The race is a fundraiser for youth and teen programs in Durham, Freeport and Pownal through RSU5 Community Programs.

Election Information

At the June 13 elections, voters will see the Regional School Unit 5 school budget referendum, a state referendum question and, municipal elections. Durham elections are held at the Durham Community School from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The polling location in Pownal is Mallett Hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. In Freeport, elections will be held at the Freeport High School gym, also 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information and to see sample ballots, check the town websites.

Volunteers needed to serve for summer lunch program

Volunteers are needed Monday through Friday to prepare, deliver, serve and monitor lunches being served weekdays to area children at local sites.

Summer vacation means many things to children in the Freeport area, including sunshine, freedom, outdoor play and family outings. For a growing number of kids the end of school also means an end to the school lunch program, which provides a nutritious meal they can depend on each day. To ensure local kids are provided for, Freeport Community Services will be running the Summer Free Lunch for Kids program June 26 to Sept. 1, with the exception of July 4.

If interested in helping, contact volunteer coordinator Debbie Daggett at 865-3985, ext. 206, or email ddaggett@fcsmaine.org.

Free, healthy lunches for all children will be served 11:30 a.m-noon Monday through Friday at the following locations: Freeport Community Center, the Village View Apartments Community Room, Mast Landing School, and Wildwood Acres on Elm Street. There are no income or residency requirements; all youth under the age of 19 are welcome. For more information, call Sarah Lundin at 865-3985, ext. 205.

FCL Children’s Room ready for summer 

Freeport Community Library Children’s Room is hosting several programs for this summer, with activities for readers 14 and younger. Some upcoming events include:

Tuesday is Story Time for Infants and Toddlers from 10-10:15 a.m. and 10:15-10:30 a.m. Story Time for Preschoolers is 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Dog Story Time will be happening throughout the summer when therapy dogs will be at the library for children to read to and pet. Stop by the Children’s Desk for dates and times.

Children’s Yoga with Elizabeth is planned for Tuesdays at 10:30 on June 6, July 11 and Aug. 1 for an energy-filled yoga class for toddlers and preschoolers.

Children’s Summer Reading Program sign-ups start June 19 for all readers 14 and under. The Summer Reading Program has totally awesome books, great prizes, and crafts to make. Stop by or call the Children’s Desk to sign up or to get more information.

‘Last of the Wild Rivers’ topic of talk at L.L. Bean

Today only one tributary within the Ottawa River watershed remains unsettled, undammed and wild. The Dumoine River is the “Last of the Wild Rivers.”

Through anecdotes and historic and current images Wally Schaber will bring the Dumoine story to life Friday, June 9, at 7 p.m. at the L.L.Bean Camping Atrium in Freeport.

For half a century Schaber has been guiding canoeists down Canada’s wild rivers and gathering stories about the Dumoine watershed. He has woven these together with the early history of Canada into a colorful, informative book and presentation that describes history the way it should have been done in school. The Canadian-American border was much more open 150 years ago. Many New England pioneers and entrepreneurs helped in the settlement of the Ottawa Valley. The Dumoine River became a favorite playground for American hunters, fishing people and canoeists in the 1900s and remains so today. Schaber in his book and presentation brings to life the history of the Dumoine and the fight to preserve it as a wild river.

Impact of grant exceeds expectations at Wolfe’s Neck 

Wolfe’s Neck Farm has announced the first-year impact of its 2016 Harvard Pilgrim Foundation Healthy Food Fund grant. The $150,000 grant is distributed over three years and has already helped Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s Teen Agriculture: Growing Farmers, Feeding Maine program increase production by over 45 percent. The program grows all of the farm’s fruits and vegetables and distributes fresh, local produce to area food pantries.

A recent Good Shepherd Food Bank survey revealed that 56 percent of its clients throughout Maine confront the choice between buying food and paying for heating in the winter. Traditionally, winter offerings are heavily focused on canned or packaged food. In response, the Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s Teen Ag program constructed a year-round growing infrastructure, and harvested 700 pounds of kale, spinach, and carrots for area food pantries from November 2016 through April 2017. Said Piper Dumont, WNF’s education director, “In addition to year-round growing, we’ve increased our overall production and can better serve our on-site outlets (farm stand, Community Supported Agriculture, and our Farm Cafe), while increasing our contributions to local food pantries.”

The program also offers CSA shares at a substantially reduced price for SNAP recipients, and their farm stand accepts EBT cards (formerly food stamps). 

Open free to the public year-round, the farm encourages visitors to traverse its miles of hiking trails, meet the livestock, explore the gardens and enjoy the open space.

Created in 1980, The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim’s mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities they serve. For more information, visit harvardpilgrim.org/foundation and wolfesneckfarm.org.

The Greatest River Trip in the World

“The Greatest River Trip in the World – Paddling the Nahanni in Canada’s North West Territories with Ben Pearson,” is the Saturday, June 10 7 p.m. lecture at the L.L. Bean Camping Atrium. In July 2016, Ben and his wife Sandy joined friends for an 18-day paddling adventure on the Nahanni River in the North-West Territories. Described as the “Greatest river trip in the world,” by Bill Mason, the renowned author of the Path of the Paddle series. The Nahanni, a World Heritage site, features Virginia Falls, or Nailicho, where the river plunges into a thunderous plume 295 feet, nearly twice the drop of Niagara Falls. It is followed by four spectacular canyons reaching 3,300 feet in depth. Add in hot springs, massive gravel bars, amazing side hikes, bears and buffalo and it’s clear why this spectacular river is in every serious paddler’s dreams.

Pearson will answer questions about the logistics of doing any wilderness canoe trip, but especially the classics here in Maine: the St. John, Allagash, West Branch of the Penobscot, St. Croix, and Moose. Pearson is a former Maine Guide and U.S. National Whitewater Canoe Champion. This year he will be finishing a 30-year quest of sea kayaking a 3,000-mile loop around the entire Northeast.

L.L.Bean Paddlesports Event

The Paddlesports Event at L.L. Bean makes for an exciting and informative weekend Friday-Sunday, June 9-11. All events are free and include clinics and demos by experts from L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools and top paddling brands. On Friday, June 9, the schedule starts at 10 a.m., with paddleboard testing, and continues at 12:30 p.m. with a pedal power kayak demo and at 3 p.m. with Greenland kayaking techniques. At 4 p.m., check out the SUP yoga demo. Finish out Friday at 5 p.m. with the fishing kayak demo.

On Saturday and Sunday at the Demo Pool, start off the day at 9 a.m. with basic kayaking strokes and proceed through demonstrations of boat identification and safety – U.S. Coast Guard (Saturday only), proper paddling technique with fitness “Responsible Waterway Usage”- U.S. Coast Guard (Saturday only). At 1 p.m., enjoy a kayak rolling demo.

The Maine Voluntary Lake Monitoring Project will be on campus at 11:45 a.m. with “How to Identify Invasive Plants: Friend or Foe.” At noon, learn skills and drills: Including Footwork, Bodywork and Paddlework. At 1 p.m., SUP yoga demo will return along with MVLMP at 1:45 p.m. Look at the brochure for other events that will occur through 6 p.m.

Send community notes from Freeport, Pownal and Durham to tritownnotes@gmail.com.

The American Legion Post in Freeport will be hosting the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Ladies Auxiliary when they conduct a dedication ceremony for a headstone marking a Civil War veteran’s grave June 10. Also attending will be members of the 3rd Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, veterans of which are shown here during the Civil War.

Bob Crowley snuffs the torch at the conclusion of a previous Durham Warriors Survival Challenge. This year the event will be held June 23 – 25

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