Arboretum plans program for middle-schoolers

The Viles Arboretum will offer a new after-school program for middle school students who wish to further their interest in the natural world.

Space is limited to the first 10 students who register. The five Wednesday sessions will take place from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. (drop-off between 3:30 and 4 p.m.) on Jan. 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2 and 9.

Classes will include time outdoors. Each student will receive a journal and writing in it will be an integral part of the learning process. Most classes will also involve a hands-on project.

To learn more or to register, call 626-7989 or e-mail [email protected] and put “Wild Adventures” in the subject line.

For more information about the arboretum, go online to


Club offers outings, ways to learn about Maine trees

Maine residents and visitors can learn more about one of our state’s greatest resources by joining the Maine Tree Club, an educational project for people of all ages, offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the Maine Forest Service and the Viles Arboretum.

The annual fee is $20 per person, $30 per couple, $35 per family and $65 per group of up to 15.

A limited number of Maine Tree Club scholarships are available for those in need. There is no deadline for registration.

Request a free informational brochure by calling 800-287-1471 or e-mailing [email protected]

The Maine Tree Club is planning at least three outings around the state in 2011 to get people into the woods for hands-on learning and enjoyment. The outings, guided by experts, are planned for the mountains and coastal regions as well as other parts of Maine.

Through these outings and twice-monthly fact sheets featuring different Maine tree species, club members will learn to recognize 50 types of trees over a period of two years and gain skills that can be applied in their own yards and communities.

Participants receive additional materials, including a 10X hand lens for close-up viewing of tree parts, a notebook for the tree species fact sheets, a pocket guide to Maine trees and several practical guides to tree growth and care.


Mushers may register for Feb. 5 wilderness races

The sixth annual Wilderness Sled Dog Race will take place Feb. 5 on the frozen waters and forested mountain trails of the Moosehead Lake region.

One of only three long-distance races in New England, the Wilderness Race offers mushers and their canine athletes a chance to compete on a challenging 100-mile course that begins and ends in Greenville.

A 30-mile race is also held, and fun activities for spectators and families are scheduled throughout the day.

Spectators come to the 9 a.m. start at the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife headquarters to witness the excitement of dog teams eager to run. Start time for the 30-mile race follows at 11 a.m.

Long after darkness falls, even the last 100-mile team to reach the finish will be greeted by a welcoming bonfire and supporters in Greenville.

The Wilderness Race draws teams from all over the U.S. and Canada as well as local competitors.

The event is organized by the Wilderness Sled Dog Racing Association, a nonprofit.

For more information, go online to or to the Facebook page, e-mail [email protected] or call Bethany at the Greenville Town Office at 695-2421.


Organizations get together for activities this winter

Hidden Valley Nature Center is collaborating with two local organizations in planning winter outdoor events. Two family events will be led by Lynne Flaccus of Chewonki Foundation.

She will lead an exploration of the Hidden Valley Nature Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 23. At the same time on Feb. 13, she will guide participants in tracking animals and birds at Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association’s Trout Brook. Snowshoes are recommended.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 5, join the Natural Resources Council of Maine and Hidden Valley staff, members and friends for a day of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

A $5 donation is recommended for all events. Hidden Valley also has snowshoes available.

Hidden Valley Nature Center is a community-based and supported non-profit organization with 800 acres of diverse habitat, many small ponds and vernal pools, 25 miles of trails and a range of low-impact sustainable forestry projects.

Visit, call 586-6752, or contact [email protected] for more information.