Teachers invited to learn about migratory birds

Thanks to a grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund in support of educating teachers and students about migratory birds and their conservation, Viles Arboretum is offering a free workshop for teachers on April 8.

The workshop, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., is designed to help teachers achieve their own level of proficiency in the subject of migratory birds, their ecology and conservation. It will be taught by professional instructors, including Lisa Kane from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Mark DesMeules, ecologist and executive director of the arboretum.

A minimum of 15 participants is required to run the workshop, so registrations will be needed no later than the end of March.

Each teacher will receive a copy of the Flying Wild curriculum guide and will learn to use it with students.

There will be a field exercise on observation techniques and other ways to make the learning experience more interesting.

Teachers are encouraged to take a professional day for the workshop Lunch will be provided.

Register by calling Mark DesMeules at 626-7989 or e-mail him at [email protected] with Flying Wild Workshop in the subject line.


Town nominated in contest held by fishing network

Casco has been nominated as the best place to fish in the United States as part of World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town contest.

The fishing network is conducting the nationwide contest and will award a $25,000 prize and more to the winning community.

Residents can support the nomination by adding photos, videos and essays at

The winning town will also receive a tourism boost when it is featured on WFN.

The nomination period lasts until April 8, then the first round of public voting will be open from April 12 to May 3.

The 20 finalistswill advance to the final round of voting from May 10 to 31. The results will be announced in June at a ceremony in the winning community emceed by Mariko Izumi of WFN.


Chewonki takes applications for April vacation camp

The Chewonki Foundation is taking enrollments for Spring Vacation Camp, offering indoor and outdoor activities for kids during school vacation.

Programs will be offered April 18 to 22 on Chewonki’s 400-acre campus and in its Center for Environmental Education. Activities are geared for children in grades 1 through 8, and include climbing on the indoor ropes course, seeing live animal presentations and exploring nature.

All programs are instructed by Chewonki’s experienced naturalists and teachers. Enrollment is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register or for more information, go to, e-mail [email protected] or call 882-7323.


Audubon offers scholarships to two summer camps

Merrymeeting Audubon Society, a chapter of Maine Audubon, is offering scholarships to two Maine environmental education camps for summer 2011.

Both camps are residential, and full and half scholarships are available.

Applicants submit essays with a completed application form, available in schools or by calling the numbers listed below.

Children now in grades 3 through 5 may apply for Tanglewood 4-H Camp in Lincolnville. Tanglewood provides traditional camp activities and environmental education on woods and wildlife. Campers select a six-day session from late June to mid-August. For information, call 729-3343 or 442-8195.

Students who will be ages 10-15 by August may apply to Bryant Pond 4H Camp (formerly Maine Conservation School) in Bryant Pond. Sessions include Natural Explorer, which focuses on outdoor recreation and forest ecology, Conservation Camp for students interested in outdoor recreation skills and outdoor ethics, and Primitive Skills, which focuses on advanced wilderness skills. For information, call 729-9650.

Final applications, including essays, must be received by April 15.

These scholarships are funded by the Merrymeeting Audubon Chapter and by organizations and individuals who contribute as co-sponsors.

Community members wishing to contribute to the scholarship fund or learn about other activities of the Merrymeeting Audubon Society, may call the chapter president, Ted Allen, at 729-8661.


Saddleback plans to keep running lifts into May

Saddleback Ski Resort is extending its ski season into May by running lifts on the weekends as long as conditions hold.

The resort will remain open daily through April 3.

This season Saddleback has gotten 227 inches so far.

With a 2,000-foot vertical drop and a top elevation of 4,120 feet, the resort often has snow into May.