FREEPORT – Andy Hutchinson, park manager at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, and interpretive ranger Michael Frey, whose job it is to educate people about the park, will present a program on the history of this Freeport jewel on Wednesday, June 4, at the Freeport Community Library.

Armed with documents, news articles and photographs, Hutchinson and Frey will guide library guests through the history of the park since 1969, when Lawrence and Eleanor Smith gifted the 200-plus acres to the town.

“We start with the acquisition,” Hutchinson said. “That was really important to providing open spaces to the people of Freeport, and to the people of the state of Maine.”

Hutchinson said that the Smiths wanted people to have the opportunity to learn about nature.

“Environmental education was very important to them,” he said. “They also established a trust to make sure that it was offered into perpetuity.”

Hutchinson said that he, Frey and other park staffers lead nature walks for school groups and others who make reservations. Upwards of 3,000 school children a year take field trips to Wolfe’s Neck Woods, he said.

Hutchinson said that he and Frey will go over as much history as they can.

Frey, who grew up in Freeport, said his position was created some years ago from a trust to do nature programming. He is available on weekends and holidays at 2 p.m., and daily between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

“We want to educate people about nature, to raise the awareness of what’s around us and to encourage respect,” Frey said. “The park is a good mechanism for that.”

Frey said that he also will speak about hemlock woody adelgid, an invasive species that is killing hemlocks.

“We try to get people aware of things like that,” he said.

A slide show will accompany the presentation.

In 1997, a picnic shelter that seats 60 people was built, which people can reserve.

“Not a lot has changed in the park, which is kind of nice,” Hutchinson said. “That’s been the biggest change. It’s a low-key kind of park with limited recreation.”

Michael Frey, left, and Andy Hutchinson will make a presentation on the history of Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park on June 4 at the Freeport Community Library. 

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