The 23rd edition Kennebunk Free Library Road Race will be run virtually between July 10-31. Registration is open at https://kennebunklibrary.org/roadrace.asp. Kevin A. Byron photo

The 23rd Edition Kennebunk Free Library Road Race began July 10. It is only the start because this year the library is holding a virtual event. Participants can register and run or walk anytime between July 10 and July 31 on the 5K course of their choice. Prizes are available for many categories, including a few new ones. Participants can submit their finish times online.

Beginning July 11, those registered can stop by the library on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 4:45 p.m. to pick up goodie bags. Follow the signs and instructions for the curbside service. Goodie bags are for the first 200 registrants. Those who are not among the first 200 to register, can still get a free T-shirt, while supplies last.

This year, in lieu of raffles, the library will hold an online auction.

For links to registration, the auction and more information, visit https://kennebunklibrary.org/roadrace.asp.

Kennebunk Free Library is located at 112 Main St., in Kennebunk. For more information, call 207-985-2173.

Land trust helping restore American chestnut

Kennebunk Land Trust Executive Director Sarah Stanley visited University of New England Environmental Studies Department professor, Tom Klak, and his lab this winter to learn about his team’s efforts to restore the American chestnut.

The American chestnut was all but obliterated during the last century by an accidentally imported fungal blight that is still killing the few remaining trees today. The blight has wiped out an estimated four billion chestnuts throughout the eastern United States from Maine to Alabama.

Klak’s lab has partnered with State University of New York, American Chestnut Foundation and others to speed breed blight-tolerant American chestnut seedlings in his lab and greenhouse, helping them produce pollen much faster than it would take if they grew naturally. For the first time this summer, this blight-tolerant pollen will fertilize some wild American chestnuts in Maine.

Sarah Stanley, Kennebunk Land Trust director, visits Tom Klak’s lab, earlier this year. The land trust and University of New England are working together in an effort to restore the American chestnut tree in the area. Courtesy photo

Klak has collaborated with Kennebunk Land Trust and others to establish sites for planting seedlings from the few remaining wild American chestnut mother trees.

Klak said, if the seedlings help restore the American chestnut, it will be the greatest comeback of any tree species in North American history. American chestnuts thrive in sunny locations and therefore, the land trust selected For All Forever, a 111-acre property with two large meadows, as an ideal site for planting.

Earlier this summer, Kennebunk Land Trust stewardship volunteers and Klak planted three seedlings from genetically-diverse mother trees in the upper meadow. The land trust’s summer intern, Caitlin Wiseman, will monitor the trees during her internship. The project emphasizes the value and importance of community conservation. By working together with diverse partners, rather than in silos, communities can achieve more and reach common goals.

Local students named to UMaine dean’s list

The University of Maine recognized 4,201 students for achieving dean’s list honors in the spring 2020 semester. Local students recognized were:

Arundel: Scott Benson, Cam Bilodeau, Tanner Collard, Lauren Dickson, Katie Dube and Michael Laverriere. Kennebunk: Nick Barry, Sierra Dorney, Colby Ellis, Grace Howard, James Jarvis, Haloye Johnson, Hannah Johnson, Ashley Kayser, Colleen Keegan, Jesse Lacasse, Cameron Ledesma, Amelia Nelson, Shannon O’Toole, Joseph Parent, Katy Ross, Brennan Schatzabel, Casey Schatzabel, Carter Stevens, Conor Stevens, Osiris Thomas, Julia Towne and Sam Vaccaro. Kennebunkport: Michael Conrad, Miles Eaton, Tyler Smith and Alexander Sullivan.

Interlibrary loans are back

Kennebunk Freee Library announced that the interlibrary loan program is back. As of Monday, July 13, patrons can begin requesting other libraries’ items through the Minerva catalog.

Requesting from MaineCat, which includes Portland Public Library and the University of Maine System, will be available about July 20. Patrons can access the catalog through the Kennebunk Free Library website (kennebunklibrary.org) or at https://minerva.maine.edu/.

There are a few things to keep in mind as the loan program begins:

· Most items in the Minerva catalog will be available, but there are a few libraries that are not yet open for curbside. Their items will not be available via request.

· We will be quarantining items from other libraries for 72 hours before they go on the hold shelf, so requested items will be listed as in transit a little longer than usual.

· There are a huge number of holds that have been sitting in the system since March. It may take a while for Maine libraries to work together to clear the backlog. The library appreciates patience in the first week or two as it gets things back on track. For more information or questions regarding hold times, contact the library at 985-2173 or email [email protected]

· Items owned by Kennebunk Free Library will continue to be checked out for four weeks but items that borrowed from other libraries will check out for three weeks so items checked out at the same time may have different due dates. Those with questions about due dates can log into their accounts to view checked out items or call the library.

The Kennebunk Free Library is located at 112 Main St. in Kennebunk. For more information, call 207-985-2173 or email [email protected]