In order to promote sustainable options for disposal of trees following the holidays, ecomaine, the Portland-based recycling and waste management firm, has published an online tool with solutions and locations for tree drop-off or collection.

The recycling and waste management firm, ecomaine, has published an online tool with solutions and locations for tree drop-off or collection. Courtesy photo

“We wanted to come up with a way to stick to the solid waste hierarchy and keep more waste out of Maine landfills,” said Katrina Bussiere-Venhuizen, one of ecomaine’s senior environmental educators, in a Dec. 16 email. “A lot of times, trees are thrown away or burned, when they could be used again as wood chips or compost. We hope this tool is a win-win for residents and sustainability in Maine.”

Bussiere-Venhuizen is credited with establishing the tool. The sustainable holiday tree disposal map and list can be found at

The tool is focused on providing information about places in ecomaine’s more than 65 member communities for residents to bring their tree and ensure it is chipped, mulched, or composted – or, in a small number of instances, municipalities that offer curbside collection for trees.

“While this list is not comprehensive for the entire state, it is a good start to promote readily-available sustainable endings for a fairly common waste item at this time of year,” said Matt Grondin, ecomaine communications manager, in an email. “We welcome additions to the database, to continue to increase similar solutions for this year and years to come.”

Parish announces Christmas schedule


St. John Paul II Parish, comprised of Catholic churches in South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough, will offer the following Christmas Masses:

Christmas Eve – Dec. 24
4 p.m. and 7 p.m., Holy Cross in South Portland; 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., St. Bartholomew in Cape Elizabeth; and 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m., midnight, St. Maximilian Kolbe in Scarborough.
Christmas morning – Dec. 25
10 a.m., Holy Cross in South Portland; 9 a.m., St. Bartholomew in Cape Elizabeth; 8 a.m., St. Maximilian Kolbe in Scarborough.

South Portland Land Trust celebrates 2021 accomplishments and elects officers

The South Portland Land Trust held its annual meeting on Dec. 9, highlighting the organization’s accomplishments and recognizing the many board members and volunteers who contributed to a successful 2021. The land trust also elected its executive board.

Alex Redfield was elected president; Charles “Tex” Haeuser, vice president; Susan Osborne, treasurer; and Andrea McCall, secretary.

In a year filled with special challenges due to the pandemic, South Portland Land Trust’s accomplishments included:


• Obtaining the final easements to build the Clark’s Pond Trail as a loop in the spring.

• Donating 2,000 northern white cedar seedlings.

• Collaborating with the city of South Portland to build the Armory Trail.

• Creating a new Business Partners Program.

• Spearheading the annual citywide Earth Day cleanup; working with the city on weekly Earth Month programs.

• Leading volunteer trail work projects on National Trails Day and National Public Lands Day, included building 15 bog bridges for the South Branch.


• Raising a record $25,000 in grants for capacity building and “equity in conservation” training.

• Awarding a scholarship to South Portland High School senior Courtney Lee for her environmental stewardship.

• Supervising South Portland High School student Skyler Morse for an Eagle Scout project to plant 275 cedar seedlings to create buffering for the Clark’s Pond Trail.

Outgoing President Richard Rottkov announced the land trust’s Volunteer of the Year, Andrew Gagnon, who committed numerous hours and work as steward for the Clark’s Pond Trail.

“South Portland Land Trust exists to make our natural resources available for all to enjoy, largely thanks to the volunteers like Andy, who build, maintain and protect our open spaces,” said Rottkov in an email. “Year round, he generously devoted countless hours to our trails through active maintenance efforts and organized work days. We are so grateful.”

The annual meeting also featured a special presentation on “Re-Wilding Your Yard and Land,” by Anna Fialkov, program manager of The Wild Seed Project. The presentation focused on how to transform home lawns and gardens into layers of native plants. The emphasis was on how to adopt mindful practices that benefit wildlife and the planet’s health, and planting native trees that support local food webs.

For more information or to volunteer, visit

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