New accessible-design trail and picnic area opens in Acton
Three Rivers Land Trust will celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday with an opening event and speaker, to be held in conjunction with the completion of the Goat Hill Trail and summit, an accessible-design project many years in the works.
Located at 1205 H Road, Goat Hill Trail is a 0.7-mile route that winds its way to a scenic summit and picnic area overlooking Romac Orchard, with views of local lakes and the White Mountains. The trail has been designed to meet Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility standards for the main trail and picnic area. The land is owned by the town, which has partnered with Three Rivers to construct and maintain the trail.
Enock Glidden, a well-known speaker, advocate and adventurer who has been spurring the creation of more accessible spaces across Maine, will join TRLT staff, volunteers and donors at the summit to celebrate the official opening of the trail. Attendees will gather at the summit at 2 p.m. to make the ascent at their own pace. All are welcome to attend.
Land trust staff and board members will be available at the trailhead to welcome attendees and answer questions, and to lend a hand along the trail if needed. Parking will be limited, and most parking spots at the trailhead will be reserved for those who need accessible parking. Additional parking is available at Romac Orchards, a short walk from Goat Hill.
The trail will be an easy path for most, but it does run uphill. Due to the elevation gain, some visitors using mobility equipment may find it challenging, even though it meets outdoor trail accessibility standards.
For essential trail details or more information contact, call Cheri at 358-9695 or go to

Applications open to apply for WinterKids to Grants to Maine organizations through the Downhill 24 Outdoor Fund
WinterKids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to getting kids outside and active during the winter season, will begin accepting applications June 5 for its WinterKids Downhill 24 Outdoor Fund. In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the WinterKids Downhill 24 event in 2022, WinterKids established this fund to expand its efforts to promote outdoor activities among children across Maine.
The fund aims to eliminate the barriers preventing children from participating in healthy outdoor activities, such as limited access to proper equipment, clothing and transportation. In its inaugural year, the fund granted a total of $25,000 to four organizations, aiding them in their mission to facilitate outdoor engagement for youth. Noble Middle School of Berwick received $10,000, and the Bruce M. Whittier Middle School of Poland, Auburn Middle School and Mount Abram Regional High School of Salem each received $5,000.
This year, a total of $50,000 will be granted to 10 deserving organizations. These grants will empower organizations within three distinct categories to enhance their efforts in getting children outside and active more frequently. The winning organizations in each category – 501(c)(3) nonprofits, schools, and public parks and recreation departments – will again be determined through a community vote.
Interested organizations are encouraged to apply through the WinterKids website ( by the June 16 deadline. Winners will be announced July 1.

York County domestic violence resource center announces next stage of grant-funded initiatives
Caring Unlimited, York County’s domestic violence resource center, was recently awarded a multiyear grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women to expand and improve violence prevention services for youth throughout York County – one of just 16 such grants awarded nationwide.
Caring Unlimited, along with grant partner Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine, is set to begin expanded services for youth based on the results of an extensive community needs assessment conducted in the initial planning stage of the multiyear grant.
The new initiatives, including a youth advisory board and youth-focused coordinated community response team, aim to expand youth involvement in the programs and services available to them, improve accessibility of services to marginalized youth, and increase collaboration among youth-serving agencies throughout York County.
“The results of the needs assessment clearly show that while there are strong programs already working in York County, like Caring Unlimited and SARSSM, we can improve services overall by working together and bringing other agencies into our work,” said Amy Genest, Caring Unlimited’s education and prevention program coordinator. “Convening a Coordinated Community Response team made up of youth-serving organizations will enable us to collaborate and better serve youth in our community.”
Caring Unlimited’s Prevention Education program offers youth-focused education throughout York County, as well as community-based education, training, and consultation including professional development and training.
Administrators at youth-serving agencies throughout York County who are interested in learning more may call Amy Genest at 490-3227, ext. 110, or email The published results of the community needs assessment are available at:

6 artists join Art Guild of the Kennebunks
The Art Guild of the Kennebunks recently welcomed six area artists for membership following a juried event held April 22. Those artists, reflecting a variety of media, subject interest and styles, were selected following a review of submitted work judged by a jury of guild’s members.
The new members and their mediums of choice are: Jody Agustadt of Gorham (oil); Kailleigh Archibald of Scarborough (oil and colored pencils); Joseph Cousins of Freeport (acrylic and watercolors); Robert Milaschewski of North Berwick (pen and ink); Deborah Platz of Springvale (acrylic); and Nancy Van Tassel of Lyman (watercolors).

Goats are back to work at Kennebunkport Conservation Trust
The goats have returned for their annual work at the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust. The KCT uses goats from the company Scapegoats as an eco-friendly way to control invasive and nuisance plants on trust properties. The animals eat poison ivy, bittersweet, sumac, Japanese knotweed, Japanese honeysuckle and many more unwanted species.
The Scapegoats herd consists of seven goats that include a mix of Alpines, Oberhaslis, a Lamancha and a Nigerian Dwarf goat. They all vary in size and height to effectively browse the low, hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, as well as the high grounds.
Scapegoats uses an electric fence to surround the perimeter of the area where the goats will feed. The fence keeps the goats in the area while preventing wildlife, including coyotes and stray dogs, from getting in.
Goats graze all day, devouring the vegetation in their path at a rate of about a half-acre per week per 7 goats, and in the process, they leave behind their nutrient-rich manure as a natural ground fertilizer. Goats crush what they eat and in the process destroy any invasive plant seeds they may consume, ensuring that any seeds they may pass will not be viable.
When the goats have done their work, fabric ground covers are placed over the area for a period of time to prevent regrowth.
To learn more, go to or

New Garbage to Garden composting service now available
Gorham has joined the community of Garbage to Garden service areas across Maine in which residents can bring organic waste to a local dropoff site to be used to renew local soil.
Gorham’s dropoff site is located behind Gorham Public Safety at 270 Main St., adjacent to the Gorham Skatepark off Chick Drive.
Compostable items include: vegetables, fruit, citrus, breads, grains, seeds, meat, dairy, bones, shells, coffee grounds and loose tea, leaves, brush (thinner than a pencil) and other inert organic debris not treated with pesticides, napkins and paper towels, and pet hair.
Noncompostable items include plastics and styrofoam, chemicals, metals, glass, pet waste and diapers, and wax and parchment paper.
For more details, go to

AARP Maine seeks Andrus Award for Community Service nominees
AARP Maine is seeking nominations for its 2023 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, which honors individuals 50 and older who share their experience, talent and skills to enrich the lives of others in their community. The annual award is named in honor of Ethel Percy Andrus, who founded AARP in 1958 at age 73.
“Mainers already understand the value of giving back and enhancing their communities,” said Noël Bonam, AARP Maine state director. “In particular, many older Mainers remain actively involved locally, putting to use their experience and wisdom. They realize that volunteerism fulfills this need and the desire to help others. Through this recognition, AARP Maine encourages older adults to use their skills and talents as a way to remain vital, as well as make a difference in their community.”
The screening of nominees will be performed by a panel of AARP staff and volunteers, who will review a range of criteria, including each nominee’s positive impact on their community and the lives of individuals 50 and over.
Nominees for this award must be 50 or older but do not need to be an AARP member or a volunteer with AARP. The achievements, accomplishments or service on which nominations are based must have been performed on a volunteer basis, without pay, and must reflect AARP’s vision and mission. Couples or partners who perform service together are eligible, but teams are not. The recipient must live in Maine, and this is not a posthumous award.
The application deadline is July 15. To learn more, go to

Riding To The Top’s Paxton Abbey honored by the Equus Foundation
Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center has inducted its horse Paxton Abbey into the Equus Foundation’s Horse Stars Hall of Fame, which exists to recognize the contributions of amazing horses by sharing the stories of their athletic and humanitarian feats. The hall of fame was established by the Equus Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation in 2013 to celebrate the extraordinary talent of horses and their powerful bond with people.
Paxton Abbey is one of 11 horses to be inducted in 2023.
Perhaps one of the most famous equine athletes to call Maine her lifelong home, Paxton (or just “Pax” to her close friends) enjoyed a storied career in both eventing and para dressage with her owner/breeder, Mary Jordan. But perhaps her most significant role has been as a healer, first at Carlisle Academy in Lyman and, since 2017, RTT Riding Center at Windham.
A homebred, Paxton is out of Jordan’s event horse, Nut Brown Ale, and by the Hanoverian Pray for Snow. She made her show ring debut at just 3 months old, besting imported warmbloods to win the title of Reserve Best Young Horse at the New England Dressage Association Breed Show. Jordan developed Paxton for the sport of eventing herself, ultimately competing at the American Eventing Championships annually during 2005-2007 and earning the 2007 U.S. Eventing Association Training Level Horse of the Year title. The pair competed through preliminary level, a lifelong goal for Jordan, before retiring from the sport.
In 2002, Jordan was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and suffered several serious physical setbacks during Paxton’s eventing career. Unwilling to give up on her equestrian goals, Jordan became classified as a Grade IV para dressage rider in 2010, and her training with Paxton took on a new focus. The pair competed on the U.S. para dressage team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, just months after debuting in the sport.
Throughout Paxton’s competitive career, particularly as Jordan’s physical health became challenging, she relied on her homebred’s kind, willing and steady temperament to help keep her safe. When it came time for the mare to step down in her workload, Paxton brought those same qualities to her new role as a therapy horse.
Almost immediately upon arriving at RTT, Paxton proved to be a natural fit for the center’s programming.
It is nearly impossible for RTT staff to quantify the impact Paxton has had on its clients. For one young man with autism, Paxton was the mount who showed him he could ride independently. For a woman living with MS like Jordan, Paxton has been both a confidant and a source of hope, helping her to focus on what she can do rather than what she can’t. For several children with complex mental health issues, Paxton has become the mount they connect with most deeply.
“Throughout her career, Paxton has risen to every challenge, be it on the national or international stage of competition, or in serving clients with significant physical and cognitive challenges,” said Sarah Bronson, RTT executive director. “Some horses need their humans to help them stay organized, while other horses are pros at keeping their humans organized. Paxton is definitely the latter!”

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