York County Audubon is seeking an educator or community leader to participate in a one-week program on Hog Island off mid-coast Maine in July 2024. York County Audubon will sponsor one participant who can benefit from the Hog Island experience and use it to teach others. Complete information is available at www.yorkcountyaudubon.org/scholarships and applications are due by March 11.

York County Audubon is seeking an educator or community leader to participate in a one-week program on Hog Island in July. Courtesy photo

The program, titled “Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week,” will run from July 14-19. Program details and descriptions are available at http://hogisland.audubon.org/sharing-nature-educator-s-week. The Audubon scholarship will pay 70 percent of the recipient’s cost for program tuition, room and board.

According to a York County Audubon news release, “since 1936, some of the world’s most well-known and highly respected naturalists have come to Hog Island and inspired thousands to learn about and protect birds and the environment. Roger Tory Peterson was among the first teachers on the 335-acre island. Rachel Carson described her visit to Hog Island in her landmark book, “Silent Spring.” Kenn Kaufman, only 9 years old when he read Peterson’s account of Hog lsland, is now an international authority on birds and nature.”

York County Audubon, according to the press release, “fosters understanding, appreciation, and conservation of the natural world through the education of present and future generations. The Hog Island scholarship is dedicated to June Ficker, bird bander extraordinaire, who shared her love for birds with thousands of York County residents and visitors.”

York County Audubon is a chapter of Maine Audubon.

Kennebunkport Public Health and Graves Library offer C.A.R.E.S


The monthly discussion series with 3 Towns: 1 Community C.A.R.E.S. (Conversation, Advocacy, Resources, Education, Support) continues on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. C.A.R.E.S. meets one Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at Graves Library for a guest speaker presentation, open discussion, and overdose first aid training sponsored by the Kennebunkport Public Health Department. All are welcome.

Valentine Card Station: Patrons are encouraged to visit Graves’ Library’s Valentine Card Making Station beginning Thursday, Feb. 1 through Feb. 14. Participants are invited to visit before Valentine’s Day and make cards. For all ages and supplies will be provided; stamps, cards, ribbons and more.

Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library is located at 18 Maine St., Kennebunkport. For more information, call 207-967-2778 or visit www.graveslibrary.org.

AWS accepting workshop applications

The Animal Welfare Society announced that the application for Animal Care Intensive (ACI) is now open. Animal Care Intensive is a five-day series of workshops for high-school students interested in a career in veterinary medicine. Dan King photo

The Animal Welfare Society announced that the application for Animal Care Intensive (ACI) is now open. Animal Care Intensive is a five-day series of workshops for high-school students interested in a career in veterinary medicine. During the workshop series, students learn from and work directly with professionals and experts including veterinarians from a variety of specialties, licensed veterinary technicians, engineers, exotic animal handlers and laboratory technicians.

According to a Jan. 17 news release, students spend a day at the AWS Community Veterinary Clinic, located on Animal Welfare Society’s campus in West Kennebunk. They will watch veterinarians in action, including completing surgeries, and assist veterinary and animal care technicians with exams and treatments. The program also includes interactive field trips to IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook, Southern Maine Hospital for Small Mammals in Kennebunk and the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals in Windham. On the field trips, students see first-hand how veterinary medicine is practiced in a variety of settings.


“This series of Animal Care Intensive workshops focuses specifically on veterinary medicine and the many ways veterinarians practice,” said Amanda Zimmerman, AWS’ youth programs coordinator, who is overseeing the program’s curriculum. “Students watch and support the veterinarians in a variety of tasks, and experience first-hand what a career in veterinary medicine entails. This experience can help inform their interests and academic pursuits in the future.”

Members of the Maine-based New England Fishermen Stewardship Association met with Sen. Susan Collins to discuss disaster relief funding for the damages caused by the recent storms along the coast of Maine. According to a Jan. 16 press release, “New England Fishermen’s Stewardship Association is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization committed to uniting Americans in the fight to preserve what could be the last wild frontier-the ocean, where fresh, wild, protein-rich, American seafood that nourishes our nation is harvested. We’re an alliance of the wild harvesters of the waters off of New England, dedicated to educating the public about how best to manage our seafood resources through sound science and best practices of conservation used by fishermen, with a view toward economic well-being, ecosystem sustainability, and US food security.” For more information, visit www.nefishermen.org/. Courtesy photo

Animal Care Intensive is the only program of its kind in the area for high-school students to engage directly with veterinary professionals. The program runs Monday, Feb. 19 to Friday, Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Animal Welfare Society in West Kennebunk. Tuition is $400. Interested students should submit an application and accompanying essay by Feb. 9.

For more information and the application, visit https://animalwelfaresociety.org/youth/animal-care-intensive/.

Community building grants available

Nonprofit organizations in York County may be eligible for grants from the Maine Community Foundation’s (MaineCF) Community Building Grant Program.

The grant program, according to a news release, “invests in local projects and organizations that help build strong communities. In 2023, eight York County nonprofit organizations were awarded grants totaling $65,500. Donors with advised funds at MaineCF awarded three additional grants totaling $21,000.”


The Community Building Grant Program supports projects and organizations that invest in people, engage with the people served, and strengthen community resources. Applicants must identify how the organization or project invests in people’s skills, knowledge and/or well-being. They will also be asked to explain how they engage the people served in the design, delivery and/or evaluation of the work. The grantmaking committees are also interested to learn which community resources are being strengthened.

Last year’s grant recipients:

Engine, to engage artists, makers, youth and community members in diverse creative expression.
Kennebunkport Heritage Housing Trust, to secure land and begin development of its next affordable housing neighborhood.
Saco Meals Program, to strengthen and grow its community meals program that addresses food insecurity and isolation.

For a full list of 2023 Community Building grants by county, visit www.mainecf.org/recentgrants.

The Community Building Grant Program, according to the organization, is MaineCF’s largest grant program. It is one of the only grant programs in the state that supports a broad range of interest areas, including arts, education, environment, economic development and human services. The grant program offers two types of funding: project grants and general support. Project grants are only available to larger organizations for new projects. General support grants are geared toward smaller organizations and this flexible funding may support new, expanding or ongoing programs as well as operational needs.

For more information about Community Building Grant Program qualifications and the application process, visit www.mainecf.org/communitybuilding.


Astronomy club schedules presentation

The Astronomical Society of Northern New England’s next Meeting will be on Friday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m. at The New School, 38 York St., Kennebunk. A business meeting, also open to the public, commences at 7 p.m.

At the Feb. 2 meeting, the society will host a presentation by Bernhard “Bernie” Reim.

Bernie Reim Courtesy image

Reim, according to a Jan. 14 news release, was recently in Texas to view an annular solar eclipse. While there, he visited the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas, which houses one of the largest telescopes in the world, the 11-meter (433-inch) Hobby-Eberly telescope. He will discuss some of the new and exciting missions and discoveries of the telescope, and its twin in South Africa. Reim will challenge meeting attendees to participate in “citizen science” to help discover the true nature of dark energy, by classifying galaxy images taken with the Hobby-Eberly telescope.

Reim will also share some of his other adventures while he was on his Texas trip. He visited Big Bend National Park, the Odessa Meteor Crater, and the highlight and purpose of his trip, viewing and photographing the annular Ring of Fire eclipse over San Antonio. He will also help prepare everyone for the next total solar eclipse; part of its totality path will pass right over Maine in just two months, on April 8 of this year. He will accompany his presentation with slides.

Reim is currently the society’s vice president. He has taught all of the astronomy laboratories at the University of Southern Maine for over 30 years, and he writes a monthly astronomy column for the Portland Press Herald. He co-hosts a weekly radio show called Scientifically Speaking, every Friday morning on WMPG 90.9 FM from 11:30 a.m. to noon. At every society meeting, Reim speaks on, “What’s Up for the Month” He is also a real estate broker licensed in Maine and New Hampshire..


For more information, visit www.ASNNE.org.

Town hall to host ‘backyard birding’ session

A session on backyard birding is planned for 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 27 at Kennebunk Town Hall. Participants will learned how to make backyards a haven for birds.

According to organizers, backyard birding is becoming more and more popular, with many people interested in attracting more birds year-round. Several local environmental organizations are hosting an environmental event to provide information and ideas. Two naturalists – Doug Hitchcox and Andrew Tufts – will provide talks on how to make a backyard safe and attractive for birds 12 months a year.

Prior to their presentations, artist Rebekah Lowell will read from her children’s book, “Catching Flight,” and then facilitate a free workshop on how to draw a cardinal, designed for children, but open to adults. Children younger than 12 must be accompanied by someone 18 or older.

Also available will be drawings for various items – including three home consultations by Shawn Jalbert of Native Haunts in Alfred. The consultations will provide customized guidance in making a yard more inviting to birds and pollinators. The consultations will be chosen for three different types of backyard habitat (shade/woods, sunny/open, small/contained).


Additionally, the Planeteers of Southern Maine will be raffle 10 2024 calendars designed by artist Piper Castle and environmentalist Julie McLeod, offering tips on backyard habitat management. The Kennebunkport Conservation Commission will offer some of Douglas Tallamy’s books.

Lowell is an award-winning author/illustrator. Her artwork has been featured on the Maine Duck Stamp five times and the Common Ground Fair poster. She will begin her drawing workshop for kids at 2 p.m.

Maine Native Plants for Birds will be covered by Tufts, of Maine Audubon. He will explain which native plants best support birds’ year-round needs in Maine backyards and where they can be obtained.

Hitchcox, a Press Herald nature columnist, and staff naturalist for Maine Audubon, will focus on food – what birds eat and what they need in backyard environments. He is one of Maine’s eBird reviewers, owner and moderator of the Maine-birds listserv, and a member of the Maine Bird Records Committee and the York County Audubon board.

The talks begin at 3 pm. The event is sponsored by the Kennebunk Conservation Commission in partnership with York County Audubon, and the Planeteers of Southern Maine. For more information, contact Jen Shack at jenelshack@gmail.com.

Democrats announce Feb. 3 caucus


All registered Democrats in Arundel, Kennebunk, and Kennebunkport are invited to attend the 2024 party caucus, being held Saturday, Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. at the Kennebunk Town Hall auditorium. The town hall is located at 1 Summer St.

The meeting will be convened by Rep. Dan Sayre. Organizers encourage participants to attend and elect local party leaders for the Democrats of the Kennebunks & Arundel, delegates to the Maine Democratic Party State Convention, nominate election clerks, hear from local candidates and get organized for the campaign season.

Light refreshments will be served. A snow date is set for Feb. 10, same time and location. For more information, contact shaundon@gmail.com.

February’s featured exhibit revealed

Speers Gallery at Kennebunk Free Library will present an exhibit titled “Barn Quilts: An Interior View,” by local artist Maryfrances S. Smith, in February. The exhibit will run Feb. 2-29.

According to a Kennebunk Free Library news release, “Smith is a designer, painter, and quilter. Smith has been creating with a needle for more than 60 years with embroidery, costuming and quilts. Painting has been a parallel passion for many years starting with floor cloths in 2000.


“Using traditional quilting motifs along with original abstract designs, Smith weaves memories of both her Pennsylvanian roots and Maine lifestyle with a deep passion for color and geometric design. Smith’s paintings use geometric patterns to suggest movement and flow. They are feelings and instincts evoked by a memory or a visual scene but rendered in the abstract.”

Barn Quilts: An Interior View takes a different approach from the use of exterior barn quilts often found on rural barns in most states of the country, including Maine’s Aroostook County. Smith’s approach, according to the press release, is to use barn quilts (in a smaller size) inside your home to bring to life the spirit of all those unrecognized artists who created in any spare moments they may have had after working at “day jobs;” to those people who created from what they had available on hand be it using natural dyes to stain walls with designs or reconfiguring old clothing into bed coverings. For Smith, painting quilt designs and creating fabric quilts from the motifs in her paintings, meshes her skills and talents with all the many women – and men – who came before her in her family, and whose perseverance feeds her spirit.

The public is invited to view the exhibit in the library’s Speers Gallery from Feb. 2-29 at 112 Main St., Kennebunk, during regular library hours when the gallery is not in use for library programs. For current hours and gallery access, visit www.kennebunklibrary.org.

Couple launches Compassionate Friends group

Karen and Hal Muller of Wells are starting the third Maine Chapter of The Compassionate Friends a global grief support organization, a grief support group tailored for parents navigating the pain of losing a child. TCF York County will offer a space for parents and grandparents to share experiences, connect with others who understand the pain, and receive guidance on the journey toward healing.

According to a news release, the Mullers hope to facilitate an environment that fosters understanding, compassion, and resilience. The first meeting is scheduled for February 2024 and will continue to meet twice a month. The location will be determined based on the geographic distribution of the responses received. The couple welcomes parents and grandparents from York County and surrounding areas to join the group.


The Compassionate Friends group is response to personal tragedy after Karen and Hal Muller experienced the loss of their adult son to Covid three years ago. The Mullers recognize the challenges faced by grieving parents and aim to create a supportive community for mutual healing.

“We understand the isolating and overwhelming nature of losing a child,” said Karen Muller in an email. “Our aim is to create a supportive community where parents can find understanding, share their stories, and help each other through the healing process.”

Group details:

· Open to parents and grandparents who have lost a child, regardless of circumstances.

· Meetings for bereaved children (15 and older) will be established if the need exists.

· Monthly meetings will feature open discussions and occasional guest speakers.


· Emphasis on confidentiality and a non-judgmental atmosphere.

“While our personal grief journey has been challenging, we believe that through coming together, we can provide a beacon of hope for others who are struggling,” said Hal Muller. “We know men and women don’t grieve the same, understanding that is the first step. No one should have to face the pain of child loss alone.”

For more information, email Karen Muller at info@TCFYork.org.

Graves Library partners with MSK Interact Club and AWS

Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library will serve as a collection location for the Middle School of the Kennebunks’ Interact Club’s Spread the Warmth Clothing Drive. The library will clean items in good condition, any size or style, until Jan. 30.

Donations should be clean, gently used items, including winter coats, snow pants, hats, mittens, gloves, winter boots, and warm winter clothing. The library has placed a collection box in front of the fireplace in the Children’s Department Mural Room. Donations will go to the Kennebunk Cares Closet and Maine Needs.


The library will also partner with the Animal Welfare Society of West Kennebunk for a very story time Furry Tales, Friday, Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. Preschoolers and their families will explore the world of animals with stories, playtime, crafts, songs, movement, and plenty of animal time.

Lego Madness is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 3:15 p.m. Unstructured build time will be followed by a group building challenge and game. The program is for elementary-aged students. Space is limited and preregistration is required.

Graves Memorial Public Library is located at 18 Maine St., Kennebunkport. For more information, call 207-967-2778 or visit www.graveslibrary.org.

Library fundraiser feature wine and chocolate

Kennebunk Free library is sponsoring a Wine and Chocolate Tasting on Wednesday, Feb. 7 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the library’s Parsons Reading Room.

Betsy Ross, sommelier and owner of Kennebunk’s Wine House on Main in Kennebunk, and Kate Shaffer, chocolatier and founder of Ragged Coast Chocolates in Westbrook, will inform participants about the wines and chocolates they selected that are perfect for pairing. Patrons will sample the wines and chocolates, and there will be time for discussion and questions.


The event is an opportunity to listen and learn ideas for Valentine’s Day and gift giving. Participants in the fundraiser will receive a 10 percent discount on the selected wines at Wine House on Main. The registration fee is $30. Space is limited. To register, visit kennebunkfreelibrary.square.site/.

The program is wheelchair accessible. Kennebunk Free Library is located at 112 Main St. in Kennebunk. For more information, call 207-985-2173 or email kfl@kennebunklibrary.org.

Amateur Radio Society announces meeting dates

Cape Porpoise Harbor on Jan. 12. Cynthia Fitzmorris photo

The New England Radio Discussion Society meets biweekly on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. throughout the year at The New School in Kennebunk. The club informally gathers to support and promote amateur (ham) radio. Wide-ranging discussion topics include: early and contemporary equipment, digital technology, internet integration, and striving for international contacts. Most meetings include a “tech talk” by a society member.

Those interested in amateur radio are invited to join. Upcoming meetings will be held Feb. 6, Feb. 20, March 5, and March 19.

The New School is located at 38 York St. in Kennebunk. For more information, contact Alex at 207-967-8812.


Student Guitar Competition seeks contestants

The Maine Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum announced its third annual Student Guitar Competition. The contest is open to Maine high school students, grades 9-12.

Contestants are required to submit a video of their performance by March 1, to be judged by members of the executive board of the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame. The grand prize is a Martin guitar, donated by Northern Kingdom Music in Bangor. The prize will be presented to the winner at the 47th annual Induction Ceremony scheduled for Sunday, May 19, at the Silver Spur in Mechanic Falls.

A portion of Beach Avenue in Kennebunk remained closed as of Jan. 21. Dan King photo

Last year’s winner was Maddie Yates of Greely High School in Cumberland.

Contestants are asked to select and perform three country music pieces on guitar and will be judged on level of skill, ability to play in different keys, and expression of phrasing. Video entries should be submitted on a thumb drive or DVD. To receive a complete copy of the competition rules and official entry form, contact mariaholloway207@gmail.com or call 207-613-5411.

According to a Jan. 8 news release, the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame was founded in 1978. The museum is the only country music hall of fame physical museum east of Nashville. The 3,000-square-foot space in the lower level of the Silver Spur is a showcase for thousands of historic memorabilia accumulated over the decades, bringing to life and preserving the legacy of its over 150 inductees from all over the state of Maine. The museum is open year-round by appointment.


To book a tour or visit the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame, call 207-654-2227.

The 47th annual Induction Ceremony will take place at the Silver Spur on May 19. New inductees will be honored and a  concert showcasing Hall of Fame inductees and “living legends” followed by a performance by the winner of the guitar contest.

For more information, follow the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Facebook or call 207-613-5411.

Kennebunk Free Library begins strategic plan process

Kennebunk Free Library announced the commencement of a comprehensive strategic planning process aimed at charting the course for the library’s future. According to the library, “the initiative is a significant step in ensuring that KFL continues to meet the evolving needs of our community and remains a vibrant hub for learning, innovation, and community engagement. As a cornerstone of our community, KFL recognizes the importance of
adaptability and forward-thinking in providing the best possible services and resources to our patrons. The strategic planning process will involve a thorough assessment of current library services, community needs, and emerging trends in library science and technology.”

According to the library, key elements of the strategic planning process include:


Community input: KFL values the input of our community members. The library will conduct a survey, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews to gather insights and feedback on the library’s current offerings and to identify areas for improvement.

Stakeholder collaboration: The library will collaborate with key stakeholders, including local organizations, schools, businesses, and town leaders, to build partnerships that enhance the impact of library services on the community.

Technology and innovation: The strategic planning process will explore opportunities to leverage emerging technologies to enhance library services, improve accessibility, and provide new and innovative ways for patrons to engage with the library.

Facility planning: Assess the physical space, including 1 Fletcher St., of the library to ensure it meets the needs of the community, is accessible to all, and provides a welcoming and inclusive environment.

Service expansion: Identify opportunities to expand and improve library programs and services, including literacy initiatives, educational programs, and cultural offerings.

Kennebunk Free Library invites all community members to participate actively in the strategic planning process. Updates and information on how to get involved will be available at kennebunklibrary.org and on Facebook and Instagram.


For more information, call 207-985-2173.

Legion Post announces meeting schedule

The monthly meeting of American Legion Post 159 in Kennebunkport is held on the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. All veterans and Sons of the American Legion are welcome to attend.
Legion Post 159 is located at 102 Main St. (across from the police station) in Kennebunkport. Future meeting dates:

Feb. 1, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6, July 11, Aug. 1, Sept. 5, Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5.

For more information, call 967-2400.

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