Friday, September 11, 2009

Conservation Commission Conducts Annual Clean Up of Ogunquit Beach

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
The Ogunquit Conservation Commission conducted its sixth annual Beach Clean Up Day on Sept. 5, and the turnout of volunteers was the best it’s ever been. Close to 30 volunteers joined the commission members to conduct the sweep, which covered the beach area from the Main Beach to Moody, the area along the Ogunquit River, and the parking area.
“This looks like the biggest turnout ever,” said commission Chairman Mike Horn. “There’s a lot of people here that we don’t know.”
One familiar group was the international Volunteers for Peace, a group of young people from around the world that visits the United States to engage in various community service projects. Housed at Laudholm Farm during their stay in southern Maine, the group annually helps with the clean up. This year, five young people were involved, including Yuna Saito from Japan, Youcef from France, Craig Smeaton from Scotland, Jens Widany from Germany, and Minjeong Kook from South Korea.
Youcef said the group liked the area. “It’s very nice here,” he said. “I’d like to come back.”
Commission member Doug Mayer assigned volunteers to different parts of the clean up. He asked member Bob Joyner to take the young people and cover the area from Footbridge Beach to Moody.
The young people had plenty of help. The first volunteers arrived before the scheduled 9:30 a.m. start. They included Matt Dunn, a Massachusetts resident with a home on Ogunquit, Linda Parrish of Perkins Cove, and Chris Poirier and Jeff Davis of Wells.
Dunn said it was his first time at the clean up. “I don’t usually do this but I saw the sign for the clean up in town,” he said. “I hate litter. When I see it on the beach, I hate it even more.”
Parrish said she was a veteran of the clean up. “I like to do this because we love our beach,” she said. “It’s astounding what people leave behind. The beach is pristine and we want to keep it that way.”
Poirier echoed Parrish’s words. “This is the most beautiful beach,” he said. “I come to the beach all the time and use it. This is a great way to give back to it.”
Davis made reference to the gorgeous weather that dawned on Saturday. “It’s not really volunteering,” he said. “It’s such a beautiful day. It’s great to be outside.”
Other early arrivals included Ogunquit brothers Peter and Chris Woodbury and Jack Connerty. Mayer sent them off to pull weeds near the entrance to the parking lot there.
Commission member Madeline Brown was in charge of transporting the abundance of donated food that was available to the volunteers. She delivered product from the Village Food Market, Jackie’s Too, Hannaford’s, Congdon’s Doughnuts, the Bread and Roses Bakery, and Amore Breakfast and CafĂ©.
Member Brad Sterl manned the registration table. The final volunteers to head out were Emily Enos of Beverly, Mass. and her daughter, Alexandra (8) and niece Sarah Towle (12). Emily saw the registration table and went to gather the two girls to come back and help. “We come here every Labor Day,” she said. “This morning I saw them setting up. I like to get the kids involved in things like this. I think this is the most beautiful beach in the world. I want to keep it that way.”
Photo caption: Volunteers for Peace helped again at the Ogunquit Beach Clean up. From left, Minjeong Kook, Jens Widany, Craig Smeaton, Youcef, and Yuna Saito. (Jim Kanak photo)

Seashore Trolley Museum Debuts Restoration of Historic Electric Locomotive

It takes 600 volts of electricity to power the locomotive known as ASL No. 100 down Seashore Trolley Museum’s tracks; beginning on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 the public can view this fully restored, century-old locomotive in operation for the first time in more than five decades. Descendants of the men who operated this locomotive after it was built in 1906 will attend a private dedication ceremony on Sept. 25, along with state senators and representatives, museum members, and educators, to celebrate the completion of a $180,000 project funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the Maine Department of Transportation, as well as several railway societies, local businesses, and individuals. The ceremony also commemorates the opening of a new gallery exhibit History in Motion: Public Transportation Connecting Maine Communities and the launch of an elementary school science and technology educational initiative.
“The ASL-100 project has fully restored the last surviving, original piece of rolling stock from the historic Atlantic Shore Line Railway system, one of only two locomotives of its style to survive in North America. This locomotive tells the history of both the textile industry in the Sanford-Springvale area and the resort industry in the Kennebunks,” said Phil Morse, Project Manager. The Atlantic Shore Line (ASL) moved freight back and forth between the mills and the Boston & Maine Railroad, transported coal from Cape Porpoise, Maine’s harbor to power the looms of the Sanford mills, and carried passengers to a number of southern Maine resort destinations. “ASL No.100 is one of the Museum’s ten Maine vehicles listed in the National Historic Register. It is a significant landmark in the history of public transportation; its restoration is one of a dozen projects underway in the Museum’s Town House Restoration Shop,” said Jim Schantz, Board of Trustees Chairman. Over the past three years, more than fifty Museum volunteers have contributed more than 3,500 hours to the success of the ASL No. 100 project. Individuals and business donated valuable services and materials.
The ASL No. 100 project helped forge the Museum’s partnership with the Engineering is Elementary Program at the Museum of Science’s National Center for Technological Literacy. “Third to fifth grade teachers need more curricular materials aligned with the new Learning Results in Science and Technology,” said Anita Bernhardt of Maine’s Department of Education, “particularly the standards directed at scientific inquiry and technological design.”
“Seashore Trolley Museum has responded to this curricular need by designing curricular materials that integrate science and social studies and assist teachers in meeting the new Maine Learning Results. By partnering with Boston’s Museum of Science Engineering is Elementary program, we ensure that we offer the best national practices in instructional design,” said exhibit curator and educational consultant, Patricia Erikson.
Founded in 1939, Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport is a museum of mass transit whose mission is to collect, restore, preserve, exhibit and demonstrate the operation of its collection of more than 250 transit vehicles. Over 20,000 visitors each year view, and often ride, the Museum’s streetcars, interurbans, transit, school, and coach buses, and trackless trolleys from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, Scotland, Italy, and the U.K. The Museum is the oldest and largest electric railway museum in the world with a satellite exhibit in Lowell, Mass.
Photo caption: Part of the ASL No. 100 exhibit at the Seashore Trolley Museum. (Phil Morse photo)

Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival is Sept. 12-13

The twenty-second Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival will be held at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm on Sept. 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Admission is $7 per person ($5 for Laudholm Trust members). The Wells Reserve at Laudholm has a no pets, no smoking policy. FMI 207-646-4521 or
The Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival boasts 100 of New England’s finest artists and craftspeople in a spectacular historic setting. Sculpture, jewelry, pottery, paintings, clothing, and photography are among the crafts selected by jury for this prestigious event.
Festival proceeds benefit Laudholm Trust, the nonprofit organization that supports research, education, and stewardship programs at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Many artists contribute a handcrafted item to the Laudholm Raffle, which also features a beautiful handmade quilt made by Laudholm volunteers. Raffle tickets can be purchased online.
A network of trails entices visitors to explore the fields, forest, marsh, and beach of the Wells Reserve.
Dr. Chifuru Noda will fill the seaside air with tunes played on his acoustic guitar. Lunch fare will feature chowder, sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs, ice cream, and lots of scrumptious desserts.
Savings Bank of Maine is the lead sponsor for the crafts festival. Additional contributors include The Bull and Claw House, Wells Hannaford, Jake’s Seafood, Lyons Coffee Service, Lovell Design, and Scoop Deck.
The Wells Reserve is located at 342 Laudholm Farm Road in Wells, just off Route 1 near the Kennebunk line. From U.S. Route 1, turn at the flashing traffic signal south of the Maine Diner and north of Lighthouse Depot. Visit for directions.