Liberty Elm takes root
The image of majestic elm trees arching over the streets of our hometowns changed significantly in the 1930s when Dutch elm disease decimated the elm population. Because of efforts by the nonprofit Elm Research Institute, disease-resistant trees have been developed. They have been given the moniker of the American Liberty Elm — named for the “Liberty Tree,” our country’s first symbol of freedom. The institute established its Liberty Tree Society program in 2009, and of the hundreds of thousands elms they have planted, 99 percent have survived.
New Gloucester Public Library purchased an elm from the Liberty Tree Society in Keene, New Hampshire. Trustee Robb Cotiaux traveled there to pick up the tree for planting, and he along with library 4-H member Serenity Klotzle installed the sapling on April 29. “Elmie” can be visited behind the gazebo and swing set.
The New Gloucester Historical Society will present “Mainers and the Gold Rush of 1849” at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at the New Gloucester Meetinghouse, 389 Intervale Road (Route 231). This is a free event with refreshments served.
Family Farmyard Opening
Celebrate spring with a day of fun at the eighth annual Family Farmyard Opening, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, May 19, at Pineland Farms. Get to know the farmyard animals at the Education Barn, 100B Valley Farm Road. Some activities include a sheep dog herding demonstration by Joe Grady of Two Coves Farm, horse-drawn wagon rides, farmer’s obstacle course, face painting and more.
This event is open to all ages, and the cost is $6 advanced purchase/season pass holders and $8 the day of event. To purchase advance tickets, visit the “Shop” tab at www.pinelandfarms.org, and click on Classes & Events. Online ticket sales are available through Friday, May 18, and tickets are available on event day as well. The rain date is Sunday, May 20. Contact the Education Department at email@example.com or 650-3031 for more information.
Raise the roof
The playground at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds, 106 Bald Hill Road, has been completed. Now it’s time to finish the pavilion – come and help raise the roof from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. The rain date — also for finishing touches — is Sunday, May 20. Volunteers can bring their own tools or use those provided. Sign up by emailing Recreation Director Harvey Price at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring cleanup week
The New Gloucester Transfer Station, 264 Bald Hill Road, is hosting its annual Spring Cleanup Week on Tuesday, May 15, from 9 a.m.–7 p.m.; Thursday, May 17, from 9 a.m.–7 p.m.; Friday, May 18, from 9 a.m.–2 p.m.; and Saturday, May 19, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Spring Cleanup Week allows New Gloucester residents to bring bulky waste items for disposal to the transfer station at no charge. A bulky waste sticker is not necessary. Stumps, leaves, pine needles, large drums or closed metal containers are not accepted at anytime. All types of oil, including clean waste oil, are accepted year round.
School budget public vote
All eligible voters in Gray and New Gloucester may attend the SAD 15 Town Meeting/budget validation public vote. The budget will be thoroughly explained, and voters will have the opportunity to speak. They will be asked to vote on every warrant article for each component of the school budget.
The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 17, in the high school cafeteria. Voter registration begins at 6 p.m., and the meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. The subsequent budget referendum vote will take place on Tuesday, June 12, at respective voting centers in each town: New Gloucester Fire Station, 611 Lewiston Road, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Newbegin Gym, 22 Main St., Gray, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A comprehensive description of the budget and a listing of all budget warrant articles will be mailed to every household in the school district. The 2018-2019 proposed budget can be viewed at www.msad15.org.
Serenity Klotzle, 7, who belongs to the New Gloucester Public Library’s 4-H group, covers the root ball of a newly planted Liberty Elm tree that she named “Elmie” on April 29. Her 5-year-old sister Haven looks on.