Local scout troop conducts food drive

Local Scout Troop 479 collected over $480 in canned and dry food, and over $450 in cash donations over the Friday and Saturday before Easter.


Madison Bodine, right, reconnected with his former kindergarten teacher Ann Austin, during the food drive he helped spearhead for the China Food Pantry.

Boy Scout Troop #479, of China, did some good this past Good Friday and collected food and donations to support the local China Food Pantry.

Led by Scoutmaster Scott Adams, with committee member Priscilla Adams, Assistant Scoutmasters Matt and Madison Bodine, and scouts Nick Shelton, Tucker Leonard and Misha Littlefield, the team prepared ahead of time by creating a fundraising flyer and posting a notice for volunteers on the troop’s Facebook page. Then early Friday morning the good Samaritans set out on their mission of Easter love.

They worked tirelessly all day Friday and most of Saturday, collecting over $580 in food and $451 in cash donations!

“It was very rewarding to support the China community in this way,” said Madison Bodine, “and it was nice to reconnect with Mrs. Austin, my former kindergarten teacher.”

Ann Austin, who has run the food pantry for more than 25 years with her late husband, Lee, was blown away by the generosity.

“Such a pleasant surprise!” she said. “There’s a lot of need this time of year for something most of us take for granted. Madison and his scout troop have changed a lot of lives this Easter season!”

The China Community Food Pantry is located at 1320 Lakeview Drive in China Village, and is open Friday and Saturday, noon – 1 p.m. For more information, or to donate, please call 968-2421, or email Ann Austin at lee.ljaustin@gmail.com.

Erskine seeks host families for international students

CHINA – The administrators of Erskine Academy, in China, invite those interested in hosting an international student in their home for the 2017-18 school year to an informational session to be held on Thursday, May 11, at 6 p.m., in the Erskine Academy Library. The program needs host families from the Erskine Academy service area of China, Vassalboro, Windsor, Augusta, Whitefield and Palermo. Attendees will learn more about the international student program, the host family experience, monthly compensation, and how to become a home stay placement for next school year. All are welcome to attend. For more information, please contact Assistant Headmaster John Clark at jclark@erskine247.com.

CHINA NEWS: TIF group asks who will supervise expenditures

by Mary Grow

CHINA — China TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Committee members spent their April 10 meeting discussing who should supervise expenditures approved at the March 25 town meeting and what additional projects the committee should consider.

Since the TIF Committee is an advisory body, members thought they should not implement programs. However, several said, the groups that do implement programs should keep the committee, and town selectmen, informed, especially if projects change.

The largest appropriation from TIF funds was up to $750,000 over three years for the causeway project at the head of China Lake. After a long discussion, committee members agreed the first step is an RFI (Request for Information) to selected engineering firms asking for proposed design and build plans. Committee members Frank Soares and Stephen Nichols will write the RFI. The revolving loan fund for businesses, for which voters authorized up to $25,000, should be the selectmen’s responsibility, committee members said. The Kennebec Valley Council of Governments is slated to administer the program, under town guidance.

The $20,000 appropriated for the Alewife Restoration Initiative and the $40,000 for Thurston Park should be spent by the respective groups heading the projects, ARI and the Thurston Park II Committee.

Soares, who is president of the Four Seasons Club, said a small part of the $50,000 previously appropriated to the club for trail work is being reallocated to rebuild the dock at the swimming beach off Lakeview Drive opposite the town office. Volunteer work took care of some of the planned trail expansion, he said, freeing up money to extend trail improvements and for the dock. Other potential TIF Committee projects include public access to China Lake, a community center, senior housing and expansion of access to broadband internet service. China’s Lake Access Committee has been inactive since voters rejected its proposal to buy the former Candlewood property. Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux mentioned two other properties that might be available in the future; Soares said the Four Seasons Club would consider leasing its beach to the town..

Committee member Dale Worster said he preferred to develop the public beach where it would be best for the town, not where property is available. His initial idea of buying a large parcel in South China village including the present boat landing was not supported. He now proposed seeking willing sellers of land at the north end of the lake, west of the causeway, either including or adjoining Church Park.

Committee member Robert MacFarland reminded the group that China owns a small parcel off Lakeview Drive, opposite the end of the road that used to connect Lakeview Drive and Hanson Road at the Bog Road intersection. He was authorized to look into clarifying the extent of the town’s property there.

Suggestions for a potential community center included the former Fairpoint building on Route 3 and the present China Middle School, if the school department is able to consolidate China’s elementary education in an enlarged China Primary School. Neither property is likely to be available soon. Senior housing would require transportation, committee member Amy Gartley suggested. Committee member and Selectman Irene Belanger said residents responding to a recent survey were not enthusiastic about taxpayer-funded transportation.

L’Heureux said the newly-formed Broadband Committee is looking into expansion of internet service. Worster recommended expansions feature buried cable, which he said is much easier to maintain than overhead cable.

The meeting ended after a moment of silence in memory of the late Albert Althenn.

CHINA NEWS: Board holds preliminary talks on health insurance

by Mary Grow

CHINA — China selectmen spent the first hour of their April 3 meeting talking about town employees’ health insurance, with several employees and other residents listening and asking questions. No decision was made; board members emphasized the discussion was preliminary.

Susan Smith, of the Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust (MMEHT), summarized various plans her group offers, working with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and an administrator called Group Dynamic of Falmouth.

Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux invited Smith in response to a request from selectmen to look into saving money on health insurance. Smith explained the concept of health reimbursement accounts, which allow a town to offer a lower-cost plan and repay employees for increased out-of-pocket expenses.

She offered a variety of different plans, and many of the questions opened up still other options. Employees and selectmen needed time to review the choices. Smith is likely to be invited back for a discussion with employees and perhaps another public meeting with selectmen.

After Smith left, board member Jeffrey LaVerdiere asked about talking with representatives of insurance companies other than Anthem, and former Selectman Robert MacFarland asked if town officials had looked into self-insuring.

In other business April 3, L’Heureux said China is looking for one budget committee member and additional members for the China for a Lifetime Committee. The latter is exploring ways to make China more welcoming for people of all ages, including services to help older residents stay in their homes.

Selectman Ronald Breton reported on the significant increase in the draft RSU (Regional School Unit) #18 budget for 2017-18. (ep)

China Village resident Margo Allen attempted to clear up what she saw as conflicting information given at the March 25 town business meeting, when a voter asked whether the appropriation for the causeway project at the head of China Lake included replacing the bridge. One selectman promptly said no; two others said yes. The disagreement continued, with modifications, at the selectmen’s meeting; it appears that the $750,000 voters approved could include the bridge, perhaps with supplemental funds or adjustments to other parts of the project.

The next regular China selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for Monday evening, April 17. The Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee, the group tasked with developing further plans for the causeway project and other TIF expenditures approved March 25, is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 10.


China school’s forest April vacation family events

CHINA — Join the staff at the China School’s Forest for fun activities for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All sessions start at the China Primary School Bus Circle. If programs are canceled due to the weather, it will be posted on the China School Forest- China, Maine facebook page or you can call 968-2255 to ask.

Children enjoying a day in the China School Forest. Contributed photo

These programs are free, but donations are appreciated to help us provide future programs and activities.

Wednesday, April 19: Signs of Spring Nature Walk 9:30 – 11 a.m. Look for signs of spring, make a journey stick and play a nature game. This will be rain or shine. Dress for wet, muddy trails.

Thursday, April 20: Night Hike 7 – 8:30 p.m. They will walk the trails of the forest, listen to night sounds and explore the night sky. Please bring a flashlight and dress warmly. Binoculars will help when looking at the moon, if visible. This program will be rain or shine. If it is raining, we will take a night hike and explore the pond.
Friday, April 21; Animal Skins, Skulls, Tracks and Scat 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Explore many of Maine’s mammals and talk about how they survive in the wild.

Saturday, April 22: Fairy Houses & Toad Homes 9:30 – 11 a.m. They will read a Fairy House story, gather natural materials and build fairy houses and toad homes in the school forest.
On Saturday, families may bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the forest. Picnic tables are available at the Primary School Pavilion or throughout the forest.

Saturday, April 22: Pond Explorers 12:30 – 2 p.m. They will use dip nets to collect pond critters and talk about water habitats. Come dressed to possibly get wet.

CHINA NEWS: Planners OK plan for animal feed and grain shop

by Mary Grow

CHINA — Starting their new meeting format, China Planning Board members spent the first half hour of their March 28 meeting discussing relevant results of the March 25 town business meeting before reviewing and approving the only application on their agenda. They unanimously granted James Brown and Decindra Parker a permit to open an animal feed and grain shop plus a flower shop with greenhouses, using the former Mainely Trains building at 360 Route 3 and its grounds.

Town meeting voters approved all but one of the proposed Land Development Code changes that had been rejected as a package in November 2016. They again refused to authorize changing the rules for enlarging non-conforming structures – those that fail to meet one or more ordinance requirements – in the shoreland zone.

Codes Enforcement Officer Paul Mitnik thought voters had two major problems with the proposed changes: they would have allowed enclosure of decks and patios without the work counting as an expansion, even though it could add living space and impervious surface from which water could run toward a lake or other water body; and they did not include any requirement to install vegetative buffers to catch run-off.

Neck Road resident Sheri Wilkens added another problem; the amendments would have allowed shoreland property owners to demolish or remove accessory structures (like sheds) and count the reduction in roof area toward enlargement of a main building. “I don’t feel too bad that it failed. I think we can do better,” Mitnik said. Board members Milton Dudley and Tom Miragliuolo agreed they were not unhappy with the vote.

Dudley suggested the board survey residents about the ordinance and possible changes before seeking another vote on amendments. Chairman James Wilkens agreed, saying the survey would help educate residents about the ordinance.

When board members turned to the application, they were careful to give their reasons for each vote, as required by the town ordinance.

Brown and Parker explained that they intend a three-part project: opening an animal feed and grain store in part of the existing building so farmers and others with animals need not travel so far for supplies; opening a flower shop in another part of the building; and adding at least two non-permanent greenhouses and a hay storage facility on the property.

The additional temporary buildings drew questions from Miragliuolo. The property is in a resource protection district; it is “grandfathered” and can be used and reused, but cannot be made more non-conforming than it already is.

Mitnik said the planning board approved a proposed reuse of the building two years ago that involved additional temporary structures. The April 2015 permit was issued to Frank Kent and Florence Donovan to use the west end of the building for a vegetable, flower and craft shop. The project included seasonal tents.

Brown said the greenhouses will have floors of crushed stone with the stone extending beyond the walls to catch roof run-off.

The application was approved with one limit and two conditions, all of which Brown and Parker accepted. The limit is that the proposed additional temporary structures cannot total more than 2,500 square feet. The conditions are that Brown and Parker designate handicapped parking spaces – they said they plan to, probably one near each entrance – and that all fertilizer be stored inside a building.

Proposed maximum business hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with Mondays off. Brown and Parker plan to operate year-round and to add Christmas trees seasonally.

The next regular planning board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, April 11.

Five-hour town meeting focused on TIF, land development, first responders

Town meeting quorum was met when over 150 residents were present for the beginning of the annual meeting.
Photo courtesy of Dan L’Heureux

by Mary Grow

CHINA — China voters had three major issues to deal with at their annual town business meeting March 25: seven articles about the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) program, 10 articles about Land Development Code amendments and a new proposal to recompense emergency services volunteers.

They approved everything except one of the proposed Land Development Code changes. The meeting lasted five hours, and the by the end only about 50 of the 150 voters assembled early in the meeting were still there.

Voters rearranged the agenda to discuss the Land Development Code articles before the TIF questions. The articles were aimed at bringing China’s local ordinance into conformity with new state standards, with the focus on shoreland uses.

Former codes officer and current China Lake Association President Scott Pierz objected to most of the changes, calling the new proposals less protective of water quality and “a step backward” for China Lake. He repeatedly asked whether the planning board had considered other alternatives, rather than a simple choice between current rules and state rules, and whether there had been an independent legal review of the proposed changes.

Current codes officer Paul Mitnik offered explanations as requested. Sheri Wilkens feared the changes would create more work than Mitnik can handle in his part-time position. Her later amendment to add $20,000 to the town administrative budget for additional codes enforcement was defeated.

Voters rejected one proposed change, on a 31-41 vote with many abstentions. China’s rules will not change for measuring a non-conforming structure (one that fails to meet current requirements) in the shoreland when reviewing an application to enlarge it. After two hours’ discussion of land use, voters returned to the TIF articles, one amending China’s TIF program and six authorizing TIF expenditures. The amendment article needed an amendment: as written, it authorized selectmen to approve credit enhancement agreements anywhere in town, but they should be allowed only in TIF districts.

Meeting moderator Richard Thompson ruled the change permissible, because the document is a resolve, not an ordinance, and voters approved the amended amendment. Selectmen held a special meeting March 27 to make the change before forwarding the revisions to the state for expected approval. The revised TIF program incorporates the new Central Maine Power Company substation off Route 3 as a second revenue service. Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux told voters the original source, the expanded CMP power line, pays about $270,000 annually and the revised estimate for the substation is $80,000 a year.

The longest discussion about TIF expenditures was over the proposed causeway project, aimed at expanding boating and fishing opportunities at the head of China Lake’s east basin. Many details remain to be worked out, because, TIF Committee Chairman Amber McAllister explained, committee members did not want to spend time and money on detailed plans before voters authorized the $750,000 requested over three years.

The proposal to set aside $40,000 from China’s surplus account to compensate fire and rescue personnel for time and service got about 10 minutes’ debate before being approved by a large majority. South China Fire Chief Richard Morse repeated his department’s position that rescue personnel but not firefighters should get stipends; China Village Chief Timothy Theriault repeated his department’s position in favor of the proposal and said he has collected ideas for implementing it from neighboring departments.

Annual municipal expenditures were approved with minimal discussion. Afterward, Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux said roads to be repaved out of the $741,473 highway appropriation include Parmenter Terrace, Bog Road, Hanson Road, part of Parmenter Road and maybe part of Dirigo Road.

Miscellaneous pieces of information from town meeting discussion include:

  • L’Heureux said China got about $15,000 in income from FirstPark this year, in return for almost $38,000 as its assessment for the park. The 2017-18 assessment of slightly over $38,000 will come from the TIF fund, as did the current year’s assessment.
  • The recent decision of Oakland Police Department members to unionize will not affect the contract between China and the five members of that department who are China’s police force.
  • During the current year, L’Heureux said, selectmen used money from their $45,000 contingency fund to improve handicapped access to the former classroom behind the town office so the building could be used for November 2016 voting. The contingency request was increased to $55,000 for next year – and approved – because it has not increased for about 10 years.
  • China has no debt and no plans to incur any, the manager said. Voters applauded. • Transfer Station Committee Chairman Frank Soares said the amendments to two solid waste ordinances that voters approved in no way move toward a pay-per-bag system.
  • L’Heureux said the refund voters authorized accepting from the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company as the town transfers to the new Fiberight facility amounts to more than $17,000, with more refunds likely in 2018.

In addition to making decisions, voters heard short presentations from their state legislators, Sen. Roger Katz and Rep. Timothy Theriault; the Thurston Park II and TIF Committees; and Selectman Irene Belanger on behalf of FirstPark. They recognized China’s volunteer firefighters, rescue personnel, committee members and police force. They applauded the volunteers running China’s LakeSmart program, recipients of the Spirit of America award; Town Clerk Rebecca Hapgood after Belanger announced that the town report Hapgood and the rest of the office staff prepared earned a superior rating from the Maine Municipal Association; and Debbie Dinsmore, in absentia, for the flowers she sent to decorate the meeting room.

Understanding the importance of town meeting


by H David Cotta
China resident and former state legislator

In just a short couple of days the town of China will be conducting the China town meeting. This meeting is held each year and at times I wonder if the citizens of China fully appreciate the form of government that the town meeting represents.

The town meeting form of government is the most democratic form of governance. Some not familiar with this form of governance and may believe that the town manager is the executive of the town of China and the town is governed by the select board, but neither is true. The governing body in China is the town meeting where the citizens cast a vote to direct the actions of the select board. At the start of the meeting the citizens in attendance elect a moderator who must conduct the meeting according to Roberts Rules of Order. Proposals, which are referred to as Articles, are presented for the people to approve or disapprove. The articles can also be amended.

I guess the best way to describe the town meeting form or governance is the people hold all the power to govern. The select board can only do what the people authorize the board to do (of course, the people can not direct the board to take illegal actions). It is at the town meeting where the people, by their vote, guide the course of their town and the actions of their elected town officials. The town manager is hired by the select board and works for the select board within statutory guidelines the town meeting is the most direct and equal form of governance. This form of governing is only as good as the level of participation by the citizenry, and there in lays the proverbial “fly in the ointment.”

Apathy is a stern heartless master and can only survive by inaction of the good people of our town. We all have our lives to lead and life has a habit of getting in the way of what we planned or intended to do.

Several (30+/-) years ago the level of participation at the town meeting had declined to the point that the people established a quorum which was a percentage of the number of voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election which must be present to open the meeting and conduct business. The quorum for this upcoming meeting is 126 voters which when you think, represents 126 of over 2000 voters who voted in China during 2014.

So what happens when there is minimal turnout at the town meeting? Each vote on the floor of the meeting represents many who did not attend the meeting. The citizens that chose not to attend will have no voice in the process, so the town governance will be by a small minority. Additionally, the result of low voter participation could take a couple of forms.

First, the direction given to the select board (municipal officials) may not be representative of the town as a whole. Second, would be to consolidate power which can be a matter streamlining the conduct of business but at the cost of the checks and balances that we as citizens are afforded. Granting an expanded range of powers to the administrators is not good governance. Some indicators of the “Flying by the seat of your pants” are reflected by comments by the auditor clearly stated in the 2015 report – (China 11-10-15) addressing the lack of internal controls. Further, the select board meetings are not recorded which can and has lead to a discussion of what was stated in a motion during previous meeting. Clarity, transparency and accountability is lost.

In closing I would encourage all citizens of China to attend the town meeting. Please provide your officials the insight and guidance of the citizenry. If you have questions do not hesitate to ask because your select board and others are there to answer questions. I hope I will see you there. Thank you.

Speaking for China Lake: the lake’s perspective


by Scott Pierz
President, China Lake Association

At the China Lake Association (CLA) mid-winter meeting held February 16, 2017, CLA board members voiced concern over the town’s placement of several warrant articles at the upcoming open March town meeting. These particular warrant articles are designed to seek approval of a series of proposed revisions to the China Land Development Code and its Land Use Ordinance. These proposed changes were just defeated less than six months ago at the November 2016 election. Some CLA board members believe the proposed changes “severely relax” the local Shoreland Zoning Ordinance and diminish the town of China’s Home Rule Authority on several issues that have been in-place for decades.

Included in our meeting’s discussion was why the selectmen would deviate from the town’s long-standing tradition of placing ordinance revisions before the voters at an annual November (or June) ballot election where the voter-turnout is significantly higher than the open March town meeting. The open March town meeting is customarily a discussion for approval of financial appropriations to operate the town’s budget, and most people will not recall a time when the open March town meeting sought approval of ordinance “changes” at this forum over the last 25 years. These proposed changes came as “recommendations” from the planning board, but it is still the selectmen’s warrant and the selectmen can move forward with their warrant articles as proposed, it is their prerogative. But it is unprecedented, and it seems to many that this circumvents tradition, relying on an extremely limited number of quorum voters (126 by number) rather than the numbers of voters who turn out in a November (or June) ballot election vote (often more than 1,000). Also, the articles appear at the tail end of the warrant and people know that the crowd thins out to even less than the quorum requirement as most of our open March town meetings go on for hours.

This could mean that it is likely that even less people will have voting power on the warrant at that time, substantially less than the number of people who defeated the same proposed changes at that November 2016 election. Of course, someone could move to advance the articles to an earlier portion of the meeting so that at least a majority of the voters present can decide on these important changes. The town’s strategy to gain approval for these proposed changes leaves many folks wondering why this avenue was taken if not to “push through” the proposed ordinance changes without much resistance (if any at all). If true, this is just very disappointing given that the changes are complicated, and probably not too many voters at the open March town meeting will have a thorough knowledge of or completely understand the nature of the changes and their ramifications on China Lake and its water quality.

By way of example, here’s one of the comments from a CLA board member: “The Town (and others) have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to improve water quality in China Lake by reducing the phosphorus loading to the lake. The proposed amendments will increase the phosphorus loading and thus will undo work that has already been accomplished and will make future efforts both more expensive and difficult. The town is voting to spend 3/4 million to improve access to the lake; along with that should be a commitment to improve water quality, not degrade it. As a lake that does not comply with water quality standards, the town which derives substantial economic benefit from [China] lake should not be allowed to pass ordinances that allow more phosphorus into the lake to mirror DEP’s relaxed shoreland zoning guidelines.”

The comment is directed at the town and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and a set of “relaxed guidelines” the DEP is proposing for local communities to consider. Please know that these are “proposed” guidelines, and towns can always chose a stronger set of rules and regulations to manage their shoreland zoning codes. Over the last few decades the town of China has had a set of shoreland zoning standards stronger than any community in the region, and one reason for these stricter standards being in-place for so long is to protect our environment, and especially China Lake.

A close examination of the proposed changes shows a serious digression from the current shoreland zoning regulations that have been in place for decades, so much so that they represent a potential negative impact to the water quality of China Lake.

Here are some of the downsides to the proposed changes the voters are being asked to consider:

  • The elimination of volume in determining expansion for shoreland principal structures (causing structures to increase their impervious surfaces and creating more storm water runoff and phosphorus into the lake). The town’s current practice requires the review of both footprint and volume thresholds (along with detailed record keeping the town has maintained for the last 25 years). This would be a significant reversal in policy and would allow shoreland properties that have already maxed out their expansion limits based on volume to continue to expand using only the footprint of a residential building(s) on a property.
  • The allowance to combine the footprint of existing non-conforming shoreland accessory structures with existing principal residential structures. This would allow even more expansion of a principal residential structure. In some cases this could be in very close proximity to the lake (again, more expansion, more runoff, and more non-point source pollution into China Lake without any plan to mitigate phosphorus from entering the lake);
  • A revision to the current timber harvesting standards that have been in-place for decades and have been integral to the local enforcement that the town has maintained over the years. It is vital that timber harvesting activities have a local steward since sound timber harvesting practices are essential to immediately prevent water quality impacts from timber harvesting activities in China Lake’s watershed;
  • The relaxation of seasonal conversion standards, allowing more year-round conversions, more activity in shoreland districts, more impact on local services, and with the potential of restricting property owners to only occupy their properties during certain months of the year.  Questions include: What is the rationale for this proposed change? How many properties would be affected?
  • The allowance of additional exemptions to the clearing and vegetation removal standards, thereby reducing areas required to be buffered. Vegetative buffering is essential to water quality as the CLA is promoting through its LakeSmart Program; and
  • A new proposed change that was not on the November 2016 ballot concerns the conditional use requirements reviewed by the planning board for commercial development. The proposed change seem to remove the planning board’s responsibility to make “findings of fact” as it reviews each criteria for conditional use applicants. If this is the case this may not be quite legal as Superior Court cases have rested upon the mandate that the findings-of-fact are critical to the review of a development proposal. The court’s position has respect to the rights of the abutters to know and understand the ramifications of development proposals in their neighborhood and the potential impact on their “peaceful use and enjoyment” of their personal homesteads and local environment.

There’s no “sugar coating” the proposed changes; overall the proposed changes do not seem to be in the best interest for China Lake’s water quality. The China Lake Association’s Mission is to protect China Lake. It is not enough to say that the DEP provided these “relaxed guideline changes” to the towns and so the town of China should (or must) adopt such drastic changes. As citizens we would leave behind our town’s well-maintained existing rules and regulations, along with our long-standing Home Rule Authority that has existed for decades.

As president of the China Lake Association it is an obligation to represent my constituency and inform the public on these matters. Although represented here are the thoughts of many of those present at our mid-winter meeting, they may not represent everyone’s opinion. As for me, I can only speak for myself. It may be that the proposed changes are adopted by the minimal number of voters who turn out at the open March town meeting, but this could represent a big step backwards. I will only repeat what I was quoted as saying in The Town Line newspaper last year: “I can’t tell anyone how to vote, I just know I’m voting “NO.”

Scott A. Pierz, President
China Lake Association

Project Learning Tree workshops at China school

China School’s Forest will be hosting two Project Learning Tree Workshops for adults in April. Each workshop will feature hands-on activities and lesson ideas for kids ages K-8. Both workshops will begin with a short introduction to Project Learning Tree and then we will head out into the forest for interactive sessions with trained facilitators. Lessons are interdisciplinary including connections to children’s literature and language arts activities. If you are an educator (formal or informal), community volunteer, scout leader, naturalist, natural resource professional, land trust member, homeschooling parent or just want to learn some great ways to teach kids about the forest, this workshop is for you. Workshops are rain or shine so come prepared for the weather. Sign up by April 8. Space is limited to 20 participants per workshop, FMI – Contact Anita Smith at 968-2255 or chinaschoolsforest@gmail.com.

Visit them on facebook at China School’s Forest – China, Maine.

Cost is $50 per participant and includes the Project Learning Tree K-8 activity book with 96 lessons, opportunities to network with resource professionals, tour the award-winning China School’s Forest and gain new skills to make nature learning fun.

Location: China Primary School, 763 Lakeview Drive, China, ME 04358.

Workshop 1 – Thursdays, April 13 and 27 (must attend both sessions) from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Workshop 2 – Saturday, April 29 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Bring a bag lunch and drink.