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China/Vassalboro fifth graders help with revegetation program

Students at VCS helping with the revegetation project at the Masse Dam Site.

Fifth grade students from China Middle School and Vassalboro Community School are continuing the work started two years ago by fellow students helping with the revegetation project at the Masse Dam site, in Vassalboro. They are learning the connections between alewives, native plants and the restoration of Maine waterways back to their original state. The restoration of Maine waterways, also known as the Alewife Restoration Initiative, will allow river herring, an anadromous fish, to return to freshwater to spawn.

The site of Masse Dam, which was removed in 2018. (photo by Eric Austin)

Matt Streeter, from Maine Rivers, shared what has happened and is happening as dams are being removed allowing alewives and blueback herring to return to China Lake and Outlet Stream. Nate Gray from the Maine Department of Marine Resources provided information on alewives as a keystone species and what that means to our local environment. Anita Smith, a Maine Master naturalist, clarified the difference between native and invasive plants and why we need to focus our restoration efforts with native species.

This year’s seed collection were ones that would do well in wet to medium wet soils. Some of the seeds planted were Swamp Milkweed, Swamp Smart Weed, New England Asters, Wild Bergamot, Black-eyed Susan and Golden Alexander. Next fall students will go to the Masse Dam site to plant their young plants along the outlet stream. There is also a plan for the fifth graders to visit the site this spring. In the spring they will learn more about the history of the site, identify critters from the stream to determine if the stream is healthy or not, as well as plant shrubs along the stream’s edge.

Seeds for this project were provided by the China Lake Association.

Article and photos submitted by Elaine Philbrook of the China Lake association.

Students at CMS helping with the revegetation project at the Masse Dam Site.

China Middle School girls basketball team honored at State House

The China Middle School girls basketball team was recognized in the Maine Senate with a legislative sentiment presented by Senator Roger Katz (R-Augusta) on Tuesday, April 3. The sentiment honors their achievement of winning the Sheepscot Valley Athletic Conference Championship following a perfect season. The team, accompanied by Athletic Director Josh Brooks, was also congratulated by Representative Matt Pouliot (R-Augusta) and Representative Tim Theriault (R-China).

Vassalboro JMG students are pages for a day at State House

From left to right, Rep. Richard Bradstreet, Liberty Massie, Alyssa Trainor, Hailey Fonjemei, Sen. Roger Katz, Lucas Haskell, Jadon Callahan, JMG Director Victor Esposito, and Rep. Matt Pouliot. (Contributed photo)

Students involved with the Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) at Vassalboro Community School visited the State House on April 3 to serve as honorary pages in the Maine Senate. During their visit, they met with their local legislators, Senator Roger Katz, and representatives Matt Pouliot and Richard Bradstreet. The students, chaperoned by JMG Director Victor Esposito, were Liberty Massie, Alyssa Trainor, Hailey Fonjemei, Lucas Haskell and Jadon Callahan. The honorary page program provides an opportunity for students from third grade through high school to participate in the legislative process for one day’s session in either the House of Senate. For more information about the program, please contact Sen­ator Katz’ office at 287-1505.