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The Hawthorn

The Hawthorn
Fall 2017

Come Celebrate Holiday Season Wassail Schedule
Saturday, December 16
at Merryspring’s Winter Wassail 2:00 – 3:30
 Pinecone birdfeeders
Everyone is invited to celebrate the winter solstice and ring in the holidays at Merry-  Holly crowns
spring’s annual Winter Wassail on Saturday, December 16, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. In case
 Other crafts and games
of bad weather, the Winter Wassail will be held on Sunday the 17th at the same times.
 Campfires
This year’s Winter Wassail will 2:30
feature many indoor and out-
 Chestnut roasting demonstration
door activities. There will be in-
3:00
door crafts and games for chil-
dren and the reading of a win-  Story reading with Amy Hand
ter’s tale by Amy Hand. Out- 3:30
doors, there will be a chestnut  Singers, dancers, other perform-
roasting demonstration led by ances
Eric Evans. As we light up the  Lighting of the "Jätkän kynttilä"
night with a traditional Finnish All Day
Jätkän kynttilä, or logger’s can-  Campfires, hot wassail
dle, singers led by Susan Shaw
will fill the winter air with song and spirit to celebrate the solstice.
To keep everybody warm, campfires will burn all day, and plenty of hot
wassail (and other refreshments) will be served.
Wassail (from the Old Norse "ves heil” and Old English “was hail” ) is a
Watching as the festive Finnish Jätkän kynttilä burns. beverage of hot mulled cider. It is traditionally drunk as an integral part
of wassailing, a medieval ritual intended to ensure a good apple cider harvest the following year. It is often associated with the
Yuletide celebration, with participants drinking from a large communal “wassailing” bowl.
Our Winter Wassail is an annual community celebration open to Merryspring members, first-time visitors, families, and individuals
of all ages looking for a little holiday cheer and good tidings. Hope to see you there!

Support Merryspring at Local
Craft Fair on December 2nd
For the second year in a row, Merryspring will
have a table filled with holiday craft items for
sale at the annual First Congregational Church
Craft Fair — part of Christmas by the Sea Week-
end —in Camden on Saturday, Dec. 2 from
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Some of the special
items for sale will include hand-crafted cards,
bows, ornaments, sprays, greenery, table ar-
rangements, poinsettias, paperwhites, condi-
ments, coffee mugs, nature books, and more.
All proceeds from the Merryspring table benefit
the Nature Center. Merryspring Trustees Karin Rector and Sarah Rheault at last year’s craft sale.
Page 2 The Hawthorn Fall 2017

Merryspring President’s Message Inside this issue:
Nature Center By Ray Andresen
Winter Wassail 1

P.O. Box 893, Camden, ME 04843 Holiday Craft Table 1
Tel: (207) 236-2239
This has been another eventful, successful year at Mer-
President’s Message 2
Fax: (207) 230-0663 ryspring. We have lots to celebrate.
Poinsettias 2
Email: info@merryspring.org First, our environmental education programs continued
www.merryspring.org to grow in many directions. The ever-popular Tuesday Watershed School 3
Mission Statement Talks were even more popular, if that’s possible, drawing Wildlife Discovery Kit 3
Merryspring’s mission is to practice, over 800 people to 32 presentations on everything from
teach, and advocate sound principles the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument to Trekkers 4
of ecology, conservation, and horti- the Future of New England Farming. The series also in- Snow Shoes 4
culture in order to protect our cluded talks on Backyard Herbalism, the Spruce Budworm, Education Calendar 5
natural environment and to provide
Natural Indigo Dyeing, Tending the Perennial Garden, Lob-
natural landscapes and cultivated Studying Nature 6
areas for public enjoyment.
ster Ecology, and many other interesting subjects.
Fairy Festival 7
Hours of Operation We also held 11 Weekend Workshops, including an im-
The park is open free of charge from portant collaboration with Five Town CSD Adult & Com- Grants Received 7
dawn to dusk every day of the year. munity Education (ACE) on a three-week birding course Reservations 8
Our offices and library are open (see page 6); and we sponsored nine Free Family Pro-
Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. grams, including the ever-popular Fairy Festival (see
to 2 p.m., or by appointment. page 7). Our two weeks of Summer Ecology Camps, co-
Membership Levels sponsored with the Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conserva-
tion District, had their largest enrollment yet; and our
Individual
Individual $35—49
$35—49
Community Outreach to local schools, scouts, and other
Family
Family $50—99
$50—99 youth organizations grew to 475 young people being en-
Friend
Friend $100– 249
$100– 249 gaged in nature hikes, classroom activities, or outdoor
Donor
Donor $250—499
$250—499 learning experiences.
Steward
Steward $500—999
$500—999 Second, our buildings and grounds received major up-
Conservator
Conservator $1,000—2,499
$1,000—2,499 grades. The Rose Cottage has been successfully con-
Partner
Partner $2,500—4,999
$2,500—4,999 verted into an outdoor learning center for children, com- Poinsettias on Sale
Patron
Patron $5,000 or
$5,000 or more
more plete with new windows, door, murals, and child-size ta-
ble and chairs. A new picnic table and arbor have been for the Holidays!
Keeping in Touch added to the Children’s Garden area next to the Rose Gar- You can beautify your home or
You can sign up for our eUpdates at
den. And all of the glass panels in the Aileen Lubin Green- office while supporting Merry-
www.merryspring.org to receive the
latest news on programs and events. house (photo below) have finally been replaced with poly- spring's educational programs by
Or you can visit Merryspring’s Face- carbonate sheets, which will better withstand our icy, purchasing locally grown, long-
book page, where you can check on snowy winters. lasting poinsettias from the Nature
upcoming events. Please go to We also made improvements to our woodland trails and Center this year. Each plant costs
www.tinyurl.com/merryspring- special features. A large section of the Perimeter Trail $11 (plus tax) and comes in a 6"
facebook/. pot wrapped in festive green foil.
was cleaned up, widened, and improved with bog bridg-
ing; and new signs were installed in the Kitty Todd Arbore- Care instructions are included.
Board of Trustees
tum describing the 35 different species of trees in that To place your order, please call
Ray Andresen, President
Sarah Rheault, Vice President area. We also had extensive tree work done in the Forts 236-2239 or send an email to
Bart Wood, Treasurer & Fairy Houses area and other parts of the Nature Center. info@merryspring.com. You can
Scott Carlson, Secretary also stop by the Merryspring office
Kristen Lindquist or use the order form available on
Dennis Milliken our website: Order form here
Karin Rector
Pre-payment is required. Visa and
Susan Shaw
MasterCard are accepted. Orders
Staff will be accepted through Saturday,
Toni Goodridge, Managing Director Dec. 2.
Brett Willard, Program Director
Your plants will be ready for
Denise DeSpirito, Garden Manager
pickup at Merryspring on Friday,
©2017—All Rights Reserved Dec. 8 from 9 am to 4 pm.
A work crew from the Green Thumb installs polycarbonate sheets on the
Aileen Lubin Greenhouse.
The Hawthorn Fall 2017 Page 3

Watershed Students Create
Multimedia Project at Merryspring
In late October, a news team descended on Merryspring. Equipped
with boom mics, cameras, and digital audio recorders, the intrepid
young reporters from TreeNN captured the day’s headlines.
The nature-news project was part of Watershed School teacher Scott
Sell’s multimedia class. To prepare, the class spent the first part of the
school year learning the basics — how to capture sound, how to frame
a good shot, how to edit video. After mastering these techniques, the
students made their way to Merryspring.
Watershed students setting up cameras for the TreeNN project.
Led by Program Director Brett Willard, the Watershed students em-
barked on a long nature walk. Along the way they discovered animal habitat, encountered wild mushrooms, ate wild fruit, listened
for birds, and examined signs of changing seasons. Taking notes along the way, the students developed their own ideas and turned
them into news segments, which were filmed at the park a week later.
Using what they learned, mixed with a little humor, the students wrote, shot, and ed-
ited their own segments. These included a food critic tasting chestnuts and partridge
berries, outdoor safety tips, breaking news on invasive species, the latest wildlife elec-
tion polls, a habitat real estate segment, a “nutball” sports update between rival habi-
tat teams, an investigative report on beech bark blight, and even rumors of a
sasquatch sighting. Two anchors provided segues and jokes between the bits at their
news desk. The finished segment aired at Steelhouse in Rockland as part of the Water-
shed School’s fall arts open house.
Shooting a segment for the multimedia project. The partnership between Merryspring and Watershed is beneficial to both organiza-
tions. For Merryspring, it’s an opportunity to introduce the Nature Center to young
people interested in the environment. For Watershed, located in downtown Camden, it’s a convenient and accessible resource for
its students to get outdoors and learn from nature in many different ways.
“Being outside and finding new ways to interact with a place that students ‘think’ they know can be used in dozens of different
projects,” says Scott Sell. “TreeNN is just one example of the things a class can do with their neighborhood nature park.”
Merryspring is committed to working with the Watershed School and other organizations to provide a convenient, safe, and wel-
coming place for students and children to learn about the natural world.

Nature Center Acquires New
Wildlife Discovery Kit
Something wild is happening at Merryspring! Thanks to a grant
from the Max & Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, we were able to
purchase a number of mammal skull replicas and skins to con-
struct a new Wildlife Discovery Kit for our nature education
programs.
The new Wildlife Discovery Kit will contain an assortment of
native Maine animals, including coyote, beaver, skunk, and rac-
coon specimens. When completed, the kit will closely resemble
the Wildlife Discovery Kits available for lease from Maine Inland
Fisheries and Wildlife.
This new kit will supplement our ability to bring outreach educa-
Eco Explorers learn about wildlife diversity and adaptations with a discovery kit. tional opportunities to the park and elsewhere. The skulls and
skins are of scientific quality and are perfect for lessons on wild-
life diversity and design in nature. The kit will be especially useful in the coming year for our Free Family Programs, Summer Ecol-
ogy Camps, school field trips, and classroom activities.
The Hawthorn Fall 2017 Page 4

Trekkers Connect
with Merryspring
Trekkers from Maine and beyond brought their trade-
mark enthusiasm and work ethic to Merryspring for two
major volunteer projects in mid-October.
Trekkers is a non-profit, outdoor-based mentoring pro-
gram that connects young people with caring adults
through expeditionary learning, community service, and
adventure-based education.
The visit to Merryspring was part of an annual “Hood to
the Woods” cultural exchange that joined Maine Trek- Trekkers and Urban Trekkers pose in front of the Rose Cottage after an afternoon of trail
kers with their sister organization, Urban Trekkers, based and garden work.
out of Camden, New Jersey. Together, 26 students and
10 adult program leaders spent a weekend exploring the best of Midcoast Maine. They went hiking and kayaking, visited Mon-
hegan, rode on a lobster boat out of Port Clyde, and came to the Nature Center for a day of gardening, trail work, and exploration.
Equipped with shovels, rakes, clippers, and saws, the Trekkers were put to work. Over the
course of a few hours, the group shoveled compost, closed up the Children’s Garden for the
winter, and performed some other
gardening chores. Then they
helped clear brush from parts of
the Perimeter Trail. Afterwards,
the Trekkers took a tour around
Merryspring, where they played
games and discovered some of the
park’s unique natural and human Among the discoveries of the day was a
histories. wood frog in the Children's Garden.
This visit by the Maine/Urban Trekkers has become an annual occur-
rence here at Merryspring, and we hope our association with Trekkers
Trekkers hard at work closing up the Children's Garden. will continue in the years to come.

Winter Walk on December 9
Join us for a free family winter nature walk on Saturday, December 9 at 10 a.m.
This free event will take guests around Merryspring to explore winter ecology Part of the
walk will go along the newly completed bog-walk section of Trail #1. No sign ups are
necessary for this event. In case of snow, a limited number of pairs of snowshoes will be
available to guests. Attendees are advised to dress warmly and to be prepared to be
outside for at least one hour.

Think Snow, and Snowshoes!
Merryspring is a great place to visit in winter, and snowshoeing provides a low-impact,
cardio intensive exercise for those who love the frozen outdoors.
And we have six pairs of snowshoes you can borrow. The snow-
shoes (a gift from L.L. Bean) are high-quality, aluminum shoes with
rubber gaskets and crampons. They come in three different sizes,
from children’s to adult — perfect for a family outing.
Merryspring members will be able to borrow snowshoes during
operating hours by signing them out in the main office. Snowshoes
will also be available during weekend programs and field trips.
See you on the trails this winter!
Snowshoers enjoying a walk in the park.
The Hawthorn Fall 2017 Page 5

2 0 1 8 Eve n t s C a l e n d a r
WINTER TUESDAY TALKS
January 23 Bivalves: Headless Molluscs that Colonized the Globe—Skylar Bayer
January 30 Sturgeon Conservation in Maine — Gayle Zydlewski
February 6 What’s Legal in the Woods? — Lisa Kane Family Winter Walk
December 9, 10 a.m.
February 13 Growing Hops in Maine — Taylor Mudge & Jim Sady Explore Merryspring’s winter ecology
February 20 The Art of Bonsai — Ernie Glabau on a walk that will include the new
bog walk on trail #1. Free program.
February 27 Otters are Easier — Kirk Gentalen
March 6 Herbs for Stress Relief — Melanie Scofield
Permaculture Design for Water & Ecosystem Management
March 13
— Jesse Watson
March 20 Chocolate: From Bean to Bar — Jennifer Woodman
March 27 Maine Horseshoe Crabs — Sarah Gladu
Worm Bin Harvest Party
April 3 Organizing for Sustainability in Rockland — Nate Davis & Amy Files January 25, 6:00 p.m.
Jock Robie teaches how to use worm
bins to turn kitchen waste into useful
SPRING TUESDAY TALKS soil amendments. Free program.

April 10 To Be Announced
April 17 Maine’s Arctic Explorers — Susan Kaplan
April 24 Starting Your Herb Garden — Denise DeSpirito
May 1 Painting with Beeswax — Leecia Price
May 8 Preventing Maine Beaches from Plastic Pollution — Melissa Gates
The Ocean’s Tiny Fossils — Katherine Allen Nesting Box Workshop
May 15
February 17, 10 a.m.
May 22 The Art of Native Fish — Karen Talbot Learn how to build, hang, and main-
tain nesting boxes for a variety of
May 29 Tending the Perennial Garden in Late May — John Fromer
native bird species. Materials in-
All Tuesday Talks begin at 12 noon and generally last about one hour. cluded in fee. $25 NM/$20 M.
.

Outreach at Coastal Children’s Museum
Merryspring often partners with the Coastal Children's Museum in Rockland to offer drop- Winter Tree ID
in children's science programming. These classes are intended for young children and start March 24, 10 a.m.
at 11 a.m. Admission is included with entrance to the museum. Learn to identify trees in winter with
 January 20 - Snowflakes and Ice local arborist Doug Johnson.
 February 24 - Owl Pellets $10 NM/$5 M.
Page 6 The Hawthorn Fall 2017

Studying Nature—At All Ages
Young and old come to Merryspring to learn
about the natural world and participate in a vari-
ety of nature-related activities, usually at our
66-acre Nature Center but once in a while “off-
campus.”
This fall was no different, as depicted by the pic-
tures on this page.

Birdwatching on the Rockland Breakwater was one of three locations for the
“Birding by Habitat” Five Town adult ed series hosted by Merryspring.

Learning about decomposition in a
hollow log.
Brett Willard teaching Montessori students the difference
between herbivores, carnivores and omnivores.

A jar of fire cider. Preparing ingredients for fire cider.

Tree Pruning with Travis Hamilton.

Watercolor classes with Lesia Sochor. Brett Willard leads a nature walk with Montessori students.
The Hawthorn Fall 2017 Page 7

Fairy Festival
This year’s Fairy Festival at Merry-
spring drew a steady stream of young
children and their families to the Na-
ture Center on Saturday, Sept. 9 for a
few hours of delightful, imaginative
play. Local author Liza Gardner-
Walsh, program director Brett
Willard, and several volunteers
helped the young children create
fairy wands, fairy furniture, and other
accessories as well as construct fairy
houses and forts in the woods.
Liza Gardner-Walsh demonstrates how to make fairy furniture from natural materials.

Painted faces and fairy houses.

Face painting at the Fairy Festival.

Merryspring Receives Grants from
Seven Organizations
Merryspring has been fortunate this year to receive grants
totaling $19,250 from the following seven organizations:
• Unity Foundation — $250 for purchasing nature educa-
tion supplies.
• Maine Community Foundation/Knox County Fund —
$3,000 for designing and installing raised garden beds
for physically challenged individuals.
Building fairy houses at the Merryspring Fairy Festival. • United Midcoast Charities — $1,000 for Children’s Ecology
Camp .
Support Merryspring When You Shop
• Fields Pond Foundation — $2,000 for preliminary work on
You can support Merryspring when you shop at AmazonSmile,
a staircase trail.
which will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to
• Fisher Charitable Foundation — $5,000 for environmental
the charitable organization of your choice. You can use the same
education programming.
account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart,
• An Environmental Trust, Inc. — $6,000 for Weekend
wish list, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings
Workshops and Tuesday Talks.
are also the same. Simply go to smile.amazon.com and select
• The Max & Victoria Dreyfus Foundation — $2,000 for ma-
Merryspring as your charitable organization of choice.
terials and supplies for our nature education programs.
P.O. Box 893
Camden, ME 04843

Reserve Merryspring for Your Event
Remember to think of Merryspring when you or your friends
are planning a wedding, memorial service, meeting, or party.
Conveniently located near Route 1 in Camden and Rockport,
Merryspring offers a secluded, quiet location for your event.
Stunning gardens and an outdoor hexagon are perfect for
small ceremonies. A well-tended lawn bordered by flower
beds filled with spectacular color from June through Septem-
ber will accommodate a tent for up to 200 guests. And the
meeting room inside the Ross Center can accommodate up
to 40 people.

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