In honor of National Trails Day, AMC is hosting a #TrailsTag contest! The contest runs from 9am EST on 6/1/19 to 8pm EST on 6/16/19. The winner will receive a stay for 2 at an AMC hut. Enter the contest by attending any trail work event in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic regions. Post a before and after picture of your trail work on Instagram using the #TrailsTag hashtag, tagging @appalachianmountainclub, and including the location of the trail work. Terms and conditions apply. More details here.
By Peter Roderick
Like highways that we travel on in motor vehicles, trails require upkeep and maintenance. Every spring, AMC volunteers work to protect trails from damage from erosion and other natural occurrences. No special skills are necessary, just a willingness to get a little dirty.
Spring trail work involves removing accumulated debris from drainages or water bars. These ditch-like “structures” force water to follow the path of least resistance off the trail. Along with providing trail protection, drainages are excellent at catching and holding fallen leaves, silt and small stones. Cleaning water bars is a prime spring-time activity for trail work volunteers. We also trim back encroaching plant growth and check that trail blazes are easily seen. Once these fundamentals are attended to, improvements such as bog bridging or stepping stones may be added to consistently wet areas and other higher-level projects are assessed and scheduled.
Sound fun? Please consider volunteering with us! Trail work yields immediate, easily-seen results. It’s quite satisfying. Spring trail work trips are posted in this edition of Wilderness Matters and on the Maine Chapter website, www.amcmaine.org. We’re also looking for members to join the Trail Committee team. No prior trail work experience is necessary. If you love Maine trails and you want to help protect them and grow the trail team, consider joining this committee. Contact Phil Coyne, Trail Committee Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
By Mark Zakutansky
After allowing the Land and Water Conservation Fund to expire on September 30, 2018, all eyes have been on Congress as AMC and our partners mounted the #SaveLWCF campaign to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and to secure full and dedicated funding for the program. On Tuesday, February 26th, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in support of a package of public lands bills including the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This vote comes on the heels of the Senate’s passage of the identical package of bills on February 12th, now sending S.47, the Natural Resources Management Act, to the president’s desk for his expected signature.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a national conservation program that uses revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling to support open space, park, and trail projects across the country. Many national and state parks, scenic trails like the Appalachian Trail, battlefields, and working forests have been conserved with LWCF funds.
During the #SaveLWCF campaign, AMC volunteers hosted trips to places protected by LWCF and thousands of AMC supporters made calls and sent messages to their elected officials.
However, reauthorization for LWCF is only one part of the story. While it is a major victory for LWCF to be permanently reauthorized, these projects cannot be completed without adequate funding. LWCF is authorized to receive $900 million from Congress each year; however, it consistently receives less than half of that amount through the appropriations process. For LWCF to be as efficient, impactful, and successful as possible, Congress must dedicate the full $900 million of oil and gas revenue authorized to LWCF.
Please contact your Senators and Representatives today to thank them for their support of LWCF and the outdoors that you love, and make sure they know how much the Land and Water Conservation Fund continues to mean to you. Stay tuned to AMC’s Conservation Action Network for future opportunities to speak up in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and other important conservation policy issues.
You may have seen the new “Be Outdoors’ branding in AMC Outdoors magazine, at the Annual Summit, or on outdoors.org. AMC’s new brandmark celebrates that we consist first and foremost of individuals. The new tagline, “Be Outdoors,” is an invitation with no strings attached. “Be Outdoors” celebrates the spirit of adventure in every possible form, embracing everything that comes with it—wisdom, humor, work, fun, pain, and triumph. There is no wrong way to “Be Outdoors,” and there’s room for everyone. Be yourself outdoors. Be together outdoors. Belong outdoors.
You can find gear with our new brand in our digital and destination storefronts. Later this year you’ll see an all new outdoors.org with the tools you need to get where you want to go as well as a stunning new look for our award-winning AMC Outdoors magazine. Behind the scenes, we’re working to ease and personalize your experience all throughout the AMC community. Visit www.outdoors/org/brandnew to learn more and offer feedback.
I am Cindy Caverly and I am happy to serve as Maine’s new Chapter Chair. I have served for five years as the treasurer and one year as the vice-chair. When I started volunteering, I was almost brand new, both to the Maine Chapter and to the AMC. Now I feel like I am part of an extended family.
I encourage you to join a Chapter led trip, social, presentation or workshop. When you do, you will find a welcoming and knowledgeable group of individuals and I am convinced you will keep coming back, like I did.
Please contact me anytime with questions, suggestions, or comments about the AMC or Maine Chapter at email@example.com.
Become a citizen scientist and support AMC Research. Download iNaturalist on your smart phone and join our Northeast Alpine Flower Watch project.
This year the AMC has launched the Northeast Alpine Flower Watch, a smartphone oriented extension of Mountain Watch, our long-term monitoring program tracking how plants are responding to climate change. Since 2004, AMC has been monitoring the timing of plant seasonal events like leaf-out and flowering in conjunction with weather conditions. From day one of this project we’ve relied on the help of hikers to tell us what they’ve seen along the trails. By taking photos of flowers on your hike this summer, you can help too!
The Northeast Alpine Flower Watch tracks the effects of climate change by gathering flowering and fruiting time data with the help of hikers in alpine areas. AMC has partnered with the Adirondack Mountain Club, Green Mountain club, and Baxter State Park to achieve this goal in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Using the iNaturalist app, your mobile device will automatically geotag the image, assigning its location, and if you’re not sure of the name of the species of plant you have observed, the community on iNaturalist, including AMC’s own scientists, will help confirm or identify the plant. You don’t need to be an expert to identify key species and contribute to this project.
AMC’s scientists will use photos of our target plants that you upload, confirming the plant identity and coding their flowering and fruiting status. We will focus on key study regions like the White Mountains, Maine Woods, and along the Appalachian Trail to understand seasonal development in the context of climate change. The more photos that are posted, the more we can capture the large variability that is inherent in mountain environments.
Check out the AMC Flowerwatch site for updates. Join our Webinar Tuesday April 2 at 7 pm or Thursday April 4 at noon to learn how to use iNaturalist, get tips on taking quality photos, learn about our target species, and more. Advanced registration is required. Can’t make it? Register anyway and we’ll send you the recording.
By John Mullens
AMC’s Annual Summit is held every January in Norwood, MA. The event combines volunteer recognition, meetings, and workshops with the fun and fellowship of being among a large group of people who share many outdoor interests and values. Fifteen Maine Chapter members made the trip this year and five of them received trail work awards for volunteering long hours maintaining hiking trails in Maine. Kathy Claerr, Peg Nation, Jeff Pengel, and Peter Roderick all received awards for more than 95 volunteer hours during 2018. Bill Brooke was recognized for more than 224 hours. Congratulations!
Workshops were the hit of the day. Steve Tatko’s presentation “Stories from the Land: The History of AMC Lands in Maine Before AMC” received rave reviews. Maine Chapter volunteer David McCarthy said, “I have been volunteering and visiting the Maine Woods for over 13 years. In less than two hours, Steve taught me more about the history, geology, sociology, politics, and ecology of the Maine Woods than I have been able to capture in all of my many trips.”
Maine members attended other excellent workshops including “On Getting Lost” and “Look! Up in the Sky! The Sun and the Stars!”. AMC cartographer Larry Garland gave a fun and educational presentation on the latest map making techniques using LIDAR. And several members were educated about how the AMC arrived at its new logo by Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Bec Rollins’ presentation “AMC Brand Update”.
In addition to workshops, several committee meetings were held at the summit. Maine Outdoor Chair Denise Fredette presented a trip (Sedona, AZ in April 2020) to the Adventure Travel Committee and it was approved! Fredette was also nominated and elected as a representative for the Outdoor Leadership Development Committee.
Year after year Maine Chapter members return from the annual summit with high praise for the wide variety of workshops and presentations as well as the comradery of the group. Please consider joining us next January.
By Carey Kish
There are eleven trails 100 miles or longer in the United States with the designation of “National Scenic Trail.” Of these iconic gems, the second longest is the Pacific Crest Trail, which extends 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. The Continental Divide Trail gets top honors at 3,100 miles, while the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail is third.
This hiker plans to tackle the entire Pacific Crest Trail in one continuous push, starting on April 3 at the dusty outpost of Campo on the Mexican border, 50 miles east of San Diego. I’ll journey northward through the wilds of California, Oregon and Washington, and with a lot of sweat and toil and no small amount of good fortune, my plan is to walk across the Canadian boundary into Manning Park, British Columbia sometime around September 24.
The PCT used to be a fairly lonely endeavor, but just as Bill Bryson’s celebrated book “A Walk in the Woods” helped spark a thru-hiker boom on the AT in the late 1990’s, so too has “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed accounted for a recent increase in PCT hikers. Some 50 hikers a day from March through May will head north from the border fence. The pack will thin dramatically, however, because as with the AT, less than 25% will ultimately finish the grueling hike.
The PCT has been on my bucket list for a long time. I first heard about the trail in the mid-1970’s when I read “The High Adventure of Eric Ryback” by Eric Ryback, the first person to hike the entire PCT in 1970, when the trail was largely incomplete. Soon after my first AT thru-hike fresh out of high school in 1977, I bought the “Pacific Crest Trail Hike Planning Guide,” but that’s as far as the dream got. Until now.
California hosts 1,700 miles of the PCT, with another 450 miles in Oregon and the final 500 miles in Washington. The trail wends through 7 national parks, including Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Lassen, Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades, as well as 25 national forests, 4 national monuments and 48 federal wilderness areas.
The first 700 miles of the PCT are through the deserts of southern California, where waterless stretches of 20-30 miles and 90-100-degree temperatures in the Mojave contrast sharply with snow and ice at 9,000 feet on Mt. San Jacinto. The 500-mile section through the Sierra Nevada is the crux of the hike, with the possibility of deep snow and rivers swollen with snowmelt, plus several dozen high mountain passes, including Forester Pass at 13,153 feet, the PCT’s apex.
In northern California, the PCT swings west around lofty Mt. Shasta to connect with the Cascade Range, which it follows past Oregon’s Crater Lake and Mt. Hood and then Washington’s Mt. Rainier to Canada. The trail’s low point is the crossing of the Columbia River at Cascade Locks, just 180 feet above sea level.
Perhaps the most stunning PCT statistic of all is the cumulative elevation gain and loss en route, a mind-boggling 489,418 feet of climbing and 488,411 feet of descent. That’s roughly equivalent to scaling Katahdin with a full backpack two days out of every three for six solid months. It’s no wonder then why I’m planning a moderate average of 15 miles per day.
With the exception of LEKI trekking poles and MSR Pocket Rocket stove, I’ve almost completely swapped out my gear. The major items include an Osprey Atmos 65 backpack, REI Magma 10 sleeping bag, Sea to Summit Ultralight sleeping pad, Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 tent and Lowa Renegade boots. My base pack weight is 20 pounds, but that’ll swell with food, water and extra Sierra snow gear.
My hike will be fueled with staples like breakfast bars, pasta and rice, tuna and Spam, jerky, cheese and crackers, chocolate, peanut butter, nuts, dried fruit and granola bars, plus all the restaurant meals and junk food I can stuff into my face at every town stop. I’ll receive 19 resupply boxes mailed from home to remote locations, and will buy groceries at stores the rest of the time.
I expect to spend $6,000 while on the 6-month walk. Oh yeah, trail name? Beerman.
Carey Kish of Mt. Desert Island thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1977 and 2015, and completed the 1,100-mile Florida Trail in 2017. Follow Carey’s PCT adventures on Facebook @CareyKish.
Greetings, my name is Phil Coyne and I am new to the AMC Maine Trails committee chair. A couple years ago I signed up for my first trail weekend with my partner and I loved it. I enjoyed working with my hands and being in nature. At the end of the day there’s a real sense of accomplishment. Now that I am on the trails committee, I am thrilled to see people signing up for trail work trips and I’ve enjoyed reading essays submitted for the Peter Roderick scholarship. There is a lot of energy in the trail committee, with many people stepping up to volunteer.
We are currently organizing trail work at Pleasant Mountain, Cutler Mountain and Campbell Island (near Brooklin), as well as three trips at the Maine Wilderness Lodges. We also are looking to expand trail work in local land conservancies. I want to hear from you! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with local land conservancies you’re passionate about.
This season I will attend as many trail work weekends as I can to meet these great trail volunteers and say thank you. If you volunteer and I don’t see you, “thank you.”
By Michelle Moody
What do you get when you mix a group of seniors, lots of snow and frigid temperatures? A lot of winter fun. Despite a snowy start, a couple of very windy days, and temperatures in the single numbers, our group seemed to manage to have a good time during our stay at the White Wolf Inn in Stratton. The area offered us the choice of the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center, the Narrow Gauge Pathway, and hikes up to the Maine Huts. The snow was deep as you can see in the picture of a couple snowshoers on the bridge over Poplar Stream. We enjoyed happy hour in the leaders’ room, dinners together, and a mix of outings during the day despite the cold weather. It was a treat to have good snow conditions.
Join Michelle and Stan on their next getaway – Acadia, June 13-17.
The Appalachian Mountain Club is teaming up with the country’s top ranked environmental nonprofit, The Conservation Fund, to protect nearly 27,000 acres of working forestland in Maine’s North Woods.
On February 8, The Conservation Fund purchased the Pleasant River Headwaters Forest in Piscataquis County, Maine, for $18.5 million from Conservation Resources, LLC. Under temporary ownership, The Conservation Fund will sustainably manage the 26,740 acres for the improvement and protection of forest resources, fish passage and continued recreational use. This arrangement gives the AMC time to raise the $25 million needed to bring the working forestland into its permanent ownership, protection, and stewardship. A lead gift of $10 million has recently been secured from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
The Pleasant River Headwaters Forest is adjacent to more than 75,000 acres currently owned and managed by the AMC. The property is situated in the center of the 100 Mile Wilderness Area that stretches along the Appalachian Trail corridor from Monson to Baxter State Park. Acquiring and restoring the property will conserve one of the last remaining large, unprotected forest blocks in the region.
“This acquisition will crystallize the conservation vision that underpins AMC’s role as a fully vested partner in Maine’s outdoor economy,” said AMC President and CEO John Judge. “It means deriving more value for more people from a more resilient landscape, and that’s really exciting.”
This noteworthy conservation acquisition was made possible through The Conservation Fund’s Working Forest Fund® program, which utilizes bridge capital to protect large, ecologically and economically important forestland from subdivision and fragmentation, allowing time for permanent conservation solutions to be implemented. The land will remain on the tax rolls.
“Working forests, one of a kind outdoor recreation experiences, and aquatic habitats define Maine’s environment, communities, economy and way of life,” said Tom Duffus, Vice President and Northeast Representative for The Conservation Fund. “This partnership with the Appalachian Mountain Club will help to protect the beloved and unique characteristics of Maine’s North Woods by ensuring that forestland of both community- and nation-wide importance will always remain as forests. Together, we are working to establish permanent conservation solutions that meet the needs of people, protect wildlife habitat and provide economic benefits.”
The AMC intends to add the Pleasant River Headwaters Forest to its 75,000-acre Maine Woods property, which is a significant economic driver in the region, with a robust nature-based tourism operation that includes a series of lodges, 130 miles of trails for hiking and skiing, an environmental education program for schools throughout the region, and a significant sustainable forestry operation. The AMC currently supports 6% of the Piscataquis County economy including 56 jobs and generates $1.7 million in annual spending by its operations and lodge guests.
Permanent conservation of the Pleasant River Headwaters Forest property will add to watershed protection of both the West and Middle Branches of the Pleasant River, which serve as a critical designated habitat for Atlantic salmon and native brook trout. Future efforts by the Appalachian Mountain Club to remove stream barriers and restore aquatic habitat on the property will help to reestablish renowned native brook trout populations and allow Atlantic salmon to return to native spawning grounds in the headwater streams of the West Branch for the first time in nearly two centuries—making it one of the only places in the state where this will be possible.
Future restorative forestry efforts on the property will position multi-use forestland as the ideal stronghold for ecological resilience and climate adaptability, providing more and higher quality wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) to local and regional mills while simultaneously improving habitat and doubling carbon sequestration on AMC’s Maine lands over the long term. Through careful forest management, AMC will leverage its ownership to sustain local economies and keep the land open for public access.
“The Pleasant River Headwaters Forest represents a keystone parcel—the hole in the doughnut— for landscape connectivity and resilience in the 100-Mile Wilderness,” said AMC Senior Vice President Walter Graff. “Securing its future and restoring late successional habitat here will put regional climate adaptation planning in league with the White Mountain National Forest and Adirondack Park, proving that forests that work hard for human communities can rank among those working hardest for natural communities, too.”
The 2019 scholarships have been selected, please check back in early 2020 if you’re interested in applying.
Have you been thinking you’d like to do some volunteer trail work to repay or give back for the hours you’ve spent hiking trails? Want to have fun doing it? Like to stay overnight as part of it and eat chef-prepared meals in a log cabin lodge? Like to sleep where you can smell the pine-scented fresh air? The Maine Chapter has just the deal for you!
You are invited to apply for a scholarship that will cover all costs for food and overnight lodging during one of three trailwork opportunities in AMC’s MWI. The Peter Roderick Trail Work Award (PRTWA) will cover the cost of a multi-day volunteer trail work outing in AMC’s MWI area in Maine. With preference to first- or second-time trailwork volunteers, up to four scholarships may be awarded for use during any of three volunteer trips during 2019.
The three volunteer trips during 2019 are May 24-27, July 8-11, and October 11-14. Each trip begins with 6pm dinner and an overnight at one of the three AMC lodges outside of Greenville, Maine, and ends after lunch on the final day. All charges for bunkhouse accommodations and all meals during that time are covered by the scholarship.
The Maine Chapter Annual Report was distributed at the Chapter Annual Meeting. You can view a full color copy of the report here.
Some highlights of the Report:
- This year, 27 Maine Chapter Leaders led more than 450 participants on 98 trips and provided 7 instructional/training sessions. This represents more than an estimated 1,000 hours in volunteer time under the leadership of Bill Brooke and the Outings Committee trip leaders.
- The Maine Chapter contributed funds to assist with the remodeling of the bunkhouse at Little Lyford Lodge in Maine’s 100 Mile Wilderness as well as $1,000 each to the Maine Woods Community Youth and Environment Project and Teen Wilderness Adventure Trips.
- The Maine Chapter now reports over 6,500 active members as of September 2018, its highest count in 5 years.
- The Chapter Executive Committee has 7 openings for chairs. If you think you’d like to tackle a chair position, please contact Paul Hahn, Nominating Committee Chair, for more information,
- Besides 4 quality newsletters, the Maine Chapter Newsletter editor Carey Kish also produced the latest edition (11th) of the Maine Mountain Guide. This guide now contains 464 pages. This new edition has been thoroughly revised and updated, featuring 175 new trails, 50 new mountains, and 13 additional in-text maps. And Carey is already collecting notes for the next revision.
The following people were elected to the 2019 Maine Chapter Executive Committee during the November 10, 2018 Chapter Annual meeting. Their terms officially begin on January 1, 2019.
- Chapter Chair – Kathleen Redmond-Miller
- Chapter Vice Chair – Cindy Caverly
- Secretary – Jeanine Libby
- Treasurer – Kristen Grant
- Archives – Doug Chamberlin
- At Large – Chris Franklin
- Past Chapter Chair – Doug Chamberlin
- Maine Woods Initiative Chair – Paul Hahn
- Newsletter Chair – Carey Kish
- Nominating Chair – Paul Hahn
- Outings Co-Chair – Bill Brooke
- Outings Co-Chair – Denise Fredette
The following Executive Committee positions are open:
- At Large
- Conservation Chair
- E-Communications Chair
- Meetings & Education Chair
- Membership Chair
- Trails Chair
- Young Members Co-Chair
If you’re interested in getting involved with the Maine Chapter and are willing to consider any of these positions, please contact Paul Hahn, Maine Chapter’s Nominating Committee Chair, at email@example.com
Listed below is the slate of nominations for ExCom to be voted on at the Annual Meeting.
Chapter Chair Kathleen Redmond – Miller
Chapter Vice Chair Cindy Caverly
Secretary Jeanine. Libby
Treasurer Kristen Grant
At Large Chris Flanklin
Past Chapter Chair Doug Chamberlain
Conservation Chair Pete Carney
Maine Woods Initiative Paul Hahn
Newsletter Editor Carey Kish
Nominating Chair Paul Hahn
Outings Co- Chairs Bill Brooke and Denise Fredette
Date and Location: Saturday, August 25, at Maine Audubon, Falmouth, Maine
Join experienced Maine AMC Leaders and AMCs Leadership Trainers for a one day workshop to develop and practice leadership skills necessary to plan and lead safe and enjoyable chapter activities. This workshop is for new and prospective leaders with no prior AMC leader experience and for experienced leaders looking to improve their skills. The workshop format will be a combination of presentations, discussion, and interactive sessions on outdoor leadership including; leader decision making , group management strategies, accident scene management, trip planning, and others. Whether you are an experienced leader looking to make your trips run more smoothly, or are interested in becoming a leader, this workshop will give you the skills and confidence you need to lead a chapter activity. Participants successfully completing this workshop will meet AMCs requirement for chapter trip leader training. To register or for more information, please contact Bill Brooke.
Date and Location: Saturday, June 9, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Range Pond State Park, Poland, Maine
Sea Kayak assisted and self rescue training course taught by BCU trained sea kayakers (3* & 4*) at Range Pond in Poland ME. We will demonstrate safe boating set up for sea kayakers, demoing both assisted techniques (T-rescue, eskimo rescue) and self rescue techniques. Must have kayak, spray skirt, paddle, pfd, paddle float, cold water immersion gear. Instructors will work with all participants to improve and master rescue techniques. Bring lunch and plan on paddling Range ponds after training. To register or get more information, please contact Al Mandell.
Date and Location: Tuesday, June 5, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, at the Bangor Public Library
The creation of Flagstaff Lake wrote a sad chapter in our history. The three villages of Bigelow, Dead River and Flagstaff were inundated and their residents forced to relocate and scatter. Buildings, most of them purchased by CMP prior to the gates in the dam being closed, were either razed, sold, or moved by their owners. Some buildings were left to be flooded. Long Falls Dam was constructed in 1948 and 1949 and impounds an area of approximately 22,000 acres. Alan Burnell and Kenny Wing, lifelong Mainers have had a shared passion for the story. They will share the photos and storied from their book, Lost Villages of Flagstaff Lake. For more information, please contact Nancy Jacobson.
Date and Location: Tuesday, May 8, at Gilsland Farm Maine Audubon, Falmouth, Maine
The introduction to backpacking workshop is for beginners and experienced hikers who would like to take the next step from day hiking to multi-day trips. The workshop will cover the basics needed for a safe and enjoyable three season backpacking trip. Topics include: conditioning for backpacking, planning a backpacking trip, dealing with emergencies, food & water considerations, selection of appropriate clothing and footwear, and gear for backpacking. Have your questions on backpacking answered , see backpacking gear, and a demonstration of how to load a backpack. Register for this workshop online or contact Bill Brooke for more information.
Date and Location: Thursday, April 19, 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm, at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick
Join us for an exciting presentation on Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. We will entice you to visit KWWMN with a video. In September of 2017, a team of four Maine-born photographers and filmmakers set off into Katahdin Woods & Waters to document the land in hopes of encouraging more public use. Their film, Monumental , documents a five day, 64-mile-long human powered circumnavigation of the park by canoe, bike, and foot. Learn about the many things to see and do in the monument from those who are involved in the activities going on up there. We’ll entice you with photos and details on how you can enjoy what the monument has to offer and how you can get involved in shaping this gem. We’ll also hear from the newly established Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, a membership organization working to raise funds and support for the Monument. They’ll share early accomplishments and plans moving forward, including how you can raise your voice during the management planning process for the Monument’s future. Potluck dinner will start at 6pm (please bring a dish to share, help us be green and bring your own cup, plates and silverware). Presentation at 7pm. Free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Michelle Moody.