Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library celebrated E(art)h Day April 24 on the library lawn on the warmest day yet this year. Executive Director Joanna Breen and Community Technology Coordinator Bethany Schmidt had art projects-to-go for kids celebrating the beautiful day with their families while spreading the message of recycling, upcycling and cutting back consumption.
“It’s E(art)h Day, see: an 'E' and 'art' parenthetical, and then an ‘h,’” laughed Schmidt. “You take it home, make the project and then bring it back and we're going to have a kids art gallery opening on our plant sale day. Two birds, one stone: You get to buy some plants and you get to see your art."
The plant sale at BHML 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 5 will have indoor and outdoor plants, children's artwork, artwork by the late Jim Taliana and a silent auction. Schmidt and Breen said the auction may be held online.
Visitors and locals weaved in and around tables set up by Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Sea and Science Center, Maine Monitor, Lincoln County Gleaners, Plastic Free Peninsula and more. Friends of the Library Used Book Store had tables with books, DVD's and audiobooks for sale by donation.
Helen Meserve and Peg Helming of Plastic Free Peninsula said their group continues to follow up with businesses on getting rid of single-use plastics, styrofoam containers and straws, among other things.
“Last year we did a survey of 40 or 50 of the restaurants in town and most of them are really trying,” said Meserve.
“– Trying to get to get rid of plastic and get to recyclable or compostable tableware,” said Helming.
Meserve said the group will continue fighting the fight and has been asked to set up a table at Windjammer Day to put recyclables and non-recyclables on display so people will know about the things they think get recycled, but don’t.
Gleaners Diane Edwards and Abbe Levin said their group, now under Healthy Lincoln County, has been doing different things to engage the public and maximize help to towns. The latest project is a “Plant-a-row” program, said Edwards. “We're growing in part to put food in different pantries so people can come and just take them.”
The Gleaners handed out pepper plant starts, another program they plan on launching to get people ahead of the growing season. Edwards said due to the short season in Maine and the inability for some to start plants from seeds indoors, the Gleaners are doing these starts for people to collect when it is time for plants to go into the ground.
Boothbay Sea and Science Center’s Pauline Dion said the Center’s summer program will go ahead at about 50% registrations. However, they expect it to be a fun and fulfilling season coming off the heels of a great seaweed growing program with Whitefield Elementary School, Boothbay Region Elementary School, Edgecomb Eddy School, Wiscasset Middle High School, Southport Central School and Georgetown Central School.
“We harvest the seaweed Friday,” said Dion. “We have 11 drop-lines down, so we have a lot of seaweed to bring in. It's going to be fun and we're really looking forward to it.”
BHML staff were excited to see so many people come out, said Assistant Director Harolyn Hylton as Circulation Coordinator Meg Donaldson talked with children about the library’s in-house telescope. Schmidt said the art will hopefully bring families back to the plant sale for more of the socially distanced fun. “There's going to be some great stuff for in your garden like tools and mulch. Some amazing stuff.”
Said Breen, “I'm waiting for the plant sale this year. I need to do things in my garden and I keep wanting to go get stuff, but I'm holding off!”