Author Archives: Joanne McKee

An Exhibit about Composting is on display at the New Gloucester Library for the month of February

 

Do you know how to compost?

Learn how easy it is to do and save money as well as enrich your garden soils.

Composting can also save the town money by reducing the amount of tonnage that goes in the hopper. To transport the material in the hopper costs the town over $41 per ton.

30% t0 40 % of material that goes into the hopper is organic matter that could be composted.

For the year of 2017, 30% of the tonnage in New Gloucester’s hopper equals 410 tons. At $41 per ton for disposal of just organic matter, the cost to the town was $16.810!

Learn more about how easy it is to compost by visiting the display during February at the New Gloucester Library.

There is material to take home as well as a drawing for a compost bucket with liners for those that fill out a very short survey about composting.

New Gloucester Environmental Resource Committee
February 2018

Correction to website given for ban on Invasive plants

The correct website should be

www.maine.gov/hort

Sorry if you were misled.

Environmental resources comm.

Ban on Invasive Plants Sold in Maine

33 Invasive Plants Prohibited from Sale in Maine as of January 1, 2018

What you need to Know.

A list of plants that it is illegal to import, sell, export, buy or intentionally propagate as January 1, 2018 can be found on the following web site. The ban includes the listed species and all cultivars, varieties and hybrids.

www.maine.gov/hort

Look under “Invasive Plants” when the page comes up. Botanical as well as common names are listed.

Local nurseries are aware of the ban and will not sell you these but you may already have them in your yard and might consider replacing them with a non-invasive.

They may also be available from out of state nurseries so recheck the list before ordering from them.

At the bottom of the list of invasive plants are several links to plants that are alternates to invasive plants.

When attending a plant sale in the community, be aware of the list and also make the seller aware of this ban.

Environmental Resource Committee of New Gloucester
12/22/17

 

Recycling of Christmas Wrappings at the Transfer Station

All types of Christmas and gift paper can be put in the paper bin BUT please remove any bows and ribbons first as these are not recyclable .

Consider saving bows, gift bags and gift boxes to reuse during the year to save yourself some money and reduce waste.

Christmas cards can be used as gift tags by cutting them up and saving the fronts of the cards.

Environmental Resources Committee of New Gloucester
12/16/17

Student help at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds

GNG Students help at the New Gloucester Fair Grounds

On Saturday October 14th, students from the GNG High School Community Service Club worked with members of the New Gloucester Environmental Resources Committee for several hours clearing brush and invasive plants in an area near the playground and shelter. They also helped plant forsythia in another area. They were hard workers and most enjoyable with which to work. The committee thanks them very much.

Below is a list of the names of these wonderful workers.

David Arata
Jeremy Mazur
Jacob MacCallum
Michael Sutherland
Andrew LaCerda
Abigail Michaud
Carson McEvoy

RADON

RADON

Is radon a problem in the air and/ or water in your home?

After smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

New Gloucester has areas with high radon levels. High concentrations of radon can be removed from your home’s air and water.

To find out more, visit the New Gloucester Library during the month of October where the Environmental Resource Committee has a display about radon.

A local laboratory has provided free water and air testing packets as well as a coupon good for October for a 20% reduction in individual test costs. With the coupon, each test will cost $28.00.

Environmental Resource Committee
10/6/17

Pollinators”Garden at the Fairgrounds in Full Bloom!!

The Pollinators’ Garden at the Fairgounds is in Full Bloom!!

Check out the garden and see the many types of pollinators’ that are using it.

This is a demonstration garden that was planted by the Environmental Resource Committee of New Gloucester to encourage people to plant appropriate and easily cared for plants in their yard for various types of pollinators to visit.

The mailbox has information on the botanical and common names of the plants used as well as other information about the planting of the garden.IMG_0181IMG_0182

How to Get RId of Moles and Japanese Beattles

How to get rid of moles and Japanese Beetles:
Use beneficial nematodes for grub control.

Moles eat grubs that are in your lawns and gardens. To get rid of the moles you must get rid of the grubs. One way to do this organically is to use nematodes.

Nematodes are microscopic non-segmented worms which occur naturally in soils all over the world. Beneficial nematodes attack only soil-dwelling insects and leave plants alone. Beneficial nematodes and the bacteria they spread are not known to be harmful to humans, animals, plants, earthworms and other non-targeted organisms but they do aggressively pursue insects like grubs. In field studies, they have been shown to be as much as 96% effective against Japanese beetle grubs.

Although many species of beneficial nematodes are available, Heterorhabdidis bacteriophora (Hb) are most effective against Japanese beetles , European chafer and other grubs that are lawn pests. Hb nematodes work better because they are cruiser nematodes that burrow down in the soil searching for deep soil-dwelling pests. They also have a special “tooth” that help them get into the grub.

NOTE; The best time to apply Hb nematodes is mid to late August. They are shipped in the juvenile stage and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks and are applied on an overcast day, preferably at dusk. The package is very small, 4”square at the most, and contain about 1 million nematodes. A handheld sprayer or hose-end sprayer is used to spread them. Directions are included when the package is purchased.

Nematodes are available locally at Paris Farmers Union, O’Donal’s Nursery, Skillin’s Greenhouses, Fedco Seeds, and online at gardeners.com.

Environmental Resource Committee of New Gloucester

7/21/17

Browntail Moth: How to identify these and Gypsy moths and Eastern tent caterpillars

Why are they a problem?
The browntail caterpillar has tiny (0.15 mm) hairs that on sensitive individuals cause a skin rash similar to poison ivy and/or trouble breathing.
The microscopic hairs break off the caterpillars and are everywhere in browntail infested areas; on trees, lawns, gardens, decks, picnic tables and in the air.
The hairs can remain toxic for up to THREE YEARS so although the problem is worst from May to July, they may cause a reaction at other times of year as well.
Wind or activities such as mowing, leaf-blowing, etc., can stir up the hairs, leading to a reaction.
The rash and trouble breathing can last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. It is caused by both a chemical reaction to a toxin in the hairs and physical irritation from the barbed hairs. Contact your physician if a reaction is severe.
Browntail
Moth
Maine Forest Service
(207) 287-2431
www.maineforestservice.gov
Maine Board of Pesticides Control
(207) 287-2731
thinkfirstspraylast.org
Life Cycle: Browntail moth (Euproctis Chrysorrhea)
 One generation a year.
 Four life stages; egg, larval, pupal, and adult.
 Larval stage (caterpillars) lasts from August through to the following June.
 In the spring, as soon as the earliest leaf buds open, the caterpillars become active and leave their over-wintering webs to feed on tender new leaves. They may devour the leaves as fast as the leaves develop.
 When young, the caterpillars return to the webs at night, but later remain out on the leaves overnight, and are fully grown by late June.
 The caterpillars then form filmy cocoons between leaves on trees, under eaves, picnic tables, decks, etc.
 Adult moths are emerge from cocoons in late July and August, laying clusters of eggs on the underside of leaves. The moths are strongly attracted to light.
 Caterpillars emerge from the eggs in August and feed on the upper side of the leaves of host trees.
 In the fall, colonies of caterpillars build winter webs on the tips of branches. The webs are made from leaves tightly wrapped with white silk. There can be 25 to 400 or more caterpillars in each web.
 The caterpillars overwinter within the 2-5 inch (5-10 cm) winter webs. The webs are found most often on red oak or apple trees.

Damage:
The caterpillars feed on the leaves of many hardwood trees and shrubs. Common host trees and shrubs in-clude:
 Oak, apple, crabapple, cherry, hawthorn, shad-bush, serviceberry, and rugosa rose.

Feeding by browntail caterpillars can cause reduced growth and branch dieback. A number of years at high population levels can lead to mortality of trees and shrubs.
Look-a-likes:
 Eastern tent caterpillars have a solid whitish line down the middle of the back with a row of oval pale blue spots on each side and are covered with long brown hairs.
 Gypsy moth caterpillars have pairs of blue and red spots along their back and are covered with long brown hairs.

Browntail Moth (adult):
 Both sexes of the browntail moth have snow white wings and a tuft of dark brown hair on the tip of the abdo-men. Only seen in July and August.

http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/
Identification:
Browntail Caterpillar:
 Dark brown with a broken white stripe on each side and two conspicuous red spots on the back. They grow to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length.

http://maine.gov/dacf/mfs/

New Gloucester Environmental Committee  5/14/2017

Community Service Club helps at the New Gloucester Fairgrounds

Students worked from 10am until 3 pm cutting and removing a massive amount of invasive honeysuckle bushes and other brush, taking the brush to the transfer station, weeding and mulching in the pollinators’ garden and planting more plants.The Environmental Resource Committee of New Gloucester is so very grateful for all their help.IMG_0123