HazMat at TriCounty

The third Saturday of June — June 18 — is the annual Hazardous Materials collection at TriCounty Solid Waste Management Organization — our Transfer Station. The hours are 8:30-11 a.m. only. There’s a list of acceptable materials on the website — TCSWMO.org. In general, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, gas, oil, antifreeze, household cleaners and other chemicals, and other items that must not go in the regular trash. The charge for this safe disposal service is $12 per “unit” — a unit of solid material is 20 pounds, a unit of liquid is 5 gallons. Never combine different products. Bring liquids in their original containers. The more we learn about these products the more we know about how hazardous they are, so get them out of your life. I’ll see you there.

Dairy Magic at Pumpkin Vine

Pumpkin Vine Family Farm, just over the line in Somerville, has planned a great family activity for this Sunday, June 19 — which is also Father’s Day. Fun and learning combine in “magical” actions, like how goats turn grass into milk and how to turn liquid (milk) into solid (cheese), or try your hand at creating art work from magic (milk) potions or other activities. And, be sure to visit the Farmer’s Market where every Sunday local farmers bring their baked goods, organic veggies, mushrooms, plants, fiber, local meat, and, of course, cheese, yogurt, and smoothies. Pumpkin Vine Family Farm activities are Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 217 Hewett Road (off Route 17 near the Fire Station) in Somerville.

Note: There are many great farms in Washington. We’d welcome a chance to mention them in Washington News. Send your name, address, and a short description items you sell to charlotte@fairpoint.net.

Browntails — a new hint

The caterpillar on my deck this morning wasn’t a browntail, but a gypsy moth, or more politically correct, a sponge moth. They are similar but they do not have the two orange dots the browntail wears. The sponge moth is an invasive species, and as far as I know, should be destroyed similarly to the browntails. Sponge moths are generally not toxic but are serious tree defoliators.

A new-to-me way to get rid of them is to use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Add a couple of inches of soapy water to the canister of the wet/dry vacuum, vacuum them up, and leave them sit until they are drowned. Then safely dispose of them.

If you use this technique with browntails, be sure to contain them and dispose of them in the trash so the hairs will not harm anyone. Unfortunately, the toxin in browntail hairs remains stable for years.

Let’s make a parade

The Washington Citizens Parade 2022 will be Saturday, July 9, starting at 9 a.m. This parade is by and for the town and its people. The theme is “Washington Thru the Decades: Past, Present and Future.” The Washington Parade Committee invites businesses, organizations, veterans, artistic performers, antique vehicles (must be road-safe and legal), scout groups, and everybody to participate by creating a float, a band, or a performance to march through town. And parade watchers are necessary, too.

The parade route starts at Prescott Memorial School and will end at Bartlett’s Garage on Bill Luce Road. There is an application form that must be returned by June 30. Other legal forms are required as well to cover municipal requirements (for insurance liability and such). All of these forms are available on the town website — https://www.washington.maine.gov/ within the “Parade Committee Seeks” tab in the left hand column.

For more information, contact Wendy Carr at 542-2297; Roxanne Eggen, 930-0307; or Peg Hobbs, 790-0724.

Alewife access restoration

The Medomak Brook Connection (MBC) is an alewife access restoration project to remove water flow barriers in Medomak Brook so sea-run fish can swim into Washington Pond. Seeds of the project began with the Lloyd Davis Anadromous Fish Trust in Waldoboro working to open Medomak River. The final lap is Medomak Brook (aka Little Medomak River) which, when cleared, will allow alewives to make their way to Washington Pond where the volume of water is greater than all the other waters in the Medomak River watershed combined.

Several sea-run fish species will also gain access but the focus is on alewives since they are a keystone fish which provides food (as adults and as fry [babies]) to just about every kind of creature including eagles, striped bass, bears, lake trout, osprey, raccoons, seals, pickerel, otters, minks, loons, turtles and people.

More about the project next week.