BoomerTECH Adventures: 11 Spring Digital Resources
Spring has definitely arrived in Maine. The maple sap has stopped flowing, the sun is rising higher in the sky and setting later in the day. It’s time to shake off the cold brown clammy mud season and step out into the warmth of green buds, leaves and shoots. As you gather your gear and tools to venture outdoors, we’d like to share a few online resources that BoomerTECH Adventures has used and recommend them for making the most of this relatively short but busy season between winter and summer. ‘summer.
The number one digital resource is perhaps the most comprehensive online authority for gardeners in Maine created by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension at extension.umaine.edu. For over 100 years, the extension has provided research-based information providing practical solutions in many areas, including agriculture, yard and garden maintenance, pests, plant diseases and even more. The extension offers virtual and in-person resources ranging from programs, publications, workshops, courses, blogs, and videos, many of which are free. For example, their video library has 637 videos that can be searched by keyword. Let’s say you are interested in planting blueberries this year; just type in “grow blueberries” and within seconds dozens of resources on growing blueberries in Maine will appear. Concerned about these invasive plants and insects? Just type in “knotweed” or “brown tail mite” to see what your options might be. We’ve never been empty when searching for answers to a Maine gardening topic through the co-op extension. Try it the next time you have a question or just want to learn more about gardening or farming in Maine.
Spring is a great time to get involved in beautifying your community as well as cleaning up your yard. Many communities in Maine have garden clubs organized around neighbors interested in contributing to their towns and cities. If you’re wondering if there’s a garden club near you, check out online resource number two, the Maine Federation of Garden Clubs at mainegardenclubs.org. They and their local affiliates work on many local programs, such as supporting low-maintenance, eco-friendly landscapes and gardens with Habitat for Humanity, providing scholarships for students interested in agriculture, maintaining gardening projects to beautify their communities and organizing monthly conferences and presentations. related to gardening and nature. Several clubs in the area hold annual spring plant sales that attract hundreds of gardeners eager to support their valuable programs. One of the biggest and most anticipated events is Resource Number Three, the Bath Garden Club Plant Sale which is being held this year from 8am to noon on May 7th at Library Park. To find out more about the Bath Garden Club, visit bathgardenclub.org.
Thanks to the many conservation land trusts, public parks and nature reserves in our communities, we have plenty of opportunities to venture out during the warmer spring. There are several online resources for finding wonderful public places to explore that you may not know about. Resources Four, Five and Six are very active public land trusts in our region. The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust at btlt.org preserves and provides public access to over 3000 acres of land with 13 walking and cycling trails in Brunswick, Topsham and Bowdoin. The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust at kennebecestuary.org protects 3,639 acres of land and 12 trails in the towns of Arrowsic, Bath, Bowdoinham, Dresden, West Bath, Georgetown, Richmond, Westport Island and Woolwich. The Harpswell Heritage Land Trust at hhltmaine.org maintains 20 trails and wildlife reserves on 1,630 acres of conservation land. In addition to these land trusts and others, our Midcoast region of Maine has a number of state parks within easy reach. Reid, Popham, Wolf Neck and Bradbury Mountain State Parks are all accessible online. With resource number seven, maine.gov, you can search all of Maine’s state parks and public lands by location, activity types, and facilities.
If you want to research a number of trail options for hiking, biking, or paddling this spring, online resource number eight, The Maine Trail Finder is a great place to explore (mainetrailfinder.com). This website allows you to search for trails based on the type of activity you are interested in (hiking, biking, paddling), level of difficulty including wheelchair accessibility, distance, trail surface and height. ‘location. I found new trails to explore as well as reminders of some old favorites to revisit.
Resource Number Nine is a statewide organization that can help you get up and out in the spring sunshine. If you want to hop on your bike and hit the road, bike path, or mountain bike trail, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine (bikemaine.org) is a great place to start. In fact, their annual bike swap has two locations this spring. The first is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 24 at the USM Lewiston campus. The second bike swap will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 12 at the Gorham USM campus. Bike Swap is a fantastic place to trade in your old bike and upgrade to a better bike for spring or just get a great deal on a new bike. For more information on both swaps and how you could volunteer to help, see Issue 10, bikemaine.org/events/bike-swap/. And once you have your bike, the Bicycle Coalition website can help you find great places to ride it by visiting our 11th online resource, bikemaine.org/where-to-ride/.
That’s our list of 11 spring online resources for you. We hope you’ll check them out and let us know your favorites by visiting us at boomertechadventures.com. Happy Spring!
BoomerTECH Adventures (boomertechadventures.com) provides expert advice and resources to help baby boomers and seniors build skills and confidence using their Apple devices. Boomers themselves, BoomerTECH Adventures leverages their skills as educators to create experiences that meet individual needs through timely videos, Zoom presentations, tech tips and blog posts.