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ReTreeUS - School Orchards

Nothing brightens a rainy day like a fun Rotary Meeting! President Bruce Harris began our meeting sharing a recent report from the U. S. Surgeon General revealing that loneliness is bad for your health, and it’s rampant in post-pandemic America. People who are lonely are at increased risk for physical and emotional illness, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Friendship, socialization, and small acts of service are good for your heart in more ways than one. If you’d like to start living a little healthier, JOIN ROTARY!

We welcomed visitors returning and new, Margit Ahlin, Sarah Cortier from Edgecomb Eddy School, Ingrid Merrill from BRHS, our speaker, Richard Hodges from ReTreeUS, and Sue Louisignau, Bill’s wife, who is interested in becoming a member, too.


  1. The Barn has a new collection of gently used furniture, pots/pans, dishes, glassware, any kind of household goods, tools and collectibles donated by our neighbors for 2023! The barn is open 8:30 -11 a.m. from April 1 through mid-December. 66 Montgomery Road, Boothbay Harbor. Last weekend was another busy and successful day.  Donations of gently used furniture are especially welcomed.
  2. A group from our Rotary Club attended the Damariscotta Club Meeting and discussed collaborating together on the Spain Friendship Exchange. 
  3. The Rotary sponsored high school Interact club put on a dance for the middle school at the YMCA bringing back a Boothbay tradition and providing a great opportunity for fun and healthy socialization. Over 65 middle schoolers were “glowing” at the dance. Interact is wrapping-up a successful year of service with a fun movie night (Black Panther) at the Harbor Theater on Sunday at 6:30. Friends of Interact are welcome!
  4. Speaking of traditions, Rotary has an opportunity to help bring back the Lobster Roll 5K road race this summer. The Lobster Roll 5K had a ten year “run” before the pandemic, and with the help of Rotary will return and continue to raise money for the high school cross country and track & field teams. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Bruce at

Program: ReTreeUS presented by Richard Hodges.

Richard shared that he started the program in 2008 and it is now active in Maine, New Hampshire, and parts of Massachusetts. He shared that he began this educational orchard initiative as a volunteer without receiving pay until 5 years ago. The program reaches out to empower kids to plant and grow their own food, plant orchards and gardens at schools thus educating students to care for our environment and embrace a healthy lifestyle. They have both fruit tree orchards as well as “Back to School Gardens”. In 2023 ReTreeUS plans to plant its 100th school orchard and the Edgecomb Eddy School will be the site of one of these orchards.

Richard is currently working with Edgecomb Eddy School on an orchard already beginning with laying out the flags where the fruit trees will be planted. The orchards offer outdoor experiential education instilling stewardship and community involvement. 

Donations are tax deductible. ReTreeUS can be followed on Facebook and Instagram. In summary as Richard stated the vision is to “Plant Trees of Fruit” and “Seeds of Thought”! More information is available on the web site at: “” or you may reach him at

Join us this week as we welcome Holly Stover, Director of Operations, for the Community Resource Council.  The Community Resource Council is the umbrella of many local programs that work together to make our community home, "when we work together we all thrive.”  The CRC programs include the world famous Woodchucks, the new and much needed Community Fridge, Food For Thought, Addiction Outreach and many more.  Holly is an engaging speaker, who is knowledgeable about our community, the challenges and some of the avenues we can take to meet them.

If you are interested in the fun and work of Rotary, join us every Thursday at 5:45 pm at our Clubhouse, 66 Montgomery Rd, BBH.  The Rotary Barn is open Saturday from 8:30 to 11:00.  Some of your donations and purchases at the Barn help support programs at the Community Resource Council.