Wildlife day

AUGUSTA – Gov. John Baldacci has proclaimed Jan. 10 as Maine Wildlife Appreciation Day. Baldacci cites the importance of wildlife to Maine’s environment and economy, with feeding, watching and photographing wildlife generating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity in Maine annually.

To celebrate, the Wildlife Alliance of Maine is sponsoring displays from several conservation organizations in the State House Hall of Flags from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Organizations include the Maine Wolf Coalition, Maine Audubon Society, Maine Friends of Animals, RESTORE: The North Woods and Aerie East. Baldacci has announced that he will make an appearance sometime between 9 a.m. and noon.

The event will serve as an opportunity for the public and legislators to meet with wildlife advocates and to learn about the problems and needs facing Maine’s fish and wildlife resources.

Women’s support

SOUTH PORTLAND – The Cancer Community Center invites all women who have a predisposition to any type of cancer due to a family history to a free monthly networking group led by Heather Sylvester, a genetic counselor. The Women’s High Risk Group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the fourth Thursday of the month at the Cancer Community Center, 778 Main St.

Topics will include genetic tests that are available, insurance implications, the role of nutrition/diet, exercise and stress management, alternative and complimentary therapies, preventive (prophylactic) surgery and other concerns women may want to discuss. The Jan. 25 meeting will focus on nutrition and cancer prevention with Karen Schilling, clinical dietitian, specializing in oncology.

For more information, visit www.cancercommunitycenter.org or call 774-2200 or toll free, 1-877-774-2200.

Astronomy class

CUMBERLAND – Southern Maine Astronomers will offer short presentations on telescope assembly, alignment and use, including basics of backyard stargazing, followed by hands-on assistance for new telescope users, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at the Cumberland Congregational Church. People are encouraged to take their new equipment for hands-on assistance if they need it.

The formal meeting will be preceded by a beginner’s astronomy class starting at 6:40. For more information about the club and directions to the meeting site, visit www.southernmaineastronomers.org.

Audubon trip

HIGHLAND PLANTATION – The Maine Audubon is offering a trip to learn about winter ecology in the foothills of Maine’s Bigelow Range from Friday to Sunday, Jan. 19 to 21.

On snowshoes or cross-country skis, participants will call owls, explore deer-wintering areas, look for boreal chickadees and spruce grouse and scout for fox, fisher, coyote, moose and pine marten tracks.

Lodging will be at the Claybrook Mountain Lodge in the Upper Carrabassett Valley near Flagstaff Lake and Bigelow Mountain.

The trip will be co-led by Greg Drummond, a Registered Maine Master Guide who has led hunting, fishing, hiking and nature exploration trips in the Bigelow area for 25 years. Co-leader Ron Joseph has worked as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist for 25 years.

The trip includes meals and lodging for $235 for Audubon members, $250 for nonmembers. Advance registration is necessary; to register, call 781-2330, ext. 215. For more information on other Maine Audubon programs, visit www.maineaudubon.org.

Free trees

NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. – Ten free flowering trees will be given to each person from Maine who joins the National Arbor Day Foundation during January.

The free trees are part of the nonprofit Foundation’s Trees for America campaign. They include two white flowering dogwoods, two flowering crabapples, two Washington hawthorns, two American redbuds and two goldenrain trees.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting between Feb. 1 and May 31 with planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free.

Members also receive a subscription to the foundation’s bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and “The Tree Book.” To become a member, send a $10 contribution to Ten Free Flowering Trees, National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, Neb. 68410, by Jan. 31 or go online to arborday.org.

Country music

BUXTON – The Pine Tree State Country Music Association will conduct its annual talent search/competition March 18 and 25 at the Roost and April 1, location to be announced.

Entrants will be judged by four persons connected to the music industry. Winners will be announced at the annual award show on May 20 at the Roost. All events are open to the public.

The association has released its first CD, “21 Country Artists of Maine.” Members will hold a Valentine show/dance from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Silver Spurr in Mechanic Falls.

For more information or entry forms for competition, contact Joan Cole, 490-1232 or [email protected]; Russ Connell, 542-3093 or [email protected]; Bonnie Edgecomb, 642-21734 or [email protected]; or Mary Hamilton, 247-4611; or go to www.ptscountrymusicassoc.org.