PARIS — This Sunday the legacy of late U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie’s commitment to the environment will take center stage in Paris at the Paris River Park, located on Paris Hill Road just off Route 26. Festivities start at 10 a.m.

Paris River Park’s Clean Water Celebration is a collaboration between the town’s River Park Committee, the Androscoggin River Watershed Council, Western Maine Foothills Land Trust and the Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District. The watershed council is sponsoring events from Umbagog down to Lewiston to commemorate the Clean Water Act of 1972.

In Paris, events will be held at the town’s river park on the Little Androscoggin River, a tributary of the Androscoggin that joins it in New Auburn.

The canoe and kayak launch at Paris River Park. Paddlers are invited to explore the pond area of the park at its 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, this Saturday starting at 10 a.m. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

Saturday’s activities will include kayak paddling and a fly casting demonstration provided by Glenn Tippy of Trout Unlimited.

Chantelle Hay of OCSWCD will lead children’s games focusing on conservation and ecology of her own design, including a game of tic tac toe using soil and water symbols, and Go Fish with ME, a game that teaches kids about fishing.

Visitors may roam the seven acre park to observe and photograph nature. The area is family to two sets of white tail fawn twins and inhabited by song birds, water birds like great blue herons and birds of prey.

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Twin white tail fawns at the Paris River Park peer from the safety of riverside growth beneath a white pine. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

WMFLT will have information about activities throughout the watershed area and will present on topics about how the Androscoggin River and its tributaries have changed from the days when industrial pollution made waterways unsafe for drinking, swimming and fishing to the return of widespread recreation today.

One novel demonstration will allow participants to make their own smoothies using power they create on a bicycle. There will be Androscoggin River Watershed Council t-shirt and hat give-aways, raffles and prizes for those who participate in games, and a grand raffle to award gift cards to local restaurants The Square and Café Nomad.

People are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs, and be prepared to carry out what they carry in, including leftover food and trash.

Anyone who wants a supplied picnic lunch should email WMFLT at  [email protected] to reserve their meals.

People can also learn about other Clean Water Act anniversary celebrations by visiting the Androscoggin Watershed Council’s website at http://www.androscogginwatershed.org/ and clicking on its “50th Anniversary” link for the list.


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