Back in June, Cat Mosley and I visited Cherryfield, Maine for the annual Cherryfield Days festival. It was a perfect day in Washington County, as we celebrated the town’s 200th year anniversary. Saturday’s parade was an incredible showcase of regional and town pride. From CH Matthews to Route 1, Main Street was lined with spectators of all ages. The crowds cheered on the procession to the music of the Cherryfield Band. There was a wide range of floats, vehicles and marchers, from the VFW veterans and U.S. Coast Guard Cruiser, to dancing blueberries and a wagon of organic farmers. With an ATV, a redemption center pulled a creative pyramid of soda cans and Allen’s bottles. In the middle of it all, Cat drove the Apex pickup truck, while I tossed Downeast Wind candy to the crowds.
Lined up before the parade, I had the chance to meet some of our fellow participants and learn a little more of Cherryfield’s long history and also its recent past. One story that really stuck with me, though, I found while walking River Road on Friday evening. Pausing for a minute in Veteran’s Park, I read the history of Forest Mill Dam. The dam helped Cherryfield make use of one of its greatest natural resources: the Narragaugus River. The dam played an instrumental role in powering the local economy by expanding business in the area. After talking with locals on Saturday, excited about the tax revenues, jobs, and spending that Downeast Wind will bring to the area, I can’t help but draw a connection. Thanks, Cherryfield, for letting us take part in an awesome event! I’m looking forward to my next visit.
“Having lived in Maine my whole life, I’m thrilled to be involved in a project that I truly believe in, in a state I care deeply about. In my studies, I have explored both state energy policies, as well as current strategies for economic revitalization in rural Maine. I am very excited by the opportunities our Wind project can bring Downeast, and glad to be a part of the team.”
Ben Semmes is a public affairs intern for the Downeast Wind project. Ben joined Apex Clean Energy in June of 2016 and has been helping with the public relations in Washington County. Ben is currently a student at Colby College where he studies Environmental Policy and Economics.