Westbrook Community Center’s activities mirror the diversity of the people they serve. Adult-enrichment classes bring together crafty and inquisitive minds, teaching participants to knit mittens, take digital photographs, or understand veteran burial benefits. Youth programs center around hands-on exploration and movement. In Rock Star Cooking for Kids, locally renowned chef Josh Gelston teaches elementary-aged pupils how to cook a meal that doesn’t involve yarn and Skittles. Yoga, belly dancing, and swimming round out a long list of sports and fitness classes that serve participants of all ages. The calendar keeps track of the seasonally changing athletic, artistic, and educational opportunities.
For more than 150 years, Maine Audubon has championed Maine's wildest inhabitants with educational, engaging programs and wildlife and wildlife habitat advocacy. Members join the statewide nonprofit’s fight to maintain the population of native plant and animal life while interacting with furred and feathered planet mates through discounted access to activities such as the Eyes on Owls program ($5 for a child; $10 for an adult). Maine Audubon visitors can explore centers and sanctuaries such as the Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary and the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center, whose kayak rentals ($15/hour) allow paddlers to view off-duty ice sculptures and snowmen taking summer holidays. Maine Audubon's headquarters, Gilsland Farm, also unite members with 65 acres of trails, community gardens, and discounted wildlife-friendly gifts in the nature store.
The kitchen crew at Sahara Mediterranean Bar & Grill shaves tender layers of their popular chicken shawarma from the spit of a traditional vertical broiler, helping them earn the title of Detroit?s Best Middle Eastern restaurant from Local 4 viewers in summer 2011. Vegetarian options range from a falafel sandwich to the smoothly textured adas lentil soup, with beans that chefs carefully crush with an announcement that none of them made their high school?s baseball team. The menu also includes house specialties such as the potato chop?seasoned beef stuffed inside a golden-brown, deep-fried potato shell.
Sips from specialty drinks and smoky hookahs add a sweeter dimension to meals as diners perch on dark hardwood seating. The furnishings contrast visually with butter-yellow walls on which murals appear to emerge from behind crumbling stone.
For more than 30 years, The Lighthouse Preservation Society has worked to save and maintain the endangered lighthouses of the United States. The organization has spawned Congressional hearings and legislation, sponsored National Lighthouse Day, and aided in the creation of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act and the National Lighthouse Museum. The organization has also raised lighthouse awareness in the national consciousness, placing hundreds of lighthouses on the National Register of Historic Places and landing the most scenic ones on popular U.S. Postage stamps. This is all in addition to the ongoing preservation efforts; to date, the organization has raised nearly $6 million for more than 160 lighthouse-restoration projects. It's little wonder that the nonprofit was chosen as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Achievement Award for its efforts to maintain America's coastal heritage. Day to day, members lead lighthouse tours and present lighthouse-related presentations, gather historic documents and artifacts, and manufacture replica replacement parts.
Even when a lighthouse guides its last ship, the organization keeps its spirit alive through creative adaptive reuse projects. They take special pride in their private dining program, headquartered in the Newburyport Lighthouse on Massachusetts' North Shore. Recommended by Boston's Phantom Gourmet and lauded by Yankee Magazine as a "glass-enclosed love nest," the intimate multicourse meals pair dishes from sea and land with views of the historic town harbor and picturesque beaches. The cozy circular room nestled at the top of the lighthouse retains its functional panoramic views, but also features comforts including padded benches, a dining table, a music system, and a climate control system. There's even an outdoor balcony, giving diners the chance to feel the ocean breezes from 60 feet in the air.
After many hours of hard, dirty work, clearing out debris and installing new flooring at the Salem Animal Rescue League, Project Pawsitive Foundation president Jill Sullivan Grueter looked at her team's completed project with pride. "I could picture the rescue getting more people in to adopt because the place looked clean. It looked safe," she gushed in a YouTube chronicle of the project, "It was an awesome feeling." Animal shelters devote themselves to caring for neglected animals until they can be placed into loving homes, but a lack of funding or natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy can leave facilities damaged and potentially unsafe. That's where the construction experts and business professionals of the Project Pawsitive Foundation team come in, volunteering their time and abilities to help shelters stay open and continue their work of saving animals in need. Project Pawsitive Foundation relies on donations and sponsorships, and strives to renovate four or more animal rescues each year.
The Friends of the Seabrook Trail have a single goal: to create a safe space for the children and residents of Seabrook and beyond. Increased traffic throughout the town has caused many to worry for the safety of young ones and pedestrians alike, inspiring the volunteer organization to take action. Through fundraisers, partnerships, and the annual Road Race, they hope to transform a section of unused train railway into a 2.5-mile nonmotorized trail and make it a part of the 17-mile East coast trail. The trail would connect eight coastal cities, while also giving residents space to safely walk and run, and play the world's longest game of hopscotch.