Find True Relief from Your Chronic Illness at Med Matrix in North Yarmouth, ME

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Functional Medicine in North Yarmouth, ME

Have you ever been to a primary care doctor and wondered why they focus on treating symptoms instead of addressing the root cause of your illness? Rather than take a patient-centered approach to address questions like, "Why are you ill?" they prescribe medications that alleviate symptoms but don't do much to solve the underlying issue that's causing you to be sick.

When you have a cough, you're handed a cough suppressant. When you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you're prescribed a pill that masks the issue. The truth is that this approach only masks symptoms and can even make them exponentially worse. Medication never treats the root cause; your body's dysfunction isn't due to a deficiency of the medication you're taking.

That begs the question: Wouldn't you prefer to deal with the underlying cause of the problem making you feel bad? At Med Matrix, we take a functional approach to medicine instead of simply treating the symptoms our patients have.

We ask questions like:

  • Why is your body making more cholesterol?
  • Why are you obese?
  • Why is your blood pressure higher than ever before?
Functional Medicine Practice North Yarmouth, ME

Med Matrix: Taking a Functional Approach to Healthcare

At Med Matrix, we delve deep to uncover the fundamental reasons behind your persistent health issues, offering you a path to lasting relief. Our team consists of knowledgeable doctors and skilled functional medicine experts who create caring environments focused on patient needs. We prioritize a holistic healing approach that looks beyond symptom management and aims to uncover and solve the core causes of your conditions for sustained wellness.

Are you:

  • Fed up with prescription after prescription and the side effects that come with them?
  • Seeking clear answers to complex health issues?
  • Craving a proactive role in improving your health?
  • Looking for a supportive, compassionate healthcare team in North Yarmouth?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above or cannot get relief through conventional methods, functional medicine in North Yarmouth, ME, is for you.

What is Functional Medicine from Med Matrix?

The functional medicine model of care offers a patient-centered approach to managing chronic diseases. It aims to answer the question, "Why are you ill?" so that you can receive personalized and effective care tailored to your needs.

Functional medicine providers in North Yarmouth, like Med Matrix, take the time to listen to you and gather your medical history. This information helps us identify the root cause(s) of the illness, including triggers such as:

  • Poor Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Allergens
  • Toxins
  • Genetics
  • Microbiome (the bacteria living in and on your body)

Once we identify the triggers, we can create a customized plan that helps you lead a healthy life. Your plan will address various aspects of your life, including physical needs such as nutrition, exercise, and sleep, as well as mental and emotional stressors related to social, work, and community life.

 Functional Medicine Meal Plan North Yarmouth, ME

The Med Matrix Difference

 Functional Medicine Testing North Yarmouth, ME

At our functional health center, we provide a full spectrum of services and cutting-edge technologies to support your path to optimal health. Our team is skilled in a variety of practices including functional medicine, health coaching, hormone therapy, ozone therapy, and nutrition. Unlike some clinics that prioritize profits, we use diagnostic tools such as genetic testing and comprehensive laboratory evaluations to obtain a deeper understanding of your health conditions. In short, we take the time to get to know you, your body, your needs, and your goals. That way, we can provide the most effective, longest lasting care possible.

We also introduce innovative treatments and therapies like regenerative medicine, IV nutrient therapy, detoxification programs, PEMF mat, peptides, exosomes, and more. By integrating the most effective elements of conventional and functional medicine, we offer a comprehensive approach to health care that is tailored to you - not someone with a similar body type, age, and chronic illnesses.

Our Philosophy

Med Matrix was founded on the notion that patients deserve personalized, comprehensive care and unwavering commitment. Our philosophy also includes:

Above Beyond
Going Above & Beyond

Conventional medicine primarily aims to label diseases and prescribe medications for specific symptoms. At Med Matrix, we believe in a more holistic approach. Functional medicine - our chosen path - perceives the body as a harmonious. We view it as an interconnected system rather than a mere collection of isolated organs. In essence, we treat your entire system by delving into the root causes of your symptoms rather than trying to alleviate them on their own.

Working Together
Working Together

At Med Matrix, we consider patients to be more than visitors. We believe they're valued partners on the path to optimal health. Our cohesive team of seasoned physicians, devoted nurses, and expert nutritionists has an unwavering commitment to steering every patient towards health and happiness - a state we affectionately term "Health Actualization." Our functional medicine clinic is your comprehensive destination for wellbeing, and healing that propels you toward a life full of energy and vitality.

Advanced Testing
Advanced Testing

We seamlessly blend time-honored Western medical practices with cutting-edge functional medicine diagnostics conducted within our state-of-the-art, in-house laboratory. We understand that every patient has unique health needs and goals. Our diagnostic testing helps uncover the underlying issues you're dealing with so they can be addressed effectively. We do so through individualized treatment plans and custom treatments, not generalized care. Whether your path to wellness includes supplements, botanical medicines, prescription medications, therapeutic diets, detox regimens, or stress-reduction strategies, we're dedicated to your health.

Patients First
Patients First

Our core philosophy revolves around patient-centered care. Our practitioners take the time to listen, truly understand your unique story, and make you an integral part of the discovery process. We firmly believe that there's no one-size-fits-all solution in healthcare. That's why we're dedicated to delivering the highest quality functional medicine in North Yarmouth, ME. Our approach to Health Actualization isn't solely about the absence of disease; it's about fostering vitality and overall wellbeing. Together, let's collaborate to achieve your path to Health Actualization.

Functional Medicine Memberships from Med Matrix

Our functional medical memberships are designed to optimize your health and prevent diseases from interrupting your wellbeing. These 12-month memberships feature the following core components and timeline:

Advanced Testing.png

Advanced Testing

Our advanced diagnostic testing takes into account more than 100 biomarkers, which helps us identify and ultimately address the underlying problems causing you to be sick.

Functional Medicine

Functional MedicineReview

We'll set up a one-hour meeting where you'll meet with an IFM-certified provider. During this meeting, your provider will get a better sense of who you are and the goals you have for your body and overall wellness.

Healthcare Plan

Personalized Healthcare Plan

Your healthcare plan is customized to your body and your goals and can include guidance on lifestyle optimization, diet optimization, supplement optimization, and hormone optimization.

Quarterly Testing

Quarterly Testing and Review

Once a quarter, you'll meet with a health coach from Med Matrix who will check on you and where you're at with your health goals.

Other benefits of signing up for a functional medicine membership include IV vitamin credits, access to a professional health coach, and discounted pricing on stem cell therapy.

Top 6 Reasons to Consider Functional Medicine in North Yarmouth, ME

One of the most popular questions we get from new patients at Med Matrix is why they should even consider functional medical services over those at conventional medical centers. We get it - if you've only known the traditional side of medicine, exploring treatment from a functional medical doctor might seem unnecessary or uncomfortable. Before you retreat back into your comfort zone, take these points into consideration.

 Functional Medicine Consults North Yarmouth, ME

Comprehensive Treatment Options

Unlike conventional doctors, who must work in a narrow scope of treatment, functional medicine opens the doorway to a wealth of therapies and treatments. For instance, at Med Matrix, when a patient presents with symptoms of depression, we don't simply consider which prescription medication to prescribe.

We thoroughly assess omega-3 levels, vitamin D levels, hormones, thyroid imbalances, gut issues, and inflammatory markers. Our goal is to identify the root cause of your depression. We seek to understand WHY your depression is happening. Some common functional medicine treatment options can include the following:

  • Health Coaching
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Diet Optimization
  • Holistic Treatments and Therapies
  • Hormone Balancing
  • IV Vitamin Therapy
  • Med Spa Services
  • Peptide Therapy
Healthcare-and-Wellness

Healthcare and Wellness Services Catered to You

Functional medicine recognizes that each person is unique, so their treatment should be personalized. We all have different genetics, upbringings, diets, stress levels, and backgrounds. As functional medicine providers, we aim to understand each patient's life story from birth and create a plan that is tailored to them. Common sense says that conversation could take some time, and you'd be correct. An initial consultation with a functional medicine provider from Med Matrix can last an hour or more. But that allows us to provide you with focused, one-on-one attention.

This approach is in stark contrast to an appointment with a primary care physician, which only lasts a few minutes and can make you feel like you're just a number. It's challenging to have a meaningful conversation and provide a comprehensive solution in such a short time. Doctors who practice functional medicine in North Yarmouth, ME, often see fewer patients per day, and for good reason - they're able to devote more time and energy to you, not processing transactions.

Education-that-Empowers

Education that Empowers

The primary objective of functional medicine is to equip and empower the patient to take charge of their health and enhance their quality of life. Since you can't visit a Med Matrix doctor every day, it's important that we continue your healing process using guidance provided by your functional medicine provider.

This guidance will cover important topics relating to your individual health, and may include protocols for optimizing your diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress, and supplements intake. We couple that guidance with advanced lab testing, condition diagnosis, and medication management. We understand that can be a lot to process in one or two meetings. As such, we may recommend health coaching and other services to help.

System-Based-Treatment-Protocols

System-Based Treatment Protocols

Functional medicine believes in treating the person, not just the disease or the symptoms. Most conventional medicine models prioritize prescription medications that match up to specific symptoms. In the world of functional medicine, that's a short-sided approach. Instead, providers at Med Matrix take a systems-based approach to care.

For instance, if you're concerned about enduring too much stress, we want to know that's due to inflammation, malfunctioning adrenals, G.I. problems, or something else entirely. To find out, we check the functionality of your kidneys, heart, gut, liver, thyroid, hormones, and even your vitamin D levels. The more we know, the better understanding we have of the systems we need to address.

functional-medicine-appointment

Uncover the Root Cause

Many people struggle to find answers to their medical conditions because they are passed around from doctor to specialist and back again. This happens frequently. Numerous patients have told us that they were informed, "it's all in your head" and "your labs look normal," despite experiencing severe symptoms indicating that something was wrong.

When you come to Med Matrix for a functional medicine appointment, it's almost like you're hiring a medical detective to uncover the root cause of your symptoms. Our doctors thrive on difficult cases and won't stop investigating until a solution is uncovered.

Preventative-medicine

Cost-Effective Treatment, Long-Lasting Results

Functional medicine goes by many names, such as integrative, holistic, personalized, and preventative. Preventative medicine is the most cost-effective form of healthcare. By preventing or slowing down diseases, you can save future healthcare costs that would have been incurred if a preventative approach wasn't taken.

For instance, let's consider Type II Diabetes. Patients who visit a functional medicine provider are proactive and start addressing blood sugar concerns well before conventional medicine does. Functional medicine providers monitor blood sugar levels even before they reach conventional pre-diabetes levels. When patients are informed and educated about diet and lifestyle before the onset of a disease, much better results are achieved in disease prevention. Once someone has a diagnosis or disease, it becomes more challenging and expensive to correct.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Maintaining Your Health

One of the major hallmarks of functional medicine in North Yarmouth, ME, is to stay healthy year-round by eating a healthy diet and exercising. While diet and exercise are crucial for wellness, many Americans don't get the necessary amounts of vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Whether you're working with a health coach or you're simply looking for diet tips, keep these important supplements in mind as you work towards a healthy life.

 Functional Medicine Treatment Center North Yarmouth, ME

Two words that send shivers down the spines of every man are "erectile dysfunction." Unfortunately, when your T levels are lower than they should be, this is one of the most common symptoms that men must endure. Being unable to get it up isn't just embarrassing - it can be downright depressing and lead to issues with mental health. It's a hard topic to discuss, but a personalized TRT plan from Med Matrix can help.

Natural sources of vitamin D include:

  • Sunlight
  • Fatty Fishes
  • Dairy Products
Functional Medicine Practice North Yarmouth, ME

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a crucial nutrient for supporting the immune system and overall health. In addition to its well-known role in preventing scurvy, vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, wound healing, and combating infections. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Including vitamin C-rich foods in your diet or taking supplements can help ensure that your body has an adequate supply of this vital nutrient.

Natural sources of vitamin C include:

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Cruciferous Veggies
 Functional Medicine Meal Plan North Yarmouth, ME

Anemia is a condition that affects millions of Americans, resulting from various factors including iron deficiency, which is one of the most common national deficiencies. Iron is crucial for maintaining healthy blood. It plays a key role in supporting the production of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.

Natural sources of iron include:

  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Meat
 Functional Medicine Testing North Yarmouth, ME

Functional Medicine in North Yarmouth, ME: A Root-Cause Focus from Med Matrix

As a catalyst in the evolution of healthcare, functional medicine adopts a holistic approach to promoting health and wellbeing. It delves into the underlying causes of diseases and aims to restore optimal bodily function through a personalized and patient-centric approach. This approach complements conventional medicine and serves as a crucial partner in the overall healthcare landscape.

If you're sick and tired of relying on traditional models that push pills and prescriptions down your throat, it's time to make a change. At Med Matrix, we look beyond symptom management. We're focused on being proactive, not reactive. Our doctors of functional medicine are trained and fully equipped to help you reimagine what it's like to live a happy, healthy life.

If you're ready to take the first step toward true wellbeing, we're here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about our comprehensive functional medicine program.

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Latest News in North Yarmouth, ME

North Yarmouth Academy Panthers Winter Athletes of the Year

DAXTON ST. HILAIRE, Senior – HockeySt. Hilaire is a three-sport athlete who enjoyed a tremendous senior season on the ice, earning recognition from coaches across the region for his play.St. Hilaire, who along with his twin brother, Cooper, came to NYA from Lewiston for the 2021-22 season and made an immediate impact with 12 goals and 26 assists.This winter, St. Hilaire, who helped the Panthers’ boys’ soccer team to the Class D title back in early November and who also plays baseball (s...

DAXTON ST. HILAIRE, Senior – Hockey

St. Hilaire is a three-sport athlete who enjoyed a tremendous senior season on the ice, earning recognition from coaches across the region for his play.

St. Hilaire, who along with his twin brother, Cooper, came to NYA from Lewiston for the 2021-22 season and made an immediate impact with 12 goals and 26 assists.

This winter, St. Hilaire, who helped the Panthers’ boys’ soccer team to the Class D title back in early November and who also plays baseball (shortstop) in the spring, scored 13 times and again added 26 assists.

St. Hilaire helped NYA produce a program record for wins in a Prep season with 20 and capture the Travis Roy Maine Prep Cup title.

St. Hilaire, who was named to the Holt Conference all-star team following the season, plans to play Junior hockey next year and ultimately wants to compete at the college level.

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He’s already proved he can shine as a Prep player. Daxton St. Hilaire, NYA’s Winter Athlete of the Year, scored some big goals and did it all on the ice to help his team enjoy great success.

Coach Michael Warde’s comment: “When we recruited Daxton and his twin brother Cooper to North Yarmouth Academy, we knew we would get an amazing work ethic, great teammate and an infectious attitude. What surprised us most was their skill level to play power play, penalty kill and acclimate to the Prep School demanding pace and grind of playing the top schools in New England. When I was a Division 1 college hockey assistant coach, we would search for grit and toughness in Thunder Bay, Ontario and the Province of Saskatchewan. Thankfully, we only had to drive to Lewiston to find these important traits.”

Previous winners:

ANGEL HUNTSMAN, Senior – Basketball

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NYA has boasted scores of standout athletes over the decades and it’s not hyperbole to state that Huntsman belongs near the top of any list.

One final time this winter, she turned heads with her selfless play and her unfortunate late-season injury likely cost the Panthers their first Gold Ball.

As a result, one more time, the fifth overall between soccer and basketball, Huntsman is being recognized by The Forecaster for her transcendence.

Huntsman played varsity as a freshman, but wasn’t the primary point guard. She emerged as a star as a sophomore, turning heads with her ability to take off up the court, see the floor and set up her teammates for easy looks, but the season was abbreviated by COVID restrictions. As a junior, Huntsman averaged 11 points, 6.8 assists and 4 steals per game) was a first-team all-star and a member of the league’s All-Defensive team as the Panthers got all the way to the Class C South Final before dropping a close decision to eventual state champion Hall-Dale.

This winter, she made it to the 14th game before her high school career ended due to a knee injury. In that short span, Huntsman averaged a double-double with 11.9 points and 10.1 assists per game. She also had 4.4 steals and 3.1 rebounds.

Highlights included a rare triple-double of 13 points, 12 steals and 11 rebounds in a season-opening win over St. Dom’s, 22 points and six steals in a victory over Traip Academy, 11 points and 11 assists in a win over Monmouth Academy, 31 points and four steals in a victory over Richmond, a dozen assists in a win over Waynflete, 17 points and 16 assists in a victory over Winthrop and seven points and 11 assists in a win over Dirigo, her final contest.

NYA wound up a program-best 17-1 and earned the top seed in Class C South and even got back to the regional final, but lost an overtime heartbreaker to eventual champion Old Orchard Beach.

“Seeing Angel come to our (semifinal round) playoff game vs. Hall-Dale a day after (knee) surgery and in lots of pain was something,” said NYA coach Tom Robinson. “Hearing her give her teammates a pregame pep talk and seeing her in the locker room celebrating that win with her teammates was priceless. Angel never missed a practice in four years, including through a pandemic. The kid’s tough.”

Huntsman also won three soccer state titles in high school and in her first lacrosse campaign last spring, won a championship there as well. She also played softball for the Panthers.

Look for Huntsman to come back as good as new when she plays basketball at Bates College next year.

Angel Huntsman, NYA’s Winter Athlete of the Year, has had a monopoly on this award and for good reason. She was a once in a lifetime athlete. A winner who simply wouldn’t be denied and one who dazzled in the process.

Coach Tom Robinson’s comment: “On the court, Angel will do anything to win. While she is super-skilled as a playmaker and super-athletic, it’s her competitiveness that separates her from other players I have coached. She hates to lose any type of competition. It is rare in high school when your best player isn’t your leading scorer. While she easily could have scored more points, her ability to get others involved in the game was incredible. I often said I had the best seat in the house over the last four years watching her play. It was a pleasure. Unless you were at the game you really have no idea of the speed she plays. NYA girls’ basketball is in a good place and Angel is a huge reason why. Getting to know her more as a person her senior year was special and something that I will always cherish. Knowing Angel, she will come back stronger from this and look forward to watching her at Bates running the floor.”

Previous winners:

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter:@foresports.

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Pickleball takes Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth by storm

Ten years ago, the word “pickleball” wouldn’t have had any meaning in Cumberland. Since then, a couple of seasonal residents, having picked up the game in Florida, asked if they could paint a pickleball court on an old basketball court.“At the time, I thought it was a fad, like racquetball or some of these other niche sports,” said Cumberland Recreation Director Peter Bingham. “Boy, was I wrong.”While the sport has steadily grown in popularity in Maine over the past five to six years, a...

Ten years ago, the word “pickleball” wouldn’t have had any meaning in Cumberland. Since then, a couple of seasonal residents, having picked up the game in Florida, asked if they could paint a pickleball court on an old basketball court.

“At the time, I thought it was a fad, like racquetball or some of these other niche sports,” said Cumberland Recreation Director Peter Bingham. “Boy, was I wrong.”

While the sport has steadily grown in popularity in Maine over the past five to six years, according to USA Pickleball’s annual growth report, it only recently became the craze that it now is in Cumberland, North Yarmouth and Falmouth.

The demand for court time is high. North Yarmouth offers pickleball sessions four days a week at Wescustogo Hall and Community Center, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The sport combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong and can be played indoors or outdoors. Teams can be two people or four and players hit a perforated ball over a net until one side reaches a score of 11.

“It’s like standing on top of a ping pong table,” Falmouth Recreation Coordinator Kate Harris said. “The court is much smaller than a tennis court, so you can move around as much or as little as you want to.”

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Sue McGinley started playing pickleball just over six years ago. The Falmouth resident had just turned 60 and wanted to try a new exercise regiment. Now, McGinley plays eight or nine times a week in Falmouth, Portland and South Portland.

“I love the social aspect, the laughs, and the exercise,” McGinley said. “I’ve made some amazing new friends.”

Four years ago, McGinley started a summer pickleball group with 12 members. Last year, McGinley had 70 people on her roster.

“Pickleball is going crazy,” McGinley said.

From the grassroots effort in Cumberland, the sport has grown into one of the area’s most popular activities. Four outdoor courts are available at Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland as well as two indoor courts at the North Yarmouth Community Center. It has also been incorporated into the physical education curriculums at Greely Middle and High schools.

“Pickleball is here to stay, in my opinion,” Bingham said. “It’s a great activity – we literally have all ages playing.”

Lucky D’Ascanio, director of parks and community programs in Falmouth, first heard about pickleball through national parks and recreation conferences. Pickleball is popular nationally, D’Ascanio said, and the sport is discussed at length at conferences across the country.

“It started out slow in Falmouth with just one or two groups,” D’Ascanio said. “We’ve seen it grow exponentially since.”

Pickleball is a relatively easy sport to learn and play due to the smaller court size and lighter racquets.

“It’s a great social activity and exercise,” D’Ascanio said.

Falmouth offers three pickleball sessions a week on Tuesday and Friday nights, with a mid-day session offered for those ages 55 and older. Courts are available at Huston Park, as well as Mason Motz Activity Center and the Bucknam tennis courts.

“We’re all about the pickleball craze here in Falmouth,” D’Ascanio said.

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Cumberland, North Yarmouth residents to vote on $74M school referendum

CUMBERLAND (WGME)— Residents in the MSAD 51 school district area will vote on a nearly $74 million referendum to build a new school.This is MSAD #51's third attempt in recent years to expand.The issue is at the elementary level with the Mabel I. Wilson School. The district has been using portable classrooms to meet current enrollment needs.However, based on a recent study, officials believe enrollment could increase by more than 300 students by 2032."MIW specifically has 200 more kids than it was intend...

CUMBERLAND (WGME)— Residents in the MSAD 51 school district area will vote on a nearly $74 million referendum to build a new school.

This is MSAD #51's third attempt in recent years to expand.

The issue is at the elementary level with the Mabel I. Wilson School. The district has been using portable classrooms to meet current enrollment needs.

However, based on a recent study, officials believe enrollment could increase by more than 300 students by 2032.

"MIW specifically has 200 more kids than it was intended to have and space is the issue," MSAD #51 School Board Chair Jason Record said. "And we are overflowing with children. People are moving here because it's a great place to live but that's increasing the number of children we have to serve."

Part of the funding would also allow the district to renovate the Mabel I. Wilson School building, which would then be used for just third through fifth-grade students.

The new school, which would be built on Gray Road in North Yarmouth, would be used for pre-K through second grade.

Voters are being asked to approve just shy of $74M for this.

"The impact is tremendous on those who don't have the depth to absorb it," Teri Maloney-Kelly, who has posted dozens of "vote no" signs around the area, said. "I just feel that it's important cause this is going to make the difference for longevity for folks."

Maloney-Kelly's signs highlight the cost to taxpayers. Over time, district figures show that taxes would increase and would reach $230 per $100,000 of assessed valuation in 2030.

"People perceive it as going against education which is absolutely not what I'm trying to do," Maloney-Kelly said. "It's going to be tough for us and I know tough for a lot of my other friends and seniors in this town."

People have posted at least three other signs, which question the expected enrollment increases or decry the cost too. CBS13 did not see any signs in support of the measure.

Record says the district has accounted for rising costs. If that increases, taxpayers would not have to pay more.

"If prices increase, we'll have to make some hard decisions about where the money goes," Record said.

North Yarmouth resident Dixie Hayes understands the concern about the impact to the community.

"I think we haven't fully looked at ways of reducing the tax burden for older people," Hayes said.

However, Hayes plans on voting in favor of the referendum.

"We have to invest in the next generation," Jackie Stowell, who already voted to approve the referendum question, said. "With the award-winning schools, everyone wants to move to Cumberland and North Yarmouth."

"And the schools are already too small. It's not like we're building for the future, right now we're building to accommodate what we have in the present," Hayes said.

Voters in the district have until November 8 to decide if they want to approve the referendum or not.

Now in North Yarmouth, Wild Seed Project keeps on growing

Rachel Vitello / The Forecaster ...

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The past year has been an eventful one for Wild Seed Project. The nonprofit has introduced a new executive director, doubled its members to 1,500, more than doubled its staff and moved from Portland to North Yarmouth, all while juggling multiple community partnerships and events.

The organization, which raises awareness about the importance of native plants, has seen a spike in people interested in gardening and learning more about Maine botany, according to Executive Director Andrea Berry.

The heightened interest is likely a result of the pandemic, she said.

Rachel Vitello / The Forecaster

“The number of people birding and planting vegetable gardens went up, and the same is true for native plants,” Berry said. “People have … gotten more satisfaction out of the butterflies and other creatures that are flying around their gardens than the blooms themselves a lot of the time.”

Native plants encourage “genetic diversity in landscapes,” she said, attracting insects and local wildlife and ensuring the environment is more adaptable to climate change.

The organization went from 700 members to 1,500 in the past year, and it will soon have nine staff members, up from four.

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That’s big growth, Berry said, but the group’s focus is still the same.

“It doesn’t matter how big we get, it’s still all about those tiny things. It’s about individuals getting excited about native plants and being willing to take the time to care for seeds to support our ecosystem,” she said.

Wild Seed Project recently partnered with Prince Memorial Library in Cumberland to offer “take and make” kits containing soil, native seeds, planting instructions and information about indigenous plants. Youth and Teen Services Librarian Jennifer Benham said the 109 kits that were distributed to families “were a big success” and the library hopes to work with Wild Seed Project in the future on more community projects.

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The nonprofit also partnered with Children’s Odyssey in Portland to teach preschoolers about local flora and fauna and create seed balls to plant on the grounds of the daycare center.

“The students used soil and clay and their fine motor skills to roll the soil into balls and then they pressed the seeds into the balls,” Educational Technician Ryan Eastman said.

The activity also incorporated vocabulary lessons, such as learning the meaning of words like “germinate” and “pollinate.”

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“The students really enjoyed it,” Eastman said. “Wild Seed Project was wonderful to partner with, I hope other students throughout Portland are able to have these learning experiences with them.”

The educational aspect of Wild Seed Project’s work is an important part of what they do, Berry said.

“When I think about the ‘project’ part of Wild Seed Project, that’s really about how we do what we do,” Berry said. “We believe that everyone can play a part in responding to climate change.”

Berry added: “The beauty of Wild Seed Project is that we give everybody an easy way to take a stand or to make a difference in the face of climate change by planting a seed in their own backyard, a pot on their stoop, in the grassland they drive by, or at their job. We are creating these easy-to-do, accessible avenues for anyone to get involved.”

Berry took over as executive director last May, and the organization moved from the home of the previous executive director and founder, Heather McCargo, to 21 Memorial Highway in North Yarmouth in September.

Native plants will be incorporated on the grounds as the group settles in, Berry said. Plans include planting a demonstration garden on the property, which includes the Toots Ice Cream shop.

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A native seed center with garden beds and a greenhouse is also being built, although Berry said they are not yet disclosing its location. The seed center will allow the group to expand its seed production.

“We’re now going to have a space where we’ve intentionally planted what we call living seed banks, spaces where we’re maintaining the genetic diversity,” Berry said. “We’re bringing in a constant supply of new plants grown from a variety of different species; we expect over 100 species of native plants.”

The goal is to have the seed center up and running by September.

The Wild Seed Project staff, meanwhile, is fielding calls from towns, land trusts, gardening clubs and conservation and sustainability groups looking to partner with them for educational sessions, workshops and events. On May 3, it will host a native planting workshop at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s store in Freeport. More information can be found at mofga.org.

“We’ve just been riding this wave of people paying more attention to nature and connecting the dots between the climate crisis and planting native plants and how that is something they can do to really make a difference,” Berry said.

More information on Wild Seed Project, including upcoming events, can be found at wildseedproject.net.

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Longtime North Yarmouth family helps preserve local history

Contributed / Debbie Allen GroverClark Baston of North Yarmouth came across some interesting documents about the town in the home of his late father, Richard, after the former town fire chief’s death last year. Some of them dated back to 1897.“They go to town meetings, make notes in the report and then bring it home and put it in the attic in the box with the rest of them,” Baston said. “We had a pretty extensive collection.”Contributed / Debbie Allen GroverHe gave the c...

Contributed / Debbie Allen Grover

Clark Baston of North Yarmouth came across some interesting documents about the town in the home of his late father, Richard, after the former town fire chief’s death last year. Some of them dated back to 1897.

“They go to town meetings, make notes in the report and then bring it home and put it in the attic in the box with the rest of them,” Baston said. “We had a pretty extensive collection.”

Contributed / Debbie Allen Grover

He gave the collection to the town, including town council meeting minutes, birth, death and marriage lists, and teachers’ salaries, and with Town Clerk Debbie Allen Grover’s help, pieces of North Yarmouth’s history have been preserved.

“It’s important to preserve our history; it tells the tale of what’s to come,” Grover said. “It’s been an ongoing project of mine, preserving old documents like agendas and minutes. Older paper has changed over time and it decays. That history would vanish if we didn’t do something.”

With $9,787 from North Yarmouth’s preservation reserve fund, the documents were sent to a conservation lab based out of Texas.

There’s a “wealth of information” in the documents, said Katie Murphy, president of the North Yarmouth Historical Society. The collection also includes reports from committees and boards, paperwork involving the change from the one-room schoolhouse to North Yarmouth’s consolidated Memorial School in 1950 and a record of payments to residents for clearing the roads of snow.

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“Not only is this all great information, but some of the original report covers are beautiful,” Murphy said. “The town was always careful with a dollar so the reports aren’t fancy by any means, but the early ones were printed by letterpress and ornate type blocks and display type gave the covers a decorative touch. That’s a small point, but it makes the research extra enjoyable.”

Murphy praised the diligence of former town clerks dating back to the early 1800s for their record-keeping, and said Grover “is an amazing steward of North Yarmouth’s historical record.”

The Baston family’s roots in North Yarmouth can be traced all the way back to 1680.

In recent years, Richard Baston was the town’s fire chief for about 21 years and worked on the cemetery commission. His father served on the Select Board, as did his wife, Roslyn. Son Clark is the road commissioner for North Yarmouth Public Works.

Baston said he was more than happy to have the documents given back to the town.

“I’ve been here for over 60 years. It’s just what we do; look out for the town,” Baston said.

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If Falmouth’s proposed 2022-23 budget is approved it would mean an increase in the property tax rate of 68 cents due in large part to a request to fully staff the fire department.

The proposed budget is just less than $17 million, up $2.7 million from roughly $15 million this year. The tax rate would increase 3.9%, from $17.43 per $1,000 of real estate valuation to $18.11. The owner of a $400,000 home would pay $272 more in taxes next year, not including any additional taxes that might result from the new school budget, according to the town.

The fire department is requesting about $4.6 million, the majority of which will cover full-time salaries including 12 new full-time positions, compared to $3.3 million this year, an increase of about 39%. A fully-staffed department would mean at least three crew members would be working at Winn Road station at all times, according to Fire Chief Howard Rice. All personnel will be cross-trained as firefighters and EMTs, he said.

Falmouth has not been immune to a nationwide shortage in fire and EMS personnel, Rice said. Over the last 10 years, the town has lost most of its on-call company as members left for medical school or the military, moved out of state or found full-time employment elsewhere.

“We used to have a response of 40-plus call members to calls in 2011, and now often get only two or three,” Rice said. “We must hire full-time staffing to put our trucks on the road and respond to the 2,000-plus emergencies that we are called to each year.”

This staffing plan has been a goal in Falmouth since 2020.

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“Last week we had three calls in town at the same time. We had an ambulance crew at a call in Cumberland and an ambulance crew at a call in Portland, as their towns were busy and needed help. That was five calls at the same time for us. Yarmouth Fire Rescue sent units down to help us at a car crash in town,” Rice said. “This stresses the fact that we are not the only ones needing more help. We help our neighbors, and they help us.”

Currently, the department has 18 firefighters/EMS and about 15 per diem personnel, which allows the station to have at least five people on duty around the clock at Central Station, located at 8 Bucknam Road.

Other major drivers in the proposed budget include about $806,000 to restore capital funding; a $311,000, or 5% increase for a cost-of-living salary increase for all town employees; and $126,000 for salary and benefits for a new facilities director, who will manage the maintenance and operations of all town buildings, as well as contracts for cleaning, HVAC, repairs, fuel and annual licenses.

“Even though (restoring capital funding) is a driver in the budget right now, the reason why we have to rebuild the capital budget is because of the first phase of fire/EMS increases in FY 2021,” when 14 full-time positions were added to the staff, Poore said.

The most significant change was deferring the purchase of a tank truck for the fire department from FY21 to this fiscal year, among “other minor adjustments,” he said.

“The reason why the capital budget was, for the most part, decimated in FY 2021, was because that was the first year of phasing in full-time fire/EMS and the council didn’t want to increase the budget too much during the first year of the pandemic,” Poore said. “They cut that capital budget knowing they would have to rebuild it at a later date.”

A public hearing on the budget is being held April 6 over Zoom and the Town Council is scheduled to vote on it April 25. The full budget outline and presentation can be found at falmouthme.org.

“For us, it’s really about trying to get the public to understand why this is happening. Nobody wants to increase the (tax rate). We have to look at the (tax rate) in order to provide a level of service that we think people are expecting from fire/EMS,” Poore said. “There isn’t really anything else being added to any other department.”

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