WALDO COUNTY — Friends of Haystack Mountain (FOHM), a local group of volunteers, is raising $450,000 to purchase and preserve Haystack Mountain, a 57-acre property located in the rural town of Montville. This iconic bald rock summit and blueberry barren has been enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts of all ages for generations. Once purchased, the land will be preserved and managed by Midcoast Conservancy, a local land trust. Public access will remain in perpetuity.

On Saturday, Oct. 8, FOHM sponsors a free event with Dark Sky Maine (darkskymaine.com), an organization promoting appreciation for the night sky. The 30-minute film “Defending the Dark” by Tara Roberts Zabriske will be shown at 6:30 p.m. at Walker Elementary School, 33 West Main St., Liberty. The film looks at why it is important to preserve dark skies in Northern Maine. Weather permitting, a hike will follow on the one-mile loop trail to the summit of Haystack Mountain to view the constellations in the night sky. Attendees are encouraged to bring headlamps or flashlights. Alternatively, an indoor virtual Night Sky Tour, using Stellarium software, will be provided.

Special appreciation is extended to local businesses for sponsoring this event: Hidden Valley Camp in Freedom, Frapolis Place in Liberty, John’s Ice Cream in Liberty and Jones & Co. in Washington.

FOHM will gratefully accept donations at the event or online to support the preservation of Haystack Mountain. The group is pleased to announce that a generous donor has offered a matching donation of $10,000. This means that all donations, starting immediately, will be matched up to $10,000.

For more information, visit haystackmountainmaine.org or email friendsofhaystackmountain@gmail.com.

brehmeyer