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Greater Milo/Brownville Area and Points North Visitor Center opening May 18

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MILO — The Greater Milo/Brownville Area and Points North Visitor Center was officially gifted to the Milo/Brownville Three Rivers Kiwanis on April 9. A grand opening for the Greater Milo/Brownville and Points North Visitor Center will be held at Kiwanis Headquarters on the Gerrish Road from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, May 18. The event is open to the public and will be followed by refreshments and a tour of the center.

The structure is the fifth building that Tom and Nancy Harrigan of Milo have built and donated to the Three Rivers Kiwanis including the Kiwanis Headquarters, the Harrigan Learning Center and Museum of Fossils, Minerals, and Indian Artifacts, the auction storage facility, and the nearby Harris Pond pavilion. Each of the buildings has been designed with different approaches to make the greater Milo/Brownville area a better place to live. Initially, the new visitor center will be staffed by Tammy Knowles, Gayle LaVallee, and Beverly Martell.

One of the most significant motivations for the new center is to better promote the area and areas further north for tourism. Piscataquis Chamber Executive Director Denise Buzzelli explains, “I am excited about the opening of this new visitor center in Milo. The Chamber’s visitor center in Dover Foxcroft has a top priority of promoting businesses throughout the county and encouraging visitors to explore every corner of Piscataquis, but having a center dedicated to the Milo/Brownville area and points north of it only means more resources for tourists and more exposure for what we have to offer here.

“I hope to be at the new center at least a couple of times per month as a chamber satellite office to make chamber services more accessible to the local businesses from Milo, north, and to provide as much support to the new center as possible.”

The visitor center was strategically placed adjacent to the Harrigan Learning Center and Museum of Fossils, Minerals, and Indian Artifacts, undoubtedly drawing even more tourists to museum, which has been an enormous asset to the region, providing interesting exhibits and wonderful learning opportunities, and in turn, financing Kiwanis projects through the entrance donations to help children and the community.

As tourists and visitors travel through this part of the region, they can take advantage of the center’s new accessible quality rest rooms, also placing the Kiwanis in a better position to have outdoor events such as Jazz festivals, antique car shows, company picnics, ATV vehicle shows, and more.

The center’s space is large enough to accommodate the establishment of a consignment venue to support the sale of items produced by local artists, authors (who can also use the space for book-signing events), quilters, basket makers, and crafters. Along the inside walls of the center, visitors will find write-ups by Tom Harrigan and paintings by Suzette East that highlight attractions and events. Filling the space will be displays provided by Town of Milo, Milo Historical Society, Town of Brownville, Brownville Historical Society, local authors, Cub and Boy Scouts, Kiwanis, Harrigan Learning Center and Museum, and Penobscot Mineral and Lapidary Club. This, of course, will also be beneficial to new residents of the area, helping them become better acquainted with history and current offerings. Further benefiting the community, the new visitor center will provide a venue for smaller-scale business meeting rentals, relieving some of the demand on the larger Kiwanis Headquarters building, which is usually rented or used for larger affairs or events.

The Greater Milo/Brownville Area and Points North Visitor Center will provide additional electric power to reduce or eliminate monthly electrical operating costs for the entire Kiwanis complex; 36 solar panels have been added, increasing the total number of solar panels to 72 within the complex and each solar panel has a capability of generating 285 watts of power under ideal conditions. Within the space, predominantly LED lighting throughout means most of the power generated by the new solar panels will go to providing power to the other Kiwanis buildings in the complex, making this a smart and environmentally responsible project.

Contributed photo
GREATER MILO/BROWNVILLE AND POINTS NORTH VISITOR CENTER — A grand opening for the Greater Milo/Brownville and Points North Visitor Center will be held at Three Rivers Kiwanis Headquarters on the Gerrish Road in Milo from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, May 18. The event is open to the public and will be followed by refreshments and a tour of the center.

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