HERMON, Maine (WABI) – Hermon has come up with outdoor sports options free for its students.

Our Chief Photojournalist Mark Rediker found out more.

“During COVID, we wanted to still give kids the opportunity to engage with each other,” says Hermon high school principal Brian Walsh.

“And you know, in Maine, if you don’t play outside it can be a really long winter,” says Hermon middle school principal Micah Grant.

“COVID Relief Act, and the COVID funds, allowed us to create and make some decisions locally. Those decisions we decided to take advantage of the trails system the town had already put in,” says Walsh, “Really excited about the fat biking. Students have the opportunity to check out a mountain bike, with fat tires, and utilize the trail system.”

“With some of that CARES money we were able to install a portable rink with the town’s blessing,” says Grant, “Out in front of the Veterans park. We know that ice time is hard to get, especially in Bangor, in Brewer, with the hockey teams competing. It felt like in addition to the ski program, the snowshoe program, a lot of kids have their own skates and are able to just come over and access that rink.”

“The high school, the middle school, and the elementary school had the opportunity to partner with Hermon Mountain and we are sending over 60 skiers a day,” says Walsh.

“A lot of them really enjoy it. I’m helping them and my friends out from my local high school here that can’t really ski that well,” says Hermon Mountain ski instructor Jackson Cole, “People coming out and finally enjoying some thing that they never really got to experience before.”

“The mountain has been great, they’ve been offering lessons for free, providing rentals for free, and of those 120 to 150 kids almost 15{066dbc63777e5ed549f406789d72fdeebd77a32711d57f7b38ff2b35c4ba2a42} of those kids are skiing for the first time,” says Walsh, “They would’ve never had that opportunity had there not been that partnership.”

The trail system and rink are open to the public. They ask you are courteous with your parking and respect the trails and rink.

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