Kotlas-Waterville Area Sister City Connection
The Kotlas-Waterville Area Sister City Connection strives to develop friendship and understanding between the peoples of Central Maine and of Kotlas in Russia. To that end, the Kotlas Connection sponsors educational and cultural programs in the Waterville area to raise awareness of Russia and of Kotlas. It also sponsors exchanges of people and ideas between Greater Waterville and Kotlas.
The first meeting between Watervillians and Kotlasians occurred in April 1989, when three Waterville area residents journeyed to Kotlas. In June of 1990, the mayor of Kotlas led a four-person delegation to the Waterville area. During that visit, he signed a proclamation with Waterville’s mayor declaring Kotlas and Waterville sister cities. The relationship was commemorated with the planting of a cluster of birch trees near the Two Cent Bridge. Replanted birches were dedicated during a 2004 visit of a Kotlas mayor and a small delegation.
Since 1990, over 50 Waterville area residents, including two Waterville mayors, have visited Kotlas and over 800 children and adults have been matched with pen pals. The Kotlas Connection has sponsored numerous visits by Kotlas residents. In December 2008, the Connection hosted a delegation of five Kotlas-area teachers and a facilitator in an exchange made possible by a grant from the Open World Program. In March 2009, at the invitation of the Waterville Committee in Kotlas, four members of the Kotlas Connection accompanied two teachers and four high school students from Erskine Academy to give presentations to Russian students at American Sampler Day. In previous years, the Connection has arranged exchanges for medical, student, artist, and civic groups. In June 2010, the Connection celebrated its 20th anniversary, with a visit to Waterville by the current mayor and deputy mayor of Kotlas, and several members of our counterpart committee in Kotlas. This year, with another Open World grant, the Connection is hosting a five-member social services delegation from Kotlas.
More than 90 Kotlas-area residents have visited Waterville, both in official capacities and as private guests.
For more than a decade the Kotlas Connection has offered Russian Sampler. This is a full-day workshop about Russia and Russian culture for central Maine junior-high and high school students presented in conjunction with the Colby College Russian Department.
Visit our web site, where you will find our newsletter, pictures of Kotlas, and information about Kotlas and the Kotlas Connection. Link to www.kotlas.org. We can also be reached at P.O. Box 1747, Waterville, ME 04903-1747.
If you might be interested in finding out more about the Kotlas-Waterville Area Sister City Connection, click this button and request group membership :