The Ecology School at River Bend Farm
Greater Capacity, Greater Impacts
We are so excited to be moving forward with our transition to River Bend Farm after closing on the property in November 2017. This wonderful, permanent home will allow us to offer 365-days of programming, tripling the length of our residential learning programs. The property will also allow us to engage the community in news ways through adult and family offerings.
Only a 20 minute drive from Saco Bay, River Bend Farm will allow us to continue our ecosystem focused programs— including the beach, tide pools and salt marsh — while adding eight distinct new ecological zones on the 105-acre property.
Sustainability and Agriculture
River Bend Farm will enrich our food systems education program by replacing our current half-acre demonstration garden at our current rented Ferry Beach site with a 105-acre organic farm with fields of produce, livestock, and orchards. We plan to deeply expand programming in agroecology, the practice of ecology through the lens of sustainable agriculture and food systems. Our goal is for at least 50 percent of all food consumed on campus to be organically grown onsite or within a 50-mile radius. This is a hallmark of our move to River Bend Farm.
We will weave the facilities at River Bend Farm into our curriculum and lessons on sustainability by adhering to the Living Community Challenge guidelines, the most rigorous sustainable building standards that exist. By these standards, our new campus will include Maine’s greenest buildings and will become the nation’s most sustainable residential environmental learning center. By design, our facilities will inspire students and visitors, and support conservation of the surrounding Saco River watershed.
Community Programs and Partnerships
River Bend Farm will provide opportunities to connect with the community and offer programs not possible at our current campus. We will provide community access to the farm’s conservation trails which will be maintained in partnership with Maine Farmland Trust, and we will create a visitor center open to the public with opportunities to take tours of our sustainable campus.
We look forward to welcoming the community to our new home!
For more information about the River Bend Farm project, please contact Development Director Bryan Matluk, bryan @ theecologyschool [dot] org