The Ecology School Receives Generous Gift of $20,000 From Quimby Family Foundation to Support New 105-Acre Organic Farm


SACO — The Ecology School has received a generous gift of $20,000 from the Quimby Family Foundation, which will support the School’s development of a full-scale educational farm on its recently purchased property at River Bend Farm in Saco.

The Ecology School’s mission is to foster stewardship of the environment through immersive lessons in ecology, sustainability and food systems. The School plans to transition all of its programs to the 105-acre River Bend Farm property by the end of 2019, with a long-term vision of establishing a full-scale organic farm with crops and livestock.

“For 18 years we’ve taught food systems using our half-acre garden on our rental property at Ferry Beach,” says Executive Director Drew Dumsch. “Our move to River Bend Farm allows us to significantly expand our food and agriculture programming, and we’re so grateful to the Quimby Family Foundation for their support of these efforts.”

Agricultural programming at River Bend Farm will be centered around the concept of agroecology, the study and practice of ecology through the lends of local and sustainable agriculture. Ecology School participants will have the opportunity to become fully immersed in farm activity, by both helping to plant and harvest crops and participating in “barn to table” meals prepared in the dining commons.

“Our new focus on agroecology will profoundly deepen our impact on both education and agriculture in Maine by inspiring awe and action in students through a stronger understanding of, and appreciation for, their role in food systems and the environment,” says Dumsch.

All farming activity will adhere to a conservation easement held by Maine Farmland Trust.

For more information, contact:

Drew Dumsch, Executive Director Office phone: 207.283.9951 | Cell: 207.294.2299 | Email:

Additional Information

Founded in 1998 in Saco, ME, The Ecology School has brought outdoor science, environmental and sustainability education to more than 180,000 students and teachers from throughout Maine and New England. Through hands-on, experiential programming, students learn to become stewards of their environment as they explore local forests, coastal ecosystems and food systems. We deliver our mission through single-day and residential programs for elementary and middle school students; workshops and presentations in schools; professional development for teachers; community engagement events; and distributing original field and curriculum guides.