The Ecology School Receives Gift of $5,000 from Fund for Maine Land Conservation


December 21, 2017

SACO — The Ecology School has received a generous gift of $5,000 from the Fund for Maine Land Conservation, a component of the Maine Community Foundation. The gift will support the School’s efforts to establish a longterm study of how human activities impact the overall environmental health of its recently purchased River Bend Farm (RBF) property in Saco.

The School will work in partnership with local ecologists at the University of New England Department of Environmental Science to conduct the longterm environmental monitoring study, and will also partner with Maine Farmland Trust (the easement holders of the property) and the Maine Land Trust Network to lay the groundwork of the study.

“Our partnerships with local ecologists and land stewards will be central to this project, and we are so glad to have the support of the Maine Community Foundation in this collaborative effort,” says Executive Director Drew Dumsch

Ultimately, the School hopes to achieve net conservation gain at RBF by increasing the soil fertility and biodiversity of the property. Results of the longterm study will inform building plans, behavior and farm operation activities to better suit environmental health and achieve net conservation gain. The project will also provide a cost-effective framework that other conservation and environmental education groups nationwide can use to implement similar impact studies and ensure net conservation gain on protected properties.

“To our knowledge, this type of long-term natural resource inventory study does not exist in this form on any conservation property in Maine or possibly the country,” says Dumsch. “We hope to produce a framework that will be informative and useful to conservation groups nationwide.”

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.