Breaking Ground at River Bend Farm
The energy and excitement of guests drowned out the patter of rain that fell over River Bend Farm. The umbrellas and event tent, as big as they were, did not dwarf the magnificent view of the Saco River that visitors are treated to when standing on the porch of our 1794 farmhouse. Each and every person, whether they had been to the property before or not, made an audible “wow,” as the river came into view. (A reaction we hear often, and can’t get enough of!)
Speeches were kicked off by Drew, The Ecology School’s President & CEO, serenading everyone with a rendition of Gene Kelley’s “Singing in the Rain” as he twirled an umbrella. He reminisced about a group of students whose lesson took place outside, in the middle of a rain shower, noting how none of them saw the precipitation as a deterrent to eagerly continuing their outdoor explorations. The evocative words of every speaker highlighted the excitement of The Ecology School’s growth. “What a spectacularly beautiful place,” said U.S Rep. Chellie Pingree. “It’s critical to make sure young people have the tools and understand the work that needs to be done to mitigate climate change.” Speakers included Mary Martin (The Ecology School’s Board Chair), Marston Lovell (Saco Mayor), Bobbi Crooker (USDA Regional Director), Abby Mendoza (Representative, Office of Senator Susan Collins), Bonnie Pothier (Representative, Office of Senator Angus King), and US Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.
The small groundbreaking ceremony kicks off our project’s construction phase, fruition of rigorous design research and building processes that meticulously follow The Living Build Challenge standards. The Ecology School is looking forward to Fall 2020 when, upon completion, a larger event will be held for all to celebrate the opening of The Ecology School campus at River Bend Farm!