United Way's Day of Caring at River Bend Farm

The day started out threatening to rain, but a cool cloud cover and a gentle breeze gave our Day of Caring volunteers the ideal weather to work outside. And work outside they did! Project options were organized throughout the property, giving everyone a very busy day. UNE Professor Tom Klak led a group to the American Chestnut research plot where they took measurements of trees, planted saplings, and monitored progress. Development Manager Leanna Bonds guided volunteers to the wildflower garden (a project began by UNE students in Fall 2018) to pull weeds, identify plants, and mulch the area. Bryan Matluk, our Development Director, had a crew clearing and marking trails along the 3.5 mile trail system in the woods behind the farmhouse.

By noon, everyone was eager for lunch and chef Rich O’Brien’s food truck, Papa’s Roadhouse, did not disappoint! After lunch it was back out to continue working. Wrapping up around 3 p.m., the group socialized on the farmhouse porch overlooking the Saco River, learned about our plans to expand with a Living Building dining commons and dormitory, and they even sang along to a “repeat after me” song. By the end of the day, volunteers soon became eager-to-return friends and wanted to be kept in the loop on the exciting happenings and future programs at River Bend Farm.