May 8, 2011

Maine Gardener: UMaine Extension gets land, barn and a view

By Tom Atwell
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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At the new home of the Cumberland County extension in Falmouth, an oak tree will be planted and a bench installed in memory of Stanley Bennett, the late CEO of Oakhurst Dairy who led the fundraising campaign for the move.

Tom Atwell photo

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Tom Atwell photo

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When Bateman Partners received approval for its development, Babkirk said, the town of Falmouth ordered them to set aside 32 acres for conservation and farming, and the extension property is part of that.

Babkirk had high praise for both Bateman Partners and the Tidewater Conservation Foundation for their cooperation with the extension.

In addition to the offices for the extension and other University of Maine officials, the new site has a kitchen where extension educators will be able to do cooking, food preservation and other programs.

Herr said the entire project cost a bit under $1 million.

When the fundraising campaign began, the goal had been to raise $2 million and build a separate UMaine complex closer to the farmland.

But when the recession hit and fundraising became difficult, the plan shifted to put the learning center into an office building that also includes retail space, an office of Mercy Hospital and some apartments.

The extension complex with offices, farmland and a barn aren't the only exciting things going on at the Tidewater Farm complex.

There are plans to build a footbridge over to a piece of land owned by Portland Trails. The piece is now made inaccessible by Interstate 295.

Trails also are in the works to connect Tidewater with the Maine Audubon Society headquarters at Gilsland Farm.


Tom Atwell can be contacted at 791-6362 or at:


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