The Ecology School in Saco served as the site of the first-ever Regenerative Real Estate Gathering in late August. Courtesy photo

SACO — River Bend Farm served as the site of the first-ever Regenerative Real Estate Gathering in late August.

The Ecology School co-hosted the event with Latitude Regenerative Real Estate, a global community of real estate “Change Agents” that helps guide real estate buyers, sellers, developers, and community stakeholders to create and transform the built environment. As the site of Maine’s only buildings working toward full Living Building Certification, River Bend Farm was intentionally chosen as the site for this inaugural gathering of forward-thinking real estate professionals, to provide an example of how sustainable design, building, and living can intersect. In fact, River Bend Farm’s two new buildings are among only 25 buildings in the United States built to the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Certification specifications, the most comprehensive green building certification process in the world, according to a press release.

During the inaugural Regenerative Real Estate Gathering, over 40 real estate professionals from all across the country convened in Saco at River Bend Farm to discuss the growing regenerative real estate movement. The four-day gathering included guided conversations, open space discussions, group reflections, and plenty of time for communing and collaborating in nature and exploring the forests, farmland, and river of Saco. Attendees also enjoyed local, Maine farm grown foods during the gathering and were treated to a classic Maine lobster dinner during their final evening, according to the release.

Alissa Collins, co-founder and COO of Latitude, said, “Our work at Latitude is steeped in the transformation of our homes and habitats. That’s why it was such an incredible opportunity to partner with River Bend Farm to host this event. The grounds and the organization are beautiful — a living embodiment of the reciprocity of people and place. Not only was the time educational and inspirational, but also soul-filling.”

Speakers who led the guided discussions included Neal Collins; co-founder of Latitude, Drew Dumsch, co-founder, CEO, and president of the Ecology School; Aaron Fairchild, co-founder and co-CEO of Green Canopy Node; Bill Reed, principal of Regenesis Group; and Ryan Kanteres, partner and principal of Simons Architects, one of three firms who helped design the River Bend Farm campus.

“Having real estate professionals from around the country convene here at River Bend Farm is one of the most exciting new programs that The Ecology School has offered and such a perfect setting for their regenerative real estate discussions and networking,” Dumsch said.