The Ecology School Reaches 90% of $14 MM Fundraising; Poland Spring Supports School with $500K Construction of Most Sustainable Building in Northeast Halfway Complete

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Maine Nonprofit Environmental Education Center Kicks Off Public Phase of Capital Campaign

Since 1998, The Ecology School has hosted more than 187,000 students and teachers from across the country, educating about the environment and our collective impact on the planet.

Now, more than ever, we need to reset the future of people and the planet. The future is at The Ecology School, continued Dumsch.

The Ecology School, a pioneer and leader in environmental education, today announced it received $500,000 from Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water for an education and dining commons at The Ecology School’s new campus. Funding for the $14 million green project is now more than 90 percent complete.

“We are deeply grateful for our supporters in Maine and across the country,” said Drew Dumsch, president/CEO and founder, The Ecology School. “Now, more than ever, we need to reset the future of people and the planet. The future is at The Ecology School,” continued Dumsch.

“At Poland Spring, we are proud to continue supporting Mainers, in this case by helping The Ecology School make environmental education possible today and tomorrow. The Ecology School is actively responding to our changing planet and increasing awareness of steps we can all take to help create a healthier, more sustainable future. We are honored to take this education one step further with the Poland Spring Education and Dining Commons on The Ecology School’s campus,” said Tara Carraro, Executive Vice President & Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Nestlé Waters North America.

Since 2001, Poland Spring has provided more than a million dollars of support to the Ecology School. This translates to more than 15,000 students receiving 178,000 hours of science instruction, including water quality testing and learning about the importance of recycling and healthy eating.

Other supporters from Maine and across the nation include the Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust, Jane’s Trust, and Quimby Family Foundation, among others.

Construction on what will become the most sustainable building in the Northeast is more than halfway complete. In addition to the Poland Spring Education and Dining Commons, The Ecology School’s campus will include a 9,000 square-foot dormitory. Together, the buildings will use more than 200,000 board feet of local Maine Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified lumber. To support The Ecology School’s goal of producing 105 percent net positive energy, the buildings will contain 718 solar panels. Doors will open in November 2020.

The Ecology School is a nonprofit residential ecology education center for people of all ages to learn by their natural inclinations, engaging in all five senses to discover the inner workings of the world around them. Through hands-on, experiential programming, people at The Ecology School learn to become stewards of the environment as they explore Maine’s food systems and local ecosystems.

Since 1998, The Ecology School has hosted more than 187,000 students and teachers from across the country, educating them about nature, connecting them to the environment, and teaching them about our impact on the planet. In 2020-2021, The Ecology School plans to teach more than 10,000 program participants of all ages.

In 2019, The Ecology School was awarded a $8,660,000 loan from the USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Guaranteed Loans program to build its new campus. This is the largest community facilities loan granted to an educational facility in Maine within the past decade. In addition, CEI is providing $1.75 in long-term financing.
“I can’t think of a more important time to support people and the planet,” continued Dumsch. “We are proud to achieve several ‘firsts’ of national and world significance, right here at home in Maine.”

The Ecology School is seeking $1.2 million in the public phase of its capital campaign to complete its goal. To make a contribution, please visit: http://www.theecologyschool.org/capital-campaign.

About The Ecology School
The Ecology School is a nonprofit ecology education center that transforms how people think about nature and the environment. Through joyful, hands-on, experiential programming students of all ages learn to become stewards of the environment as they explore local forests, coastal ecosystems, and food systems. Since 1998, The Ecology School has hosted more than 187,000 students and teachers from across the country, educating about the environment and our collective impact on the planet. In 2019, The Ecology School broke ground on its new campus at River Bend Farm in Saco, Maine. Upon completion, The Ecology School will become the most sustainable building in the Northeast. Learn more at TheEcologySchool.org and follow The Ecology School on Facebook @EcologySchool, Instagram @TheEcologySchool and Twitter @ecologyschoolME.

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Elizabeth Horton
Simmer Public Relations
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