The Maine Lakes Science Center-What’s Up Bridgton-LEA’s new science center is up and running at least two years ahead of schedule. This is because of the generosity of an anonymous family foundation and sixty-one other donors. Foundation support has als
February 29, 2016 -
Bridgton-LEA’s new science center is up and running at least two years ahead of schedule. This is because of the generosity of an anonymous family foundation and sixty-one other donors. Foundation support has also given the project a real boost, with gifts coming from the following: Margaret Burnham Charitable Trust, Davis Conservation Foundation, Fields Pond Foundation, Kendall and Anna Ham Charitable Foundation, Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, Morton Kelly Charitable Trust and Norcross Wildlife Foundation. The public fundraising campaign will begin in January and run throughout 2016. Its goal is to raise $1,200,000 to fund land and building purchase, site and building construction and staff and operations through 2020.
Dr. Bridie McGreavy is the Consulting Executive Director and Alyson Smith is the Center and Program Manager. Peter Lowell is acting as Interim Director as the facility navigates its first year. Lead gifts allowed us to jump start the center project and begin the very important work of accelerating lake research. Researchers and many events have already been hosted. All aspects of the center are working extraordinarily well: researcher housing, classroom, lab, conference room and offices.
A common question is when LEA will move its offices to the new building. That will not happen since our year-round staff of seven and our seasonal staff of nearly fifty rely on our Main Street building and its many facilities. The primary purpose of the Maine Lake Science Center is to encourage and support researchers to come to the Lakes Region to conduct their work. Housing, lab space and meeting rooms are provided as an incentive. The conference room and class room are added benefits that allow LEA to host more people for lectures, workshops and meetings and to bring students to the center for indoor and outdoor classes.
In October, Bridgton Boy Scout Troop 149 finished a 300-foot boardwalk that links the science center with Pondicherry Park’s Willet Brook Trail. The walkway traverses a boggy stretch of LEA land and allows students at Stevens Brook Elementary school ready access to the center. The project was initiated by Josh Axtman as his Eagle scout project and involved dozens of volunteers from the troop and LEA.
Staff Writer, LEA Lake News, Winter 2016
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