UMaine Regional Learning Center to Open at Tidewater Farm in Falmouth May 14

Contact: Doug Babkirk (

Initiative to engage children, families and communities in year-round educational programs

FALMOUTH — The University of Maine Regional Learning Center grand opening is scheduled for Saturday May 14, 11 a.m. at Tidewater Farm in Falmouth.

Through its Cooperative Extension programs, UMaine will offer sustainable living education programs for children, families and home-based business owners at the new facility.

The center represents an innovative public-private partnership among the University of Maine, the Cumberland County Extension Association and the Tidewater Conservation Foundation. It will occupy a nearly 5,000 square foot space in the Tidewater Village Commercial complex next to Tidewater Farm. The space will include University of Maine Cooperative Extension offices for Cumberland County and a large meeting room for public, non-credit Extension programs and events. The center will also be home to the southern Maine offices of University of Maine admissions and development, along with the University of Maine Foundation. Three acres of land at nearby Tidewater Farm will be used for Cooperative Extension’s teaching and demonstration gardens.

The grand opening will also honor the memory of Stanley Bennett, late CEO of Oakhurst Dairy and chair of the Regional Learning Center Capital Campaign, which helped fund this new facility. In his honor Extension staff will plant an oak tree and install a sitting bench overlooking the estuary at the historic Tidewater Farm. Bennett believed in the Regional Learning Center and its planned programs and was a generous supporter of UMaine Cooperative Extension, particularly 4-H. UMaine President Robert Kennedy and UMaine System Chancellor Richard Pattenaude will offer brief opening remarks at the May 14 event.

The Regional Learning Center Capital Campaign needs to raise $150,000 to reach its goal. Area businesses, individuals and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension have contributed just over $800,000 to purchase the complex at 75 Clearwater Drive.

For more information about the center, to make a donation to the campaign, or to RSVP to the May 14 event, please contact Lois Elwell at the Extension Office in Cumberland County at (800)287-1471 or