BCOPE Garden Program

The BCOPE Garden comprises a .25 acre parcel in the rear of the property, and a heated greenhouse on-site that we utilize year round. The garden and greenhouse have been in use for the past fifteen years and play a significant role in our academic curriculum. We also have an active culinary program and students eat the food they grow.

It has been a busy few years in the garden. In March 2020, we became the first participant in Maine in a statewide initiative piloted by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to recycle greenhouse plastic. Our pilot seedling initiative was funded by an emergency Covid grant from Maine Ag in the Classroom in Spring of 2021. The following summer we had two interns participate in our fledgling internship program sponsored with financial support in the form of scholarships from the Belfast Garden Club and as a program, we were a featured garden on the Garden Club's annual summer garden tour. We have received a grants from the Maine Environmental Education Association funding a new outdoor study space/garden that was designed and built by students with a focus on native species and pollinators and a Maine Ag in the Classroom Garden & Greenhouse grant written by students that has resulted in a new garden fence, improved soil quality and updated tools resulting in increased productivity. Most recently our garden coordinator received a Russell Libby Scholarship which will allow us to focus on improved compost systems for our program (and potentially the entire school district).

Our new produce stand has been built and delivered by OpBox and is made entirely of recycled bottles and will reopen in the spring. Students have decided to "sell" produce by donation only in the future as a way to address food insecurity in Waldo County.

For more information about our program, please contact Lindsey Schortz at lschortz@rsu71.org.