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McLaughlin Garden & Homestead

After Bernard McLaughlin died in 1995 at age 98, the property upon which he had cultivated his renowned garden was listed for sale. Through the passion of the community, a non-profit was founded to purchase and protect the resource for future generations. The McLaughlin Foundation recently acquired its neighboring property, and hopes to expand upon its mission of horticultural education and motto of "Community Grows Here" by establishing a community and demonstration garden on the new land (around 22,000 square feet). The goal of the expansion is to meet the needs of our immediate community, which is one of the four highest poverty areas in Maine.

Over the next 5 years, cultivation of the new property will lead to an active program with local schools, including reinvigorating the McLaughlin kids summer program.  Focused on using your own backyard to explore your natural world, McLaughlin hopes to expand this program to include broader education, including food planting, on the new property. McLaughlin will also expand and relocate its existing demonstration beds for adult education, such as the dye garden. In this example, the new space will allow increased collaboration with local fiber arts groups and farms to demonstrate natural dye sources. The new space will support a variety of education programs for all ages including: planning personal garden beds, expanding the existing pollinators program, and fostering sustainable and low-cost planting that supports sustainable growth of food and ornamental plants. Beyond educational goals, the Garden hopes to increase collaboration with area non-profits to support the overall mission of preservation and sustainability of local, vibrant, ecologically responsible communities (currently emerging in the recent co-founding of the Oxford County Food Resource Collaborative).   

Where it's at:

97 Main Street
South Paris, ME 04281
United States

Garden type:

community garden

Garden size (in square feet):


Garden beneficiaries:

families and children

Number of people reached:

10 000

What this project needs:

volunteer labor
fruit bushes
fruit trees
watering hose
irrigation system
garden cart
compost bin

Project leaders:

Stephanie Edwards, Operations Manager
Kristin Perry, Director of Horticulture

About us:

KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.  

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Contact us:

Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA
(207) 956-0606