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Merryspring Nature Center

30 Conway Road
Camden, ME 04843

207-236-2239

Mission:

To practice, teach and advocate sound principles of ecology, conservation and horticulture in order to protect our natural environment and to provide natural landscapes and cultivated areas for public enjoyment.

History:

Merryspring was founded in 1974 by Mary Ellen Ross, a local horticulturist who had attained national recognition through her mail order plant business, Merry Gardens. She envisioned creating a sanctuary where horticulture and nature could be studied firsthand. When the 66 acres which make up the Park came on the market, Mrs. Ross enlisted the help of many friends in the horticultural community and bought an option on the land. Merryspring Inc., a non-profit corporation, was formed; and a mortgage taken for the property.

Since then, the Park has enjoyed steady growth under the guidance of many dedicated volunteers. A Board of Trustees manages Merryspring, and provides much of the necessary elbow grease to keep the Park maintained as well. New attractions have been added regularly: hiking trails throughout the 1970's, the Kitty Todd Arboretum in 1980, the Herb Garden in 1984, the Hexagon and the Rose Garden in 1987, the Perennial Border in 1992, and assorted Memorials to individuals located throughout the Park.

In 1995 Merryspring embarked on the exciting new project of building a visitor's center. Completed in 1996, the Ross Center houses administrative office and Library, and its basement provides additional workspace for Park volunteers and staff. This project was a catalyst for a burst of new additions - the Hosta Garden in 1997, the Birds and Bees/Winter Color Garden and the Aileen Lubin Greenhouse in 1999. This structure, named after the past president and active volunteer, houses three different greenhouses, an equipment garage and enables us to offer year-round horticultural programming.

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