Ecology Ctr. accepting ninth grade enrollment

Ecology Learning Center (photo: Unity College)

The Ecology Learning Center, a public charter high school (9-12 grades) in Unity, enrollment is still OPEN for 9th grade! If interested, please fill out the Intent to Enroll form on our website.

At the Ecology Learning Center, we offer:

focused English, math, history, and science instruction; French and Spanish language courses, taught by native speakers; art electives, including music and woodworking; outdoor adventure and leadership training; FREE breakfast and lunch using locally-grown produce, prepared by students.

Reach out to with questions.

SRLT hires program manager

Cheryl Daigle

Sebasticook Regional Land Trust (SRLT) has announced the hiring of Cheryl Daigle as program manager. The membership-supported conservation association works to conserve and restore the lands and waters of the Sebasticook River Watershed in Central Maine, and has been all-volunteer for more than six years.

Daigle will take the lead on operations and coordinate the activities of the board and volunteers beginning in early March. She brings extensive experience in communications and outreach at diverse community-based conservation organizations across New England. Her career focus has been on conservation, restoration, cultural vitality and economic health of the communities in which she has worked. She most recently served as the editor of Northern Woodlands magazine. Managing SRLT marks a return to Maine for Daigle. Her previous conservation work in the Pine Tree state has been in the roles of executive director at the Maine Lakes Society, outreach coordinator at the Penobscot River Restoration Trust and publications specialist at Maine Sea Grant.

“Our dedicated core of volunteers has struggled to do more than maintain our preserves, monitor easement holdings and present outreach events,” said SRLT board president Tom Aversa. “Cheryl’s skills in community engagement, fundraising, grant writing and land stewardship will help us meet the challenges of the future.”

Sebasticook Regional Land Trust focuses on land conservation, habitat restoration and environmental education, working with landowners to help them voluntarily protect their land for future generations. In its first ten years, the SRLT and its landowner partners have ensured the permanent protection of nearly 4,000 acres of wild and working lands. Learn more at

New mental health provider welcomed to Unity practice

Jennifer Turner

Northern Light Primary Care in Unity welcomes Jennifer Turner, LMSW-CC, a licensed master social worker, to the team. Jennifer was the Unity practice manager for the past five years and has transitioned into this new role. Jennifer has been with Northern Light Inland Hospital for 21 years.

Jennifer earned her undergraduate degree in social work at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and her master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of New England. She is state licensed.

Jennifer shares, “I want to be a part of changing the stigma around mental health/behavioral health. It is an honor to be “allowed” into a patient’s world and be a part of their healthcare journey, one I don’t take lightly. It is important to listen, then listen more. I enjoy coming alongside the patient to help them reach their goals while providing a safe place with no judgement.”

Jennifer is a generalist social worker who provides individual therapy. She works with patients, ages 10 years and older, who have all types of symptoms and diagnosis, such as: substance use, grief, women’s health, and chronic illness. She also has experience working with learning disabilities and challenges. She will be seeing patients in-person at the Unity practice with telehealth as an option.

For referrals or more information, please call our practice at 948.2100. The practice is located at 80 Main Street in Unity.

Local students on Springfield College dean’s list

William Banks, of Jefferson, and Kyle Ingraham, of Unity, were named to the dean’s list at Springfield College, in Springfield, Massachusetts, for academic excellence for the 2022 fall semester. Banks has a primary major of physical education, and Ingraham in sport management.

Local residents earn award from WGU

The following local residents have earned an Award of Excellence at Western Governors University, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The award is given to students who perform at a superior level in their coursework.

Jen Paradis, of Augusta, has earned an Award of Excellence at Western Governors University College of Business.

Abigayle Laverdiere, of Fairfield, has earned an Award of Excellence at Western Governors University School of Education.

Crystal Perry, of South China, has earned an Award of Excellence at Western Governors University Leavitt School of Health.

Olivia Nicks, of Unity, has earned an Award of Excellence at Western Governors University College of Information Technology.

PHOTO: Sign of early spring

Because of the warm weather, Corinne Dubois, of Unity, decided to go check on her bulbs in the flower gardens – they tend to sprout very early at times in February. However, not on January 1.

EVENTS: Harvest season at the Ecology Center in Unity

We are fueled by what we eat and at the Ecology Learning Center, we eat well!

Grounded in Maine’s landscapes, we oriented our first 4-year cohort with trips across the state. Engaged in learning, we involve students in preparing and serving all meals. Focused on interdisciplinary learning, we tackle the complicated reality of our food system from all angles.

The High School

The high school’s theme for the fall trimester is Food Systems, meaning that all classes are exploring the interdisciplinary complexities of where and how our food gets to people.

Students help prepare their own meals daily and the ingredients have come from local partners, such as Unity’s Farm Drop, Ararat Farm, and Overland Farm.

Looking back to the school year beginnings, we also wanted to share from our first Orientation Trips!

The new ninth graders hiked the Hills to Sea Trail to the MOFGA Fairgrounds for a night of camping.

The 10th grade traveled to Temple to stay with the Maine Local Living School, fully immersed in their harvest and meal preparation.

Juniors traveled down to Port Clyde and Tenants Harbor for a Sea Kayaking adventure.

The first class of Seniors embarked upon a sailing and hiking trip around Penobscot Bay.

Bridge Program

Opening Day for the 2022-2023 Bridge Program is September 29. We have 12 families this year and a new Program Coordinator, Esther Williamson.

One of the three legs of the Ecology Learning Center, the Bridge Program holds the same mission and dedication of rooting students in place and honoring the food that sustains them.

Community Programming & Events

Applefest: Friday, September 30

Each year they host a fall celebration with a contradance, music, field games, costume contest, and much more. Stop by between noon and 2 p.m., at the Field of Dreams, for fall fun!

Stone Soup Supper: Friday, October 21, 4:30 – 7 p.m.

Tickets on sale only through October 10, buy yours now at the Ecology Learning Center, in Unity, Marsh River Cooperative, in Brooks, The Green Store, in Belfast, or Meridians, in Fairfield. Adults tickets $15+ and children tickets $10+ on sale now.

Fiber Arts Circle: Weekly on Tuesdays, 4 – 6 p.m., at the Unity Public Library

Join them with your craft to work alongside others! Bring something you are working on or are hoping to learn. See details here.
Woodworking Workshop: Saturday, November 20, 10am

Join their woodworking teacher and experienced woodworker, Doug Lakin, for a carving workshop and take home your own spoon. Workshop will be capped at 12 participants, so sign up now! $5 entrance fee for supplies and $20 suggested donation for instruction. Cash or check accepted. Please RSVP.

Broader Community News & Events

Unity Public Library continues to host fun and informational events – follow their Facebook Page for more information!

Buy their student-designed T-shirts, at the Green Store, in Belfast.

Check their website and Facebook Page as more events are added. They will be starting up more as we enter warmer weather!

Want to host a workshop? Planning an event and looking for a partner? Have a skill you want to share? Email

EVENTS: Unity Parkinson’s Support Group

Unity Area Parkinson’s Support Group now meets 3rd Monday of the month from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., at Unity Barn Raisers Community Building at 32 School St., in Unity. Come for education, support and free info. Call Eleanor at 948-1474 or email: for more info.

UNITEL to join Direct Communications family

Photo credit: Barta IV,

Direct Communications of Rockland, Idaho, announced that it has acquired Unitel of Unity, Maine. Direct Communications, a family-owned broadband provider, has been assisting customers with their communications needs since 1954.

The heart and soul of Direct Communications lies in the rural areas that they serve. They bring to Unitel a vast knowledge of fiber construction, networking, and the ability to scale quickly to expand their reach.

“We are thrilled to welcome Unitel to the Direct Communications family,” said Owner of Direct Communications, Tim May. “Our company takes ‘family’ very seriously, and we treat our employees and customers as family as well. We feel that Unitel is the perfect fit for us because of the groundwork that has already been laid in their network, and the relationships that have been forged with current customers and communities.”

Direct Communications plans to hit the ground running and get to work expanding fiber optics and working hard to upgrade the network. The front office will remain in Unity, and there will be no hiccups in service as all original employees will stay in place to keep fulfilling the local communications needs.

“We have no intention of slowing down,” said May. “We know that the employees and community members are eager for us to bring faster internet speeds, we intend to do that as quickly as possible.”

EVENTS: Plant Giveaway & Permaculture Bed-Building

Ecology Learning Center (photo: Unity College)

The Unity Barn Raisers will hold Permaculture in the Park, hosted by the Ecology Learning Center, Unity Barn Raisers, and Triplet Park, on Saturday, May 29, at 11 a.m., at Triplet Park, 32 School St., in downtown Unity. Learn how to build beds and take home some plants to put in them!

Gather in this community park for a monthly talk and learning experience grounded in the principles of permaculture. Beginning with a talk by the experienced permaculture designer, Teddy Mattson, of Seed of Life Permaculture and Design, participants will learn about swale and hugelkultur creation, sheet-mulching to capture water, best uses of landscape organic matter debris, as well as how to suppress weeds and build soil. Once we’ve heard about these topics, we will join together in a community work session to apply them in the park. Stay as long as you like to help out and learn more!

Participants will take home their own raspberry cane and comfrey plant! With a donation of any kind, participants may take more than one of each.

RSVP requested at $15 suggested donation upon arrival.