Coastal Studies for Girls is located at Wolfe's Neck Farm in Freeport , Maine . The two organizations' educational, recreational and environmental missions have many parallels. Wolfe's Neck Farm is also a non-profit organization, and their mission is centered around sustainable agriculture, education, stewardship, and the preservation of open spaces. The farm spans 626 acres of field and forest, with a beautiful trail system. Casco Bay is located on one side and the Harraseeket River on the other. The stunning Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park is also just down the road.
The history of the farm is fascinating! In 1946, LMC Smith and his wife Eleanor Houston Smith purchased what is now Wolfe's Neck Farm. This saltwater farm was the perfect place for the Smiths to begin their organic farming operation as proof of their belief in the useful preservation and protection of open places. In addition to creating WNF, the Smiths helped create Popham Beach State Park and Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park. The Smiths also donated Mast Landing Bird Sanctuary to the Maine Audubon Society and the Percy-Small Shipyard to the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. After LMC Smith's death, Eleanor gave the farm to the University of Southern Maine. Wolfe's Neck Farm was given back to the Wolfe's Neck Farm Foundation in 1997 to serve as a community resource. USM still operates the Stone House Retreat Center at the end of Wolfe's Neck Road , as well as The Action Learning Center Ropes Course nearby.
Learn more about Wolfe's Neck Farm.
After years of discussion with the Wolfe's Neck Farm Foundation, the Cascoseeket Association and the Town of Freeport, Coastal Studies for Girls is now happily nestled among the golden fields and majestic white pines on a corner of the farm property.
While CSG’s program is in itself educational, we share the additional desire of igniting learning through the process of creating the school as well as in the location, design and construction of the school itself.
We have been fortunate to work with Van Dam Architecture and Design, Mohr & Seredin Landscape Architects, and Wright Ryan Construction, all with a strong commitment to green building and design. One of the most significant aspects of this began with our early discussions with Wolfe’s Neck Farm as we searched for the best home for the future school. Part of the farm’s commitment to the Smith family, the neighborhood and the surrounding community is to maintain existing buildings, keep open space and continue agriculture. The 1850’s Ward Farmhouse location was chosen because it honored these things, was on a far corner of the farm property, was away from farm programming and would minimally impact cattle grazing. Additionally, it fit the green building standards of choosing to renovate old buildings before adding new ones, and keeping the rural character of the landscape.
Phase One construction included the rehabilitation of the old farmhouse, enabling us to open doors to 15 students in February 2010. Students now live, work, eat, study, play, learn and grow in and around this building for a full sixteen weeks of their tenth grade year. As our campus and enrollment grows, we will refurbish the existing barn during Phase Two, and eventually create new buildings with Phases Three through Five. These phases include separate living quarters for students as well as additional classroom space. It is our intent to get “greener as we go,” continuing to make the campus itself a learning tool for all who learn and visit here.
Aerial photo courtesy of Michael DeGrandpre.