MCLAUGHLIN GARDEN Overview
Target demographics: Three target audiences have been identified for the current strategic plan: Teens, seniors, and tourists. A regional high school is very close by and programming is in development to reach this target audience. The school has an excellent technical program and most students begin careers immediately after graduating. Seniors are the second priority target as those residing in this area have few, if any, activities to enhance their quality of life after retiring. The Garden offers significant opportunities for seniors to contribute their knowledge and experience as well as their time. This is why the Garden has been so successful as, with only 2 staff members, volunteers must fill significant leadership roles that would otherwise be filled by middle and upper management. Lastly, tourism is a significant economic driver of the area and the Garden is committed to contributing to the economic vitality of the Oxford Hills area.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Approximately 20,000 people visit the Garden each year.
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: A variety of work is available - from office assistance and working in the gift shop to weeding and planting. The opportunities are too numerous to list! (Mentor a teen or classroom through the Challenge program, update the website, data entry, gardening, talking to visitors, etc.)
Geographic areas served: Primarily southwestern Maine and more broadly through tourism.
Programs: High School Program "Teen Challenge" - ties nature to the state teaching standards and supports teachers by providing all resources for meeting standards in the arts, science, writing, and math that they have difficulty meeting.
Steward Program - a volunteer program which provides meaningful ways for seniors to contribute to their communities and remain active and engaged.
Historic Preservation Program - maintains the unique and threatened history of the remote, rural southwestern Maine.
Heritage Horticulture Program - preserving unique and local varieties of plants.
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