BAR HARBOR — Children and their families can learn about farm life, check out some livestock, and take a turn in the bounce house during the second-annual Family Fun Day at College of the Atlantic’s Peggy Rockefeller Farms on Thursday, Aug. 20.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon, will include family-friendly games and activities, face painting, arts and crafts, and a tour of the barns and animal stalls. Farm manager C.J. Walke will talk about various programs on the farm, and attendees can observe the sheep, cows and chickens that call the property home.
“Last year, we had about 100 families come out to Family Fun Day,” said COA President Darron Collins. “We loved seeing all the young kids on the farm, chasing chickens and sitting on the tractor and having a great time. We hope this year is just as successful.”
The Peggy Rockefeller Farms consist of 125 acres, which David Rockefeller gifted to COA in January 2010, to be used in perpetuity for agriculture and conservation. The farms are part of the largest remaining contiguous area of pasture on Mount Desert Island. Two-thirds of the property is covered with second-growth forest or wetland. Acadia National Park administers a conservation easement on the farms.
“Family Fun Day is one of the ways we share this remarkable place with the community,” said Lynn Boulger, COA’s dean of institutional advancement. “We are so appreciative of the opportunity to steward this land.”
Under COA’s management, the Peggy Rockefeller Farms now have solar panels that generate all the electricity used on the property, a fruit tree orchard, a large vegetable garden and raspberry bushes. A small flock of Romney and Katahdin sheep as well as a group of Belted Galloway cattle graze on the pastureland.
COA students have the opportunity to design and participate in independent and group studies, work-study jobs and final projects that involve the Peggy Rockefeller Farms.