There are at least two great reasons to visit Erickson Fields Preserve in Rockport: 1) members of Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s (MCHT) Kids Can Grow and Teen Agricultural Crew programs are growing food here and 2) you can enjoy the family- and dog-friendly 1.4-mile trail that loops through field and forest. Along the route, there are fitness stations where walkers can stop for additional workouts. The trail is open daily, year round, from dawn to dusk. You can download a preserve map here (PDF).
Erickson Farm was a dairy farm for many generations, until the Erickson family stopped farming the land in the 1980s. The family welcomed Aldermere Farm to manage the fields for hay and for grazing Belted Galloway Cattle. When the Erickson Family ultimately decided they needed to sell the land they worked closely with MCHT staff in partnership with Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) to preserve the farm property. MCHT and MFT recognized the value of preserving rapidly disappearing farmland, maintaining a significant green space close to the center of Rockport village, and providing an opportunity to utilize the land as a community resource.
MCHT acquired the property to conserve and keep productive prime farmland in Midcoast Maine and to provide a public benefit through agricultural, natural resource, and silviculture education on the property. Both MCHT and the local community value the preservation of the highly scenic views of the open fields, pasture and woods on the property that are enjoyed by the general public travelling along Route 90.
The fields are hayed annually to provide hay for the farm. Community garden areas are used for educational programming and growing involving children, teens, and adults. A larger garden area is utilized by the Teen Agricultural Crew to produce greater quantities of vegetables for the local food system including food pantries and school lunch programs.
- No Camping Permitted
- No Fires Permitted
- Stay on Established Trail
- Carry Out All Trash
- Including Human and Pet Waste and Toilet Paper
- Keep Pets Under Control
- Please Respect the Privacy of Preserve Neighbors
A sampling of preserve programs
Teen Ag Crew
The Teen Agricultural Crew is a social entrepreneurial program employing 14-18 year old youth in a full time summer job where they learn the essentials of business planning, marketing, growing, harvesting, packaging, and delivering fresh produce. As they learn the nuts and bolts of sustainable agriculture, they work together to plant, harvest, and maintain the gardens and are introduced to the world of work. The fresh produce they grow goes to area food pantries and to other organizations in need of more fresh produce, such as schools.
Kids Can Grow
This beginning gardening program for families with youth aged 7-11 years old consists of six monthly group classes teaching different aspects of gardening, along with a once per month home tutoring session to support families in growing their own square foot garden. The program is run in partnership with the Knox/Lincoln County Extension Office.
Raised garden beds are available to community members who would like to grow food for private use, or for local food pantries. Community gardeners receive assistance with growing related questions and with growing organically. Several different sized garden beds are available.
For more information on these and other programs and events at Erickson Fields please visit the Aldermere Farm website.
How to Get There: Erickson Fields Preserve is located at 164 West St., Rockport, Maine (though GPS systems tend to lead visitors astray). From the south, take Route 1 north until it intersects with Route 90 outside of Warren, and turn left on Route 90. Follow Route 90 nearly to its end, about 10.5 miles (and about 2.5 miles past the stoplight and intersection with Route 17). Erickson Fields Preserve is on your right across from Cross Street. From the north, take Route 1 south until it intersects with Route 90 outside of Rockport, and turn right onto Route 90. Drive approximately three tenths of a mile, passing on your left the Market Basket, several houses and a short stretch of woods. Erickson Fields Preserve is on your left across from Cross Street..