launching a capital campaign to raise $100,000 to assist with the building purchase

Ecology Learning Charter School, Unity Foundation collaborate for purchase of new building

Wed, 06/10/2020 - 8:00am

UNITY — The Ecology Learning Center, Maine’s newest public charter school for grades 9 and 10, to open this September, is collaborating with Unity Foundation to secure a new home for their school. Both organizations share a vision for supporting the youth of Unity and surrounding towns to grow a strong, resilient community, according to the school in a news release. 

The building is located within walking distance to parks, Unity Pond, the Hills to Sea Trail, Unity Barn Raisers, and Unity College for students to easily access field research and volunteer work at the businesses and nonprofits of downtown Unity. The school’s unique place-based curriculum engages students in real-world learning through volunteer service and apprenticeships. 

School enrollment will cap at 48 students this year. 

“As families reconsider school for the fall, the charter school provides a fresh option that emphasizes time outdoors and an expansive building for safe social distancing,” said ELC.

Unity Foundation was founded in 2000 by Bert and Coral Clifford, long-time Unity residents dedicated to improving the viability of their town.

“The Ecology Learning Center is honored to continue the Cliffords' legacy by offering an excellent education to local students.” said Leza Packard, founding principal of the school.

The Cliffords were firm believers in providing incentives and support for economic development and civic improvement. The Cliffords commissioned the construction of the inspiring two-story brick building on Main Street as headquarters for the Foundation’s work. 
“Consistent with Unity Foundation’s mission, particularly around education, we see this collaboration as an opportunity to enhance education in Waldo County. We are especially pleased that this allows us another opportunity to extend the reach of Bert and Coral Clifford’s legacy.” said Larry Sterrs, CEO of Unity Foundation. 
The school is launching a capital campaign to raise $100,000 to assist with the building purchase by August. Donations are tax-deductible, and there are naming opportunities available. 
For more information about open houses, enrollment, or capital campaign, go to, or contact Leza Packard at

Ecology Learning Center’s mission is to deeply root students in Maine’s ecological and cultural landscapes, foster authentic real-world learning through mentorship and craft, and cultivate compassionate and resilient leaders prepared to engage in the challenges of today and tomorrow. 
Unity Foundation’s mission is to support mission-driven nonprofits in Maine through capacity building initiatives, organizational assessment, programmatic grantmaking and nonprofit management education. Our goal is to promote strong, sustainable nonprofits that reliably serve Maine communities.