live music, maple treats, silent auction to benefit Ecology Learning Center

Third annual 5K Maple Run aims to welcome people out of hibernation

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UNITY — The Ecology Learning Center, a public charter school in Unity, is hosting its third annual 5K Maple Run on Wednesday, March 29, at 1 p.m., at Unity Field of Dreams.

More than just an athletic event, the fun run is an integral part of the school’s mission and curriculum, according to the learning center, in a news release.

“The Maple Run reminds me of the sense of community that I have at school,” said 11th grader Carolyn Phelps Scholz. “Every year, I’ve spent at least a few mornings training with a friend or Kayla (Dean of Students). Zoie (Ward, a classmate), has run an extra lap to help me finish. It’s a nice feeling to share in the experience.”

The Maple Run is part of the high school’s innovative wellness curriculum. From skiing to rock climbing, ice fishing to mountain biking, students have the opportunity to gain new skills that may otherwise be out of their family’s financial reach.

”We believe in the power of moving our bodies outdoors in all seasons, all sorts of activities,” said Adam Williams, director of Outdoor Programs. “The Maple Run is a highlight coming out of a long hibernation.” 

The Maple Run has grown – from 50 participants in 2021 to 75 in 2022. This year, with over 100 students and a warm welcome to the public, the school aims to host a larger event to raise funds for the outdoor curriculum.

The Maple Run also supports the school’s nutrition program. With MOFGA’s support, students collect and boil sap then serve the maple syrup as part of free school breakfast and lunch.

“MOFGA continues to be an important partner in our maple season,” said ELC Community Coordinator, Katharine Gaillard.

”Students work with Don Pendleton (MOFGA Buildings & Grounds Assistant) through the whole process, from tapping trees at the MOFGA fairgrounds to boiling sap at the school.

Following the run, there will be live music, maple treats, and a silent auction focused on outdoor adventure, including a guided sea kayak tour, entry to a rock climbing gym, and cycling gear.

To register for the 5K and preview silent auction items, visit, or contact Katharine at

Event Date: 

Wed, 03/29/2023 - 1:00pm

Event Location: 

Unity Field of Dreams


Field of Dreams
Unity, ME 04988
United States