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Orono Public Library Foundation

Orono Public Library Foundation

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Capital Campaign Committee


When the winter winds are blowing and the green of the world is blanketed in snow, everyone knows that it’s time to daydream of spring. For many, that means that the seed catalogues are regular reading and gardens are already sprouting in the midwinter imaginations of many Orono residents.

Well, there are some who have been dreaming of a very special garden for a long time -- the members of the Orono Village Green Capital Campaign Committee.

Fern Graphic

Of course, this garden is a little larger than average, and includes a large lawn, hundreds of ornamental plantings, pathways and benches, a stone plaza and pergola, and 125-seat amphitheater to be used as a 3-season, outdoor gathering space for the Town of Orono. That makes it much more than a garden for plants, rather it is an outdoor gathering space to cultivate community in Orono.

The dream of an outdoor community space was first considered in 2010, a year after the Orono Public Library had settled into its new home on Pine Street. Two years later, Sarah Kenney, Brian Rahill, Murray Bain, Deta Pierce, Claire McDonough, Jim Bulteel, Valerie Levy, Jenny Shemwell, Pauline Rock, and Dave Cloutier launched the campaign to raise funds for the Orono Village Green. It was in May 2014, amid the first blossoms of Orono’s many gardens, that the town was enraptured by the beautiful design created by landscape architect Steve Ribble and the public phase of the Orono Village Green began.

With the generous support of the Orono community and many organizations, the Campaign for the Orono Village Green had a successful close on August 31, 2015, having raised over $345,000 from private funds to fund the construction and maintenance of the Orono Village Green.

Capital Campaign Committee -- Orono Village Green"We are also very thankful that we had such a great group of volunteers on the Capital Campaign Committee to help spread awareness of the Orono Village Green project and invite the participation of the community. Each person on the Capital Campaign Committee used their own special talents to help this project continue to move forward. There is no way it would be been accomplished without such a dedicated group of volunteers” said Foundation Board Vice President, Brian Rahill.

Rahill praised the work done by the Committee for the past several years. "It was through the tireless work of the entire committee that we were able to raise the funds for the Orono Village Green. It took many evening planning sessions, public events, and lots of individual meetings with generous donors to raise the funds. The entire Capital Campaign Committee was committed to enhancing the community of Orono and they devoted their energy and passion to this project.”

The town of Orono will be forever grateful for their work.

The project will be put out to bid this spring, with construction anticipated throughout the summer.  Plantings will be placed in the fall. The Orono Village Green will be completed in the spring of 2017. 

We’re grateful for the persistent dreaming and unwavering support of the Capital Campaign Committee and are looking forward to summer when we get to watch our Orono Village Green garden begin to grow! 

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