WOODSTOCK — Larry Stiffler and Mary McFadden, owners of the Bumpus mine, have pledged $50,000 toward the construction of a new four-season classroom building at the University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond.

Stiffler and McFadden have been supporting the conservation education facility for many years through scholarship support, use of their local mine for outdoor education programs and donations toward operating costs. This pledge will support a geology classroom in the new building and bring the building project closer to completion.

Last November, the Bolger Foundation of Ridgewood, N.J., pledged $200,000 and challenged the Bryant Pond leadership team to raise matching cash donations within one year in order to receive the funds.

Capital campaign fundraising efforts have brought in more than half the needed amount, and staff at the camp are positive about the project. “We are very pleased with the donation from the Stifler family. The Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center serves young people all across Maine and the new building will allow us to expand our season and reach more youth,” said Susan Jennings, Oxford County Extension Educator and Bryant Pond team leader.

The Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center’s new school and community programs reach more than 2,000 participants in year-round programs. Jennings said, “We have recently been working to design a new four-season building, which will include sleeping quarters and bath facilities for 32 people, two classroom spaces, a museum, a small kitchen, a seasonal infirmary and house a museum quality display of Maine wildlife and geology specimens.”

The mission of the center is to provide affordable, experiential education in nature and in the development of outdoor skills in a natural setting for people of all ages and backgrounds.
For more information, call 665-2068 or visit www.extension.maine.edu/bryantpond.

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