Our Story

The Cobscook Community Learning Center, located in easternmost Maine, began as a community development initiative. Today, the center offers a vast array of programs, events, and opportunities to the people of the Cobscook Bay region and beyond.  

In 1999, a group of community members from the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Euro-American community, and our neighbors from nearby New Brunswick, Canada, came together to find an answer to the question, “What would improve life in this rural region?” The study group that formed around that question focused on educational models that brought much-needed change around the world. The group paid particular attention to Danish folk schools, where teachers and learners of all ages develop and strengthen new skills in a challenging, supportive, community atmosphere.

CCLC Timeline:

1999 – The CCLC founders come together to establish a vision.

2001 – First programming offered at the Cobscook Gathering.

2003 – First staff members hired. Capital campaign for the first building begins.

2005 – Rice Hall completed. The CCLC Board of Directors formed. Programming expands.

2007 – Caretaker’s residence and The Commons building completed.

2008 – Staff, programming, and the campus expand. The CCLC brings Passages, a teen parent high school diploma program, to Washington County. 

2009 – Capital Campaign for the next building, the Heartwood Lodge begins.

2010 – The Community Year, an alternative experiential high school program, launched as a one-year program.

2012 – The Community Year expands into a two-year program.

Many of our programs and campus features sprang from needs or ideas expressed by members of the community. The Community Year (TCY), an alternative two-year high school program, was developed in partnership with Calais High School after receiving requests from local school superintendents for a program to meet the needs of students who are struggling in traditional classrooms. TCY students learn science by participating in the release of salmon fry, geometry by constructing an addition to their classroom, and history by researching and creating a documentary film about a local historical figure.  Our Community Garden was created when a group of master gardeners nedded a place to utilize and teach their skills. Today, the community garden includes handicap accessible raised beds, is used by local schools, groups, and individuals, and produces fresh, organic produce for the local food pantry.