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A behind-the-scenes revitalization

When you think of the Preserve, visions of stunning flower beds and serene landscapes likely come to mind. It is easy to get lost in the beauty, but what often remains unseen are the vital gears turning behind the scenes. Tucked away on Peabody Drive in Seal Harbor is Greenrock, one of the hidden heartbeats of our operations. Here, our facilities and natural lands teams work in aging structures that have weathered a century of time. 

But change is on the horizon. We will revitalize Greenrock starting this summer thanks to the long-range planning of Unknown Studios, the innovative designs of Baird Architects, the tireless work of our Facilities Committee, and the generosity of former board director Nancy Putnam. Read more here about Nancy.

The renovations will be more than just a facelift. We are reimagining Greenrock as a modern, energy-efficient workspace that reflects our commitment to community and conservation. The existing buildings will be transformed but the new designs retain their original character, making way for new workshops, expanded offices, and overall improved facilities. 

The office building expansion is designed to accommodate the Preserve’s entire administrative staff, the natural lands team, and the Director of Facilities. The archives collection, previously stored there, is being donated to the Northeast Harbor Library. Read more about that here. On the eastern half of the site, both the existing mechanic’s shop and the carpentry shop will be replaced and housed in one energy efficient building, purpose-built for the Preserve’s unique operations.  

“This renovation will move the Preserve more toward more environmentally friendly operations,” says Jesse Hartson, Director of Facilities. “We are making investments in green energy systems, waste reduction, energy use reduction, solar panels, and electric/hybrid vehicles.”  

Greenrock is not just a cluster of old buildings; it is a piece of history. It was once the hub for the Rockefeller family’s endeavors on Mount Desert Island, from John D. Rockefeller’s planning of the iconic carriage roads to the maintenance of the family’s local properties. We are excited to honor that legacy and pave the way for a sustainable future.

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