ABOUT THE COMMUNITY
Ownership of any of the 50 units will also confer ownership in a self-governing community with an elected homeowners association that manages substantial recreational, sustainability, and survivability assets including Merriwood Farm, a community lodge, livestock, stores of equipment, and large tracts of forest and waterfront. The community will be open year-round, although we expect that the majority of the members will primarily come in the summer and for vacations.
Merriwood is founded on some basic values that we will use to develop the community and guide it’s futute. Merriwood is a community that:
Welcomes and supports all people with inclusivity at heart.
Works toward our collective sustainability - development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Commits to working with the other members of the community and the residents of the surrounding region in a spirit of generosity and altruism for our common benefit.
Utilizes energy, water, and other natural resources efficiently and with care.
Minimizes waste, through recycling, composting, or energy recovery.
Values and protects natural systems and the diversity of nature.
Sundragon Lodge: The beating heart of the community, Sundragon Lodge will be the hub for socializing and events. The modern rustic lodge will have expansive screened-in living spaces, an array of large to small rooms, a commercial kitchen, and bar for planned events and informal group gatherings, two rooftop decks, a large wood-burning fireplace, outdoor fire pit, comfortable couches and chairs, many nooks and crannies, and numerous other features.
North Beach: The main lake access near the lodge will have a swimming dock and fleet of non-motorized boats including rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and sailboats.
Bathhouse and Sauna: Near South Beach, the bathhouse offers a place to relax and unwind in a quiet setting slightly removed from the hub of activity at Sundragon Lodge. We highly recommend taking a dive in the lake after the sauna.
Wellness and Reflection Center: Merriwood houses its very own wellness center situated among the beautiful Maine foothills, which includes a walking meditation circle used for mindfulness practices. Our indoor space is conducive for meditation, yoga, tai-chi, and workshops. You will also find that this is the best spot to grab a cup of one of our locally sourced or exotic teas.
Medical and Science Capacity: Merriwood will have facilities, equipment and supplies, in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations, to treat common conditions and address our long-term needs should the traditional medical infrastructure not be available to us in an emergency.
Community Barn: This is where the community members may interact with the farm and pick up their fresh produce. It will also be convertible into a rustic and elegant event space.
Power System: An integrated community power system will be connected to the public utility grid, and have the capacity to go off-grid to provide all of the resident's needs utilizing wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy.
Artist in Residence Cottage: Merriwood will have a guest cottage for artists, chefs, speakers, naturalists, experts, and other special guests who provide color, vitality, stimulation, and learning opportunities to the community through various programs.
Agricultural Hub: The working heart of the farm, this is where the dirty (and if you ask us, deeply rewarding) work will mostly be done.
Archery and Shooting Range: No camp experience is complete without a range for fun and to hone your skills.
Basketball/Volleyball/Tennis/Shuffleboard: Merriwood will have an ample budget to add additional amenities according to the tastes and desires of the residents. What’s your cup of tea?
By design, Merriwood is not a resort with a restaurant and social director programming our days. Our vision combines comfort, relaxation, nature, adventure, and self-sufficiency. However, there will be a slate of activities offered to enrich the community, create social engagement, and enable people to take full advantage of our amazing setting. The ultimate schedule of activities will be created by a Programming Committee appointed by the elected Board of Trustees. As a starting point here are some activities and traditions we hope to create:
Friday Night Farm to Table: Reconnect with friends and the land at Sundragon Lodge every Friday evening in the summer with a big community dinner. A rotating cast of notable chefs will prepare gourmet farm-to-table meals focusing on in-season offerings. A locavore’s delight, Merriwood’s farm, and the surrounding area offer an unmatched abundance of ingredients. Seasonal produce, lobster, striped bass, mussels, wild foraged mushrooms, humanely raised organic meat, and wild blueberry pies, are just a few of the items that will take center stage at these seminal community events.
Nature Walks: Local naturalists will lead themed nature walks and other adventures. Themes will include, foraging edible plants and mushrooms, birdwatching, moose tracks, and night hikes with owls.
Yoga, Mindfulness, Wellness: Accommodations for organized classes and individual practice will be available in multiple locations, including rooms in Sundragon Lodge and the Wellness Center. Specific offerings will be determined by you through the Programming Committee.
Volunteering with the Farm: Caring for animals, planting, and picking...being a part of the process to create your own food and work the land... can be a deeply rewarding experience. Especially when the whole community is appreciating your handiwork at the Friday Night Farm to Table feast.
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge: This 30,000-acre wilderness is 15 minutes from Merriwood and is home to numerous endangered species set among rolling hills, large ledge outcrops, streams, lakes, bogs, and marshes. The refuge staff and volunteers conduct interpretation programs and activities to inform visitors about bird migration, seasonal habitat changes, invasive species, and management activities. The refuge hosts annual events such as the Downeast Bird Festival (Memorial Day Weekend), children’s fishing derby (June), and warbler and amphibian walks each spring. The wheelchair-accessible Woodcock and Charlotte trails provide visitors with information on native habitat and wildlife.
Excursions: Advice will be available for Merriwooders wishing to plan excursions on-site, or in the surrounding area. Examples include deep-sea fishing or whale watching (20 minutes away), trips to Canada and St. Andrews-by-the Sea for shopping or a spa day, or treks to Mt. Katahdin - the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
Service packages will be available for year-round or seasonal use that include home and yard maintenance, security, snow removal, delivery of sustainably harvested firewood, and other essential services. Additional ala carte services, including housekeeping and concierge medicine, will be offered.
Merriwood will legally be a non-profit Home Owners Association (HOA). Like most homeowners associations, each unit will own an equal share of the common assets and have one vote in elections for the homeowners association Board of Trustees. Each unit would also pay association dues to cover the cost of common upkeep for water/road/power/maintenance of facilities. In addition, the dues will support sustainability and resiliency assets such as the agricultural operation, power system, and other amenities.
Merriwood Farm will be a separate corporation that is wholly owned by the Members of Merriwood. Each unit will own an equal share of the Farm. The HOA Board of Trustees will appoint the Merriwood Farm Board of Trustees.
Once the development phase of the project is over, the elected Board of Trustees will form a committee structure that will have the authority to govern all aspects of the community. All legal documents, including a community covenant and set of bylaws for Merriwood Homeowners Association will be available for review before sales are finalized.
The homeowners association structure offers many legal protections for the members and the association. The community covenant will not be cumbersome, and will largely focus on limiting environmental impacts (e.g. no chemical lawn treatments) and maintaining setbacks and sight lines from the property line. We will not be regulating the appearance of your home, the height of your shrubs, or other non-essential decisions you may make. You can mow your yard, or allow a native meadow to grow. Additions and renovations to homes that change the appearance and size will generally be allowed as long as they meet some basic conditions including environmental sensitivity.
Members will have the right to sell their units publicly, increasing the liquidity and value of the investment. First Merriwood, and then existing members of the community, will have the right of first refusal to purchase units before they are available to the general public.