In addition to providing value to the homeowners and community members, Merriwood will provide broader environmental and social benefits to the surrounding community and the global commons.
Specific sustainability elements of the community will include:
Agriculture: Merriwood’s agricultural operation will be organic and designed and operated to embody the principles of permaculture. With consulting support from Ben Falk and Whole Systems Design, Merriwood will produce food that has a positive environmental footprint and improves the soil and the land.
Green Building Design: Merriwood homes are highly efficient in terms of construction methods and materials (minimal waste, green materials) and operations (efficient passive house concepts), and are built to last. Buildings will also include rainwater capture and other advanced eco-design features.
Carbon Neutrality and Renewable Energy: The goal of the community is to become carbon neutral. Each home will have a rooftop solar array with backup battery storage that is integrated with the independent Merriwood power system and onsite wind and solar power. Agriculture and landscaping techniques, composting, and other operational choices, will emphasize carbon sequestration. In combination with the highly efficient homes, walkable design, and other features, the community as a whole will be a model and make a meaningful contribution toward combatting climate change.
Land Stewardship: Merriwood will own over 1,000 acres of land. The large majority of it will be forested land that has been clearcut regularly over the past 150 years with little regard for the health and biodiversity of the forest ecosystem. Merriwood will preserve this land from development and take an active approach to land management to build the vitality of the forest as a resource and an ecosystem.
Social Equity and Community Benefits: No community of people can be sustainable as an island. New developments, and vacation communities in particular, are often not supportive of the regional economies and communities of people where they are located. One of Merriwood’s primary goals, written into its mission and founding documents, is the well-being and sustainability of the surrounding community, and putting into action the moral obligation to give back.
Our vision of sustainability includes wellness for our people. Our mission at Merriwood is to create a lifestyle, activities, and an environment that leads you to a state of holistic health. We believe that it is just as important to care for the mind, body, and soul, as it is to create sustainable buildings and give back to the earth and to the community.
With this in mind, Merriwood houses its very own wellness center situated amongst 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.
In addition to our wellness center, we also offer a bathhouse with a revitalizing sauna and showers. With so many opportunities to take in the outdoors, this is a place to take a few moments for yourself before you continue on your path to discovering everything else that we offer.
Each space that we have thoughtfully designed is surrounded by acres of beautiful forests and landscape to be utilized as your nature-filled playground. Whether it’s boating on the lake, taking one of our walking trails, visiting our farm, or just relaxing with a book, our community offers an array of experiences that feed the soul.
Merriwood’s 1,000+ acres will be held as a trust to the whole community and to future generations. The residential section of the community will consume less than 15% of the land area. The rest of it will be managed to improve biodiversity, restore soil health, and strengthen and restore the natural ecosystem. There will be no phases of future development. Once the original 51 units are built, the entire property will be owned and governed by the community itself.
Parts of the forest will be managed to enhance food production, including wild mushrooms, blueberries, silvopasture (where our livestock browse and enrich the natural forest). The vast majority of the land will be managed to maximize biodiversity and the health of native flora and fauna.