Rare Forest Project
Unfortunately, The Rare Forest Project may have lost its planned site in Canaan, ME. We are currently exploring alternate sites in Central Maine.
The benefits of biodiversity, the variety of life found in the environment, are well known. The greater the diversity of species of plants and animals in an area, the more likely it is to be a healthy ecosystem that can better withstand and recover from threats. And the threats are plenty; Because declining biodiversity touches on some of our most pressing challenges from global food security to mass extinctions and climate change, many efforts are being made to save and restore biodiversity worldwide.
Maine is known for its vast wilderness, but Maine has not escaped the effects of pollution, habitat loss, deforestation, over-harvesting, disease, climate change and other threats that plague ecosystems the world over. As a result of these factors and others, many of Maine’s native plant and animal species common only a century ago are now either rare or have been entirely eradicated from the state. While many people may think of the caribou, eastern cougar, the gray wolf, or the humpback whale when regarding extirpated and endangered species of Maine, fewer people think of plant life that has met a similar fate.
The Rare Forest Project is conceptualized as a living museum which will provide visitors with an ecologically functioning forest garden of the region’s rare, endangered and extirpated native plant species. The project also looks to the future in hopes of providing seed and stock for further efforts toward recapturing lost plant diversity of Maine’s forests.