Celebrate Merryspring’s
50th Anniversary!

Come join us for a
special celebration!

Celebration Weekend

Friday and Saturday July 19th & 20th

The highlight is our Celebration Weekend July 19th and 20th!  Friday the 19th is our Members Only Party to thank Merryspring Members for their support. Saturday the 20th is our Family Fun and Open Garden Day for the community.

Both events are free.

The Members Only Party on Friday has limited space, and pre-registration is required. Details to follow. See schedule below.

The Open House on Saturday is open to everyone and you are welcome to bring a picnic lunch! There are very fun activities especially for children.

What is Merryspring?

      • 66-acre Nature Center
      • Free Admission
      • Open Daily Dawn to Dusk
      • Close to Rte. 1
      • Beautiful Display Gardens
      • Forest and Meadow Trails
      • Birds and Wildflowers
      • Nature Programs
      • For Children: Fairy Village, Vernal Pool, Summer Ecology Camps
      • Arboretum of Native Trees
      • Popular Wedding Venue
      • Spring Plant Sale

How to Find Us

Click the above image to view larger. Click this link for Google Maps.

Upcoming events

Schedule for Members Only Party

Friday, July 19th 6 pm – 8pm
Food, beverages & entertainment

Music by
Bay Chamber Music School Jazz Ensemble

Bay Chamber Jazz Ensemble is a student/faculty ensemble based in Camden/Rockport
that meets on Tuesday evenings at the music school. Open to all levels of players the
ensemble plays a variety of jazz music styles including swing, funk, and latin. This years
group features students Annegien Zuidema on cello, Liam Smith on bass, Neal Yetman
on guitar, Nathan Perkins on piano, Jeremiah Khan on saxophone and faculty members
Nate Martin on cello and Mike Whitehead on drums.

Schedule for Family Fun &
Open Garden Day

Saturday, July 20th 1 pm – 4 pm

1 pm – Building Fairy Houses and Forts in Fairy Village & Nature Journaling in the tent
2 pm Chewonki Owls in Hexagon
3 pm Pie Social
3:45 Tree & Time Capsule planting

Daffodils in North Meadow

New for our 50th Anniversary! Last fall,  Merryspring received a very generous donation of hundreds of mixed daffodils.  At the same time, the Hopps family installed the lovely new bench in honor of Top Hopps, one of our former board presidents.  Additionally, programs featuring nature artist Andrew Goldsworthy were taught in schools by Merryspring staff. Finally, Toni Goodrich, our Managing Director suggested planting the daffodils in North Meadow. 

Put this all together, and with the help of the RAM students from Waldoboro and board members Charlie, Jo and John, the bulbs were planted in a week.  The design has the bulbs clustered up close to Tom Hopp’s bench and moving farther apart as the bulbs move into North Meadow.

Park History

Merryspring was founded in 1974 by Mary Ellen Ross, a local horticulturist who had attained national recognition through her mail-order plant business, Merry Gardens. She envisioned creating a sanctuary where horticulture and nature could be studied firsthand. When the 66 acres that make up the Nature Center came on the market, Mrs. Ross enlisted the help of many friends in the horticultural community and bought an option on the land. Merryspring, Inc., a nonprofit, member-supported corporation, was formed to develop, maintain and operate the property as a nature park and horticultural center and to provide nature-based educational programs.

Since then, the Park has enjoyed steady growth under the guidance of many dedicated volunteers, trustees, and staff. New attractions have been added regularly: Hiking Trails throughout the 1970s, the Kitty Todd Arboretum in 1980, the Herb Garden in 1984, the Hexagon in 1987, the Rose Garden and Cottage in 1990, the Perennial Border in 1992, and assorted Memorials to individuals located throughout the park.

Another burst of activity began in 1995 when Merryspring embarked on building a visitor’s center. Completed in 1996, the Ross Center houses Merryspring’s administrative office, meeting room, Nature Library, and basement workspace for volunteers and staff. This project was a catalyst for other additions: the Hosta Garden in 1997, the Birds and Bees/Winter Color Garden in 1999, the Aileen Lubin Greenhouse in 1999, and the American Chestnut Breeding Orchard in 1999. Newer additions at Merryspring include the Daylily Garden in 2008, the Interpretive Trail in 2013, and a renewed Children’s Garden in 2015.

Today, 50 years after its founding, Merryspring is thriving with about 500 members and thousands of visitors each year.

Merryspring ariel view 2005
Merryspring as a lumber yard 1956