Education and Outreach

The Friends of Dr. Edith Marion Patch offer an array of opportunities for learners young and old to enjoy at Braeside or other locations on the University of Maine campus and around the community.

Each month during the academic year, The Friends of Dr. Edith Marion Patch host free public forums on topics related to the life, work, and interests of this eminent scientist. Forum presentations range from environmental research and education to nature writing, historic preservation, and human ecology. For a description of upcoming and recent programs, please see the menu sidebar, left.

Although the interior of Braeside is not yet ready for visitors, we do conduct outdoor programs at the site for school and university classes and members of the community.  We also provide outreach presentations to schools and community organizations within Maine.

The After School Environmental Club visited Edith Patch’s homestead at Braeside as part of a Pollinator Habitat Enhancement Project. Thanks to a partnership with Stillwater Montessori School and the Biodiversity Research Institute along with support from the Maine Community Foundation, the children were able to build bee boxes and nurture wild gardens where native bees can feed. Here they are with Joe Alex, installing a beebox on the edge of the wildflower border, adjacent to the bird observation area at Braeside. Native bees will lay their eggs in holes that have been drilled into the box.

A bee box is added to the garden at Braeside.

A bee box is added to the garden at Braeside.

Undergraduate and Academ-e students enrolled in an introductory arboriculture class at the University of Maine enjoyed their field experience at Braeside, where they planted a tree and were introduced to safe climbing, pruning, and other skills. This handsome specimen was already standing tall in Edith Patch’s day. It got special attention from the students and their instructor, licensed arborist tish carr.

old tree at braeside

University of Maine students enrolled in SFR452 Environmental Interpretation have joined with local school children to explore the habitat at Braeside through Project Learning Tree and Project Wild programs.  Here UMaine undergrads lead elementary students from Stillwater Montessori in an investigation of trees at the woodland’s edge.


Representatives of our organization are available to present programs to Maine schools or community organizations on the following topics:

Edith Marion Patch: Pioneering Scientist, Environmentalist, and Educator
A general introduction to Dr. Patch’s life and work.

Bugs in the System: Edith Patch and the Women of Entomology
The experiences of female entomologists in the early half of the twentieth century, as shared through their correspondence with Dr. Patch.

Orono’s Bug Lady
Even a world-renowned scientist has neighbors! How did Dr. Patch balance her professional life with her role in the local community, where she was active in the Women’s Club, the church, and other organizations?

Edith Marion Patch: Gardening for Wildlife
Dr. Patch’s mingling of science and sentimentality with a strong conservation ethic led to unorthodox gardening practices at Braeside. Includes an overview of the garden revitalization project currently underway at Braeside.

Adventures with Dame Bug (Hands-on program)
Learn about young Edith and the insects she loved, and participate in activities investigating insect biology and behavior.

Programs may be specifically tailored to your group’s needs and interests.
For information or to schedule a program, please contact


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