College of the Atlantic Receives Donation From Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

Posted April 04, 2014, at 10:03 a.m.

The $200,000 grant will aid COA’s Peggy Rockefeller Farms’ Renewable Energy Demonstration Projects

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND, ME – College of the Atlantic (COA) has received a $200,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations as funding for Renewable Energy Demonstration Projects at Peggy Rockefeller Farms (PRF), one of the college’s laboratories for understanding and experimenting with the human ecology of food systems. The grant will address the farm energy infrastructure to supply all the farms’ needs, create a Post-Petroleum Lab for education and outreach, and monitor electricity consumption.

The college’s goals for the Renewable Energy Demonstration Projects include:

-Analyzing and identifying the best alternative energy and efficiency options for PRF

-Creating a prioritized path to a zero fossil fuel farm

-Supporting the other PRF Sustainability Projects and overall sustainability goals of COA

-Serving as a model of a fossil fuel free food system and as a learning resource to our communities

Creating a safer, cleaner, positive work environment for students and staff

“The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations grant allows COA to go beyond making simple, ‘off-the-shelf’ improvements to the farm by providing the space, expertise and equipment that will enable students to actively participate in the design and development of sustainable solutions for the farm and campus,” said Anna Demeo, lecturer of physics and engineering at COA.

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, based in Jacksonville, Florida, are a national philanthropic organization established through the generosity of the late American industrialist and philanthropist Arthur Vining Davis, who was president of the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) and a Florida land developer. The Foundations presently award grants in the areas of private higher education, secondary education, graduate theological education, health care and public television.

Through this grant, Peggy Rockefeller Farms, which were gifted by David Rockefeller in January 2010, expects to serve over 800 people annually from MDI, the region, and the state through COA courses, community workshops, outreach, school groups, community members, partner colleges and universities, and local and regional farmers. It is the college’s hope that PRF will serve as a resource and model for those who want to learn about sustainable farming and how to transition to a fossil fuel free food system.

About College of the Atlantic

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more information, visit

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