MILBRIDGE — After 15 years of advancing opportunities for health and wellness in Downeast Maine, The Women’s Health Resource Library (WHRL) is changing its name. In 2005, the organization was born out of a desire to help women and families become active and informed partners in their own health care via a lending library. Over the years, WHRL realized that wellness is best advanced by going out into the community and helping people meet their most fundamental needs. This hands-on approach has proven far more effective than the lending library, which is now the least of their services.
WHRL’s emphasis on meeting the needs of their neighbors is best reflected in their two most impactful projects, Incredible Edible Milbridge and Milbridge Commons Wellness Park. Since 2013, Incredible Edible has provided free pick-your-own vegetable gardens and education initiatives designed to create a community that is stronger, healthier and more food independent. The success of Incredible Edible launched Milbridge Commons Wellness Park, a place offering more gardens, but also space for walking, playing, connecting with nature and each other.
WHRL continues to host wellness programs like Bone Builders, Yoga and Tai Chi, and their popular Women’s Health Trivia Nights. They will continue their semi-annual 5Ks, including the Elaine Hill Love-a-Nurse 5K, which raises funds for nursing scholarships for local students.
Their growth has led to another important change. They will be moving to their new home at 87 Main St. as soon as renovations are complete. This lovely historic building will enable WHRL to offer more community programming in a highly visible setting overlooking Milbridge Commons.
Historically, their focus on women is driven by the fact that women make the majority of health decisions for themselves and their families. But all WHRL programs, projects and places are open to everyone. Inclusion is paramount to their mission. And yes, the new name means they are still WHRL: Women for Healthy Rural Living.