In 1991, Clay Hill Farm became the first restaurant in the country to be certified as a natural wildlife habitat and bird sanctuary. The beautiful grounds, the nurtured habitats, the 150 birdhouses around the propertyÖ. all tell a twenty-year old story of environmental concern and care.
In March of 2008, Clay Hill Farm became one of the first businesses in Southern Maine to be an Environmental Leader. The following list of Clay Hill Farmís environmental practices, have been recognized by the state of Maine in the Environmental Leadership program.
Providing and protecting natural wildlife habitats
Preserving Maineís natural resources with holistic gardening
Growing herbs and vegetables for the restaurant
Eliminating the use of pesticides and chemicals throughout the property
A menu commitment to seasonal, fresh and local products that support our region's family farms.
Clay Hill Farm is one of the first state certified Environmental Leaders in Southern Maine. With our sustainability task force in place, we at Clay Hill Farm are committed to finding new ways to reduce environmental impact and preserve the true beauty of Maine.
About Being Green
At Clay Hill Farm, we are proud to be recognized as Maine state Environmental Leaders, but we really want to be clear about what being green means to us. We believe in traditional values of conservation and land care. We believe in providing a better future for our children. We believe in preserving the beauty of Maineís resources, and we believe in the process of improvement. We view green as a beginning, not as an end.
Clay Hill Farm hopes to encourage others to realize that small steps can lead to big change. We were surprised to be considered green. We have discovered that even the smallest earth-friendly initiative can have an impact. We strive to constantly improve our commitment to sustainability and embrace social outreach in an effort to empower others to believe they can make a difference. We will also continue to create community outreach childrenís programs. Clay Hill Farmís community Fairy-house building encourages imagination and teaches children how to create habitats from all natural earth materials. Our Scavenger Hunts encourage an appreciation of the Big Backyard, and foster ecological curiosity. When it comes to protecting the environment, many have asked where do you start? Clay Hill Farmís answer is maybe you already have. We are all in this together.
Old practices at Clay Hill Farm now have a new flavor, and traditional values have a modern twist. Common sense conservation, practicality and frugality are coming back in vogue. Is it possible to be green without realization? We at Clay Hill Farm say yes. We are all green in some way. So, pick your shade and shout it to the world. It is time to celebrate all contributions.
A morning dove coddles her eggs in a nest over the front door of Clay Hill Farm on one of the busiest weekends of the season. She sits on her eggs while hundreds of wedding guests and diners come and go. She cares not of trends and progression, only natural sustainability and family. That is Clay Hill Farmís story.
Tour our Nature Trails with Gordon Lewis:
NOTE: Many of you may know Gordon Lewis as the co-owner and Host at Clay Hill. This video shows his other hat (literally); as proud landscaper, community mentor, avid birder and wildlife enthusiast.
Introducing Clay Hill Farm's EcoReach!
WHAT IS EcoReach?
Clay Hill Farmís Eco-Reach is a series of community based
outreach events to encourage universal connectedness in an ever-greening world.
By celebrating all shades of green in a collective effort to raise
environmental awareness, Eco-Reach aims to empower individuals, couples,
families and businesses to share, to learn, and to embrace ecologically
responsible initiatives that can reduce the impact on our natural resources.
Celebrating real people making a difference in the world, Eco-Reach seeks to
expand the definition of community to include philosophical camaraderie in its
local, regional, and global outreach. We are all green in some way, so pick
your shade and shout it to the world! TM
GREEN WEDDING GIVEAWAY ģ
Launched annually in the Fall, Clay Hill Farmís Green Wedding Giveaway contest
encourages engaged couples to creatively explore the parallel between a
commitment to each other and a commitment to the earth. Creativity is key in
this project, as couples submit a creative expression of their unique shade of
green to win a complete green summer wedding weekend in Maine.
In year 4, we are tweaking the contest to make it a bit more interactive on the
Archives from year's past have been added, and galleries of past winners grace the site. This year, we have opened the contest up to NOMINATIONS so couples that may not have entered a "contest" have a chance at the wedding reward. Nominees will be contacted by Clay Hill Farm and asked if they wish to pursue the Grand Prize and/or Judges' Awards. Nominees that agree to become finalists will be asked to submit answers to 4 questions, one of which asks for a creative submission to punctuate their green shade...a creative expression that
celebrates how green can, could or does play a role in their new lives
together. The contest is not a measurement of green, rather a question of how
green living can be considered and celebrated as a life-style change. Like
marriage, green living is about commitment and compromise, couples can
celebrate their unique shade of green with a fantastic reward.
With the mission of spreading green connectedness, an amazing collection of
wedding professionals and green-minded businesses make this project possible.
Project sponsors will be there to encourage the contest finalists as they embark on a 5-week mission to garner public votes and spread the message that we are
all green in some way.
On the Monday of
Columbus Day weekend, Clay Hill Farm hosts its annual Fall Eco-Fest, celebrating
the season and green family fun. Local food, live music, crafters, farmers,
artists, childrenís organizations, alternative energy companies and
eco-conscious businesses, unite on Clay Hillís front lawn and under the
generous tent, to weave a green ribbon through a day of family fun. Last year,
at Clay Hillís inaugural Fall Eco-Fest, over 400 friends and families enjoyed
Clay Hill Farmís follow-up event to the Green Wedding Giveawayģ is an
Earth Day celebration entitled; Clay Hill Unplugged. This candle-lit
evening celebrates the green shades of food, music and community with a fresh
relevance each year. The winners of the Green Wedding Giveaway help personalize
and promote the event with their unique shade of green, keeping the event fresh
from year to year.
This past April, Clay Hill Farm sponsored 23 students from NYC (the GWGC
winning groom was a math teacher in Manhattan) to come to Maine and experience
green initiatives first-hand. (Please see the NECN news story on Clay Hill
Farmís website: www.clayhillfarm.com). Local and National media
followed the story of NYC ninth graders, who had never left the city,
celebrating Earth Day for the first time, in Maine. The students brought
seedlings to plant in the new sustainable gardens at Clay Hill Farm, they
explored the area by trolley, enjoyed all-natural food, learned about green
practices from the 20+ professionals at Clay Hill Unplugged, shared
their stories with the public at the event, and camped out under the stars at
the Hilton-Winn Youth Enrichment Center in Cape Neddick. The Manhattan school
has asked that Clay Hill Farm make this an annual Earth Day event for their
SUMMER ECO-EVENTS FOR CHILDREN:
Throughout the summer, Clay Hill Farm offers FREE community fairy house
building and scavenger hunts for children. These events teach younger children
about backyard ecology, and help to promote a respect for Maineís natural
NEW in 2010, Clay Hill Farm instituted
Fundraising Fridays. On Friday nights throughout the year, 10% of total food
sales are donated to a local cause, charity or environmental organization.
Great Works Regional Land Trust, Center for Wildlife, York County Community Action,
York Land Trust and The Youth Enrichment Center at Hilton-Winn Farm (where our
NYC kids camped) are among the recipients of this new community giveback
We at Clay Hill Farm are committed to continuing our environmental outreach,
striving to positively empower individuals and businesses to create collective
change. We will continue to work towards improving our farm-to-table
connections and threading our eco-learning through the many facets of our
business. Celebrating all shades of green and every effort to make a difference
in the world, we believe, will help connect people and boost the positive
momentum in our ever-greening society. Through education and positive
reassurance, we believe change is possible. We honor every contribution, and
consider being green a humble process. There is no end game on the road
to saving the planet, one small step at a time. Many thanks to Peter Cooke and
the Maine DEPís Environmental Leadership program for helping to put Clay Hill
Farm on this important path.