Exhibits

The Coastal Ecology Center and the farmhouse contain exhibits that provide visitors with a window on the world of coastal science and a glimpse through the history of the Wells Reserve’s historic site.

In the Coastal Ecology Center

Find out how Wells Reserve researchers investigate estuarine environments and how the results of those investigations influence coastal management. These exhibits focus on salt marshes and tides, tidal restrictions, watersheds, water quality, plankton, fish, and research techniques.

In the Visitor Center

Changing Landscapes

Explore how the landscape of southern Maine's coastal lowlands formed naturally over thousands of years and how that landscape both shapes and is shaped by the people who inhabit it.

The Wild Landscape — 14,000 years ago to 1400s

The story begins with the weight of a mile-high glacier pressing down upon what is now the Maine coast. The end of the last Ice Age led to colonization of the coastal landscape by Wabanaki people.

The Economic Landscape — 1600s to 1800s

Subsistence lifestyles began to fade away as Europeans settled in the region, bringing a market-based approach to the landscape. The Industrial Revolution contributed to a decline in farming throughout New England.

The Domesticated Landscape — 1925

A “gentleman’s farm” flourishes under unique circumstances as Laudholm Farms embraces the progressive farming movement, but when the Great Depression strikes a blow the farm never regains its former glory.

The Protected Landscape — 2010 to Present

As the conservation movement matures, people take responsibility for preserving and protecting natural areas for future generations. The Wells Reserve at Laudholm models and supports such efforts.

The Climate — The Future

Earth's heat-trapping blanket gets thicker as people burn fossil fuels. Our climate warms, sea levels rise, and ocean chemistry changes. Plants and animals adapt or disappear. The Wells Reserve investigates, responds, and assists local communities in adapting.

On the Landscape

Find interpretive signs on buildings and trails for opportunities to teach in the moment.