ORONO, Maine — Orono will soon get a new recreation center for all outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.
Renovations are underway to turn what was previously a bait shop, Taylor's Bait Farm, into a four-season outdoor center thanks to the Orono Economic Development Corporation.
Renamed the Caribou Bog Trail Center, the project has been in the works since 2018, when the group first purchased the building.
The purchase was made possible after the group was awarded a $120,000 grant in 2021 from the Recreational Trails Program through the Maine Trails Advisory Committee.
Grant money and funds from fundraising will go towards the renovations for the center.
The group was also recently gifted a material donation of over $10,000 from Ware-Butler Building Supply to help launch the renovations.
The new center will feature a front porch, south-facing windows for lots of sunlight, and storage for those who need it before venturing into the great outdoors.
Bob Bass is the treasurer for the Orono Economic Development Corporation. He said they hope to host classes and rent out equipment in the near future for all to enjoy.
"Had the property, 43 acres, in the middle of all of these conservation lands and trails been sold privately, it would've been gone forever," Bass explained. "So it was an opportunity to take that. As Orono Economic Development, we view this as an enhancement to the recreation asset of the town."
Bass said the goal is to have the center up and running in time for this winter season.