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Rippleffect New Outdoor Center Adjacent to Rowe School

Rippleffect, a nonprofit that promotes youth development and leadership through adventure, on Sept. 13 officially announced the Rippleffect Outdoor Center (“ROC”), a central piece in Rippleffect's vision to provide equitable access for all Maine youth, starting in Portland’s backyard. 

The Outdoor Center will be located adjacent to Rowe Elementary School. The center for outdoor adventure and education is a partnership between Rippleffect, the Portland Public Schools, and the city of Portland. 

It will be the centerpiece of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity of Access for all Maine youth as it relates to outdoor adventure opportunities. This site will allow Rippleffect to deepen the connection with Portland Public Schools and develop the next generation of outdoor adventurers.

“The ROC will be the starting point for equity of access for all Portland youth, where they can experience individual challenges, learn new outdoor skills, build connections, and see new possibilities in themselves and the world around them,” said Adam Shepherd, Executive Director. 

Shepherd continued, “We operate the majority of our programs on Cow Island, the waters surrounding Casco Bay, and the wilderness of the White Mountains. This mainland site will become the home base for our year-round outdoor adventures, and provide more opportunities to engage with Portland’s youth in meaningful ways through new and existing partnerships.”

Features of the site will include 14 high ropes course elements, a 45-foot four-sided rock climbing tower, and two outdoor/environmental education yurt classrooms. Construction of the first yurt classroom and ground elements will begin this fall, with completion of the full site expected next spring. 

“We are excited to have this project in Portland, and look forward to partnering with Rippleffect to bring this important programming to the community,” said Ethan Hipple, Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department at the City of Portland. 

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Xavier Botana said, “We’ve long cherished our relationship with Rippleffect and the unique skills and important programming that get introduced to our students. With the new Rippleffect Outdoor Center right in our backyard, the opportunities are only further extended and available year-round. We thank everyone for their hard work and resources to make this happen – it’s a true example of community partnerships at its best.”

To donate and help fund the Rippleffect Outdoor Center and learn more about the project, visit: 


Rippleffect’s mission is to promote youth development and leadership through adventure, healthy communities and living sustainably. We believe that hands-on education in outdoor classrooms is fundamental to healthy development of citizens and communities. Our students build confidence, develop critical leadership skills, strengthen relationships, and grow their appreciation for the outdoors through exploration of Cow Island, the waters of Casco Bay, and the wilderness of New England.