Home of the University of Maine
Orono is the home of the University of Maine . The University’s and Town’s recreational trails intersect, creating an extensive network for local and area residents and visitors. The Town and University jointly plan and fund the Black Bear Orono Express, the shuttle bus operated byBAT Community Connector that runs between Downtown Orono and the University campus.
Orono is also a live learning laboratory for students. Students learn while providing valuable services to the Town. Recent examples:
- Two-year study to identify and field verify vernal pools (Department of Wildlife Ecology)
- On-board survey of shuttle bus riders (Business School)
- Civil engineering design of specific pieces of Town infrastructure (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
- GIS analysis of rider potential for the Black Bear Orono Express (School of Economics)
- Assistance in preparing a marketing plan for Downtown Orono, in cooperation with the Orono Village Association (Business School)
Vibrant, Walkable Downtown
RIDE the shuttle: Take the Black Bear-Orono Express from the University to Downtown and back – easier than campus parking.
DON’T FORGET the veggies: Orono Farmer’s Market – “winter” market in Downtown; “summer” market at University Steam Plant parking lot
STAY overnight, within walking distance of the University: University Inn
FEEL like a new you: Dick’s Barber Shop, Erv’s Barber Shop, Fringe Salon, Hair After
FIX the headache: Orono Pharmacy
FIX the car: Murray’s Campus Service Center, Swett’s Tire & Auto
GET ONE with nature: Walk the Stillwater River trail; kayak or canoe from hand-carry landings on the Stillwater River at the end of Summer Street, at University Inn, or at Brownie’s Park along the Stillwater River trail
LISTEN to a summer concert: Every Wednesday evening during the summer at Webster Park
EXPERIENCE history: Walk the Orono Main Street Historic District with twenty-nine 19th Century and turn-of-the-century buildings covering all of the major styles of a hundren years
TAKE A DIP at the Town’s outdoor pool next to the Orono school campus
Downtown Orono — with its mix of longstanding businesses and newcomers, college youth and senior citizens, riverfront and trails — is the dynamic core of Orono. It is a strong address for restaurants, businesses catering to a University market, and professional and R&D offices. More than a decade ago, the Town, in cooperation with Downtown merchants and residents, reaffirmed its commitment to a healthy Downtown. It has since:
- Built a new, LEED-certified public library in Downtown
- Established a Downtown Development District, which is jointly administered by the Town and the Orono Village Association
- Initiated the Black Bear Orono Express, a shuttle bus between Downtown and the University of Maine campus — jointly developed by the University, Town, OVA, Maine DOT and BAT Connector
- Established a fund for capital investments in Downtown and to help pay for the shuttle bus
- In cooperation with OVA, engaged the University of Maine Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center to help market Downtown
- Established a Downtown riverfront park on the banks of the Stillwater, as part of an evolving in-town trail system
Abundant Recreation Opportunities
Orono has an array of public facilities that serve the social and recreational needs of its citizens. These are managed by the Parks and Recreation Department and include:
- Keith Anderson Community House, located in downtown and a venue for community programs, dances, and other events
- Birch Street School Senior Center, next to the new Public Library off Pine Street
- Municipal swimming pool on Goodridge Drive
- Multi-purpose fields and courts that are part of the public school campus off Goodridge Drive
- Webster Park, located between the Stillwater River and North Main Street, a 5-acre riverside park for picnics and concerts
- Gould’s Landing and Nadeau-Savoy Park on Pushaw Lake, accessed via Essex Street in the western part of Orono
- Sklar Wilderness Park, a forested, passive recreation area off Gilbert Street and Mainewood Avenue
- Jeremiah Colburn Natural Area, a 23-acre, in-town passive recreation area off Forest Avenue
- Brownie’s Park, a riverside green area along a popular walking and bicycle path, located between Bennoch Road and the Stillwater River
- Marden Park at the corner of Park and Crosby streets, used for Little League baseball games
- Summer Street Park, the Town’s newest riverside park, adjacent to Downtown, designed as a handcarry launch and take-out site for canoes and kayaks, as well as a viewing and picnicking spot
In addition to the Town-owned Sklar Park and Jeremiah Colburn Natural Area, several other preserves and a wide network of walking and ski trails are available for public use. Many of these are owned or managed by the Orono Land Trust, with maps of the preserves and trails available here.
The Orono Bog Boardwalk is jointly managed by the Orono Land Trust, the City of Bangor, and the University of Maine. The Boardwalk is 4,200′ long and traverses a northern peat bog. The Boardwalk is typically open from May 1st to the last Sunday in November. Visit http://umaine.edu/oronobogwalk/ to find out more about the Boardwalk.
In 2007, the University of Maine opened a new Student Recreation and Fitness Center, which is available to the public. The center has visitor parking and is a stop on the Black Bear Orono Express shuttle bus route.
As a University town, Orono is blessed with opportunities for spectator sports (both high school and college level) and arts events. Information about the Collins Arts Center and other performing arts and museum facilities is available here. For University of Maine team schedules, click here.