Beachcombers’ Discovery Center invites nature exploration

Fri, 07/21/2023 - 7:30am

    The Beachcombers’ Discovery Center at Pemaquid Beach Park is now open for its 20th season, offering fun, interactive learning activities, interpretive displays, books to borrow, and games throughout the summer.

    A partnership between Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust and the Town of Bristol’s Parks and Recreation Commission, the Discovery Center has its own space in the pavilion at Pemaquid Beach Park.  A naturalist from Coastal Rivers staffs the Center from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday throughout July and August. 

    Beachgoers are invited to drop in to learn about the seashore and marine life of Midcoast Maine through hands-on activities and displays, including an aquarium. Coastal Rivers also maintains a registered Pollinator Garden located to the left of the pavilion. This garden is planted with a number of native flowering plants and offers an example of what homeowners can do to provide critical habitat for wildlife on their own properties. 

    In addition to ongoing displays and exhibits, Beachcombers’ Discovery Center offers educational programs for all ages. On “Touch Tank Thursdays,” from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., visitors can explore a touch tank stocked with a fascinating assortment of local marine life including sea urchins, anemones, sea stars, and many others. The University of Maine Darling Marine Center kindly partners with Coastal Rivers to make this display possible. 

    On Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to noon in July and August, Coastal Rivers volunteer Anne Nord will be on hand to offer special drop-in activities for visitors of all ages. On July 25,program on seaweed. Participants can learn to identify different species, draw them, and take a closer look under a microscope. 

    The Aug. 1 program will focus on shells. Participants will take a stroll on the beach to learn about shells, and collect a few to use for a craft back in the Discovery Center. 

    For a complete schedule of Discovery Center programs, visit  

    There is no charge to visit Beachcombers’ Discovery Center or take part in its programs, though visitors to Pemaquid Beach Park are required to pay an admission fee.

    Bristol Parks and Recreation is a department of the Town of Bristol, responsible for the management of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park, Pemaquid Beach Park, Ellingwood Information Center, and a number of other properties including a swimming hole and boat launches. For more information, email or visit 

    Coastal Rivers is a non-profit, member-supported, nationally accredited land trust caring for the lands and waters of the Damariscotta-Pemaquid Region by conserving special places, protecting water quality, creating trails and public access, and deepening connections to nature through education programs. For more information, email or visit