Allen Island - Colby Collaboration

Developing an island field research station

CLIENT | Up East Foundation


The charitable foundation that owns 450-acre Allen Island off of Port Clyde, Maine is interested in developing a field research station there. The island, which has provided artistic inspiration to Andrew Wyeth during the last two decades of his life, also supports a commercial lobster wharf used by local fishermen to store traps, line, buoys and bait used in the course of their operations.


Working with the Up East Foundation board of directors, we approached two private colleges, Unity College and Colby College and a local education non-profit, the Herring Gut Learning Center. We then worked closely with their leadership to develop and support research projects and educational programs that would benefit their faculty and students, while improving the knowledge understanding of Allen Island’s ecology and history.


Balancing the uses of ecological investigation and artistic inspiration without compromising an island’s resources requires careful planning and on-going management implementation.

Through Philip Conkling’s skills and hard work, a unique partnership has been created between Colby College and Allen Island, owned by our family’s foundation. This collaboration will sustain and utilize the resources of this iconic Muscongus Bay island for present and future generations.
— Jamie Wyeth | Artist, Up East Foundation