AUGUSTA – A new statewide awards program launched today will elevate the voices and work of the rising generation of environmental leaders in Maine. The Brookie Awards will recognize a diverse group of six youth changemakers every two years for their demonstrated leadership and effectiveness on behalf of Maine’s natural resources.

Nominations for the inaugural “school” of Brookie Award winners are now being accepted through March 15, 2020. Mainers are encouraged to nominate eligible young leaders who live in Maine and are between the ages of 15 and 30 at

The Brookie Awards are organized by NRCM Rising, the young member arm of Maine’s leading environmental group, the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM).

“The Brookie Awards are just what Maine’s environmental movement needs because it serves to inspire and reinvigorate Maine people by sharing the stories and positive impact our generation of leaders is already having on the state,” said NRCM Rising Leadership Team Member Sarah Cotton.

Brookie Award winners will receive a $1,000 cash prize and the opportunity to attend a nature-based retreat with their fellow young environmental changemakers where they will participate in skill-building sessions and engage with other environmental and political leaders in Maine. The retreat aims to foster knowledge sharing across generations and environmental movement-building by more deeply connecting these outstanding individuals to the nature of Maine and encouraging their ongoing commitment to environmentalism.

NRCM Rising will celebrate and honor the Brookie Award winners at a major gala event in Spring 2020 that will feature short, inspirational speeches from each awardee. Online videos will also be produced to feature the unique perspective and voice of each winner.

“I am most looking forward to finding out everything we can learn from the diverse perspectives, creativity, and fresh approaches the Brookie winners bring to their environmental work,” said NRCM Rising Leadership Team Member Erin Walter. “I hope every young environmental leader in Maine applies today!”

A group of external experts will be convened by NRCM Rising to evaluate Brookie Award nominees based on the following four criteria:

  • Outstanding leadership in creating, organizing, and implementing a project or campaign to protect or improve Maine’s environment.
  • Turning individual passion into collective action related to the protection or improvement of Maine’s environment.
  • Creativity, collaboration, and persistence in bringing new ideas to existing challenges, introducing new approaches to organizing others, or determination to prevail in the face of obstacles.

The Brookie Awards is made possible by the early partnership of the Quimby Family Foundation. To learn more about the Brookie Awards, visit:

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