Rise and Shine Youth Retreat

STATE — The Maine Community Foundation offers two funding opportunities for organizations and projects dedicated to helping Maine people access and connect to the outdoors.

MaineCF’s Maine Land Protection grant program provides general support grants to organizations and projects that build strong connections between people in Maine and our land and water through land acquisition, conservation, and easements. Grants from the Conservation for All program invest in organizations and projects that provide access to the outdoors for all Maine people.

In 2021, Maine Land Protection supported the conservation of more than 50,000 acres of land across the state through 15 projects totaling $619,000. The grant program awarded $145,000, while donors with advised funds at MaineCF contributed an additional $474,000. MaineCF launched the grant program in 2020 and has awarded $914,000 to 24 projects in its first two years. The program focuses specifically on larger land acquisition and conservation easement projects and prioritizes proposals that create or expand access to land and water for underserved people and communities.

Organizations that received funding include the Bangor Land Trust, to conserve 7.3 acres of Wabanaki homeland for cultural uses; Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, to acquire 8.2 acres abutting the Sewall Woods Preserve in Bath and extend the Whiskeag Trail system; and Somerset Woods Trustees, to expand Weston Woods & Waters in Madison and provide access to year-round outdoor recreation, sustainable forestry, and environmental education.

Last year, the Conservation for All grant program awarded 14 grants totaling $121,500. An additional 10 grants totaling $58,886 were made by donors with advised funds at MaineCF. Conservation for All focuses on programs and projects that help create equitable access to the outdoors, clean air, and clean water.

Grantees included Blue Hill Heritage Trust, to create an accessible section of trail on the Hundred Acre Woods trail in Brooklin; Rise and Shine Youth Retreat, to offer art, science and outdoor recreation for Afro-Indigenous people; and White Pine Programs, to build an intergenerational nature education program in partnership with the Kittery Community Center. The deadline to submit proposals for both grant programs is September 15. For more information, eligibility requirements and to submit a proposal, visit www.mainecf.org. For questions about Maine Land Protection, contact Program Officer Katie Howard at [email protected] or 207-412-0832. For questions about Conservation for All, contact Director of Grantmaking Laura Lee at [email protected] or 207-412-0838.

The Maine Community Foundation brings people and resources together to build a better Maine. MaineCF has offices in Ellsworth and Portland with additional staff located across the state. To learn more about the foundation, visit www.mainecf.org.

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