Existing Program: ORBE Program. The QFF grant will support Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Off Road Bicycling Education (ORBE) Program. The ORBE Program is a statewide initiative that provides two basic services: 1) technical assistance in designing and creating environmentally sustainable non-motorized multi-use trails, and 2) instruction in basic off-road bicycle riding. In 2018 the ORBE Program plans to expand its mountain bike education and trail technical assistance services.
Capacity Building: Investing in Wildlife: Nature Trails. The QFF grant will support the creation of a yoga and mindfulness pavilion, nature trail system, and vernal pool boardwalks as part of their new facility. The nature and vernal pool trails will take visitors around to each of the non-releasable animal ambassadors, and connect to more than 16,000 acres of adjacent conservation land as part of the Mount Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Region.
New Program: Round the Mountain Trail. The QFF Grant will support the construction of the first four miles of the Round the Mountain Trail and two trailheads with parking lots that will provide multiple access points to this four-season, nine-mile trail. At six feet wide, the trail is designed to be a highly accessible multi-purpose trail that will accommodate walkers, hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and winter uses (including fat bikes, Nordic skiers and snowshoers) on Ragged Mountain in Camden, Rockport, and Hope.
General Operating Support: Providing Opportunities for Youth to Grow. QFF grant funding will be use to provide hundreds of kids with daily, ongoing opportunities to connect—with nature, peers, compassionate adults, and their community.
Expanded Program. QFF grant funding will be used to deepen and expand programs in Maine by engaging further with allies and partners. They will work to reach Maine’s gubernatorial candidates, and then the incoming administration, all with the goal of advancing the trail in Maine.
Existing Program: Ellsworth Community Conservation. The QFF grant will support the Ellsworth Green Plan. With steering committee partners, Frenchman Bay Conservancy will help improve the health and wellbeing of Ellsworth’s residents through deliberate, human and environment-focus planning decisions.
Expanded Program: 2018 Baxter Youth Conservation Corps. The QFF grant will support the Baxter Youth Conservation Corps (BYCC). BYCC is a service learning program that hires youth ages 15 to 18 from the Katahdin region to work on trail projects in Baxter State Park (BSP). Youth participants work full-time for two weeks and receive two full days of job skills training, career workshops, mentoring, and spend a full day hiking to a mountain summit in Baxter State Park.
Innovation Pilot: Community Created Bike Trails. The QFF grant will be used for the Georges River Land Trust’s (GRLT) pilot beginner mountain bike trail located in the Thomaston Town Forest. The funds will be used to design and build the trail including hiring consultants, renting equipment, purchasing tools, and supplies. The funds will also cover GRLT staff time to engage local mountain bikers and kids from local schools in trail building and stewardship programming.
New Program: Great Works Bridge. The QFF grant will support Great Works Bridge Brigade’s replacement of the condemned bridge in South Berwick with a 200-foot, covered, timber-frame bridge over the Great Works River at the outlet of Leigh’s Mill Pond. This will revive and celebrate the Town’s historic legacy, reunite neighborhoods linked for 400 years, restore pedestrian access to three schools and reconnect bicycle and walking routes to local swimming, boating and fishing areas, as well as historic sites. The new bridge will promote individual and community wellness, inspire civic pride in local history and enhance educational and economic opportunities, making local transportation more sustainable and equitable.
Capacity Building. The QFF grant will be used to reduce barriers to accessing Hirundo’s facilities and programs by the local community. Attention will be focused on special populations that can particularly benefit from the Trail of the Senses including people with mobility, vision, and developmental impairments, and senior citizens.
Expanded Program: Second Nature Adventure Challenge. The QFF grant will support the Second Nature Adventure Challenge. The Second Nature Adventure Challenge is an interactive web portal to motivate residents of northern Oxford County to connect with nature and with peers through a nine-part hiking challenge with options for all ability levels. Support to Mahoosuc Pathways will be used to manage and expand the Second Nature Adventure Challenge to implement a year-long outreach campaign to share the story and concept of the Challenge, create promotional materials and events, and use Second Nature to expand their ability to link humans with nature.
New Program: Run of River Whitewater Recreation Area. QFF grant funding will be used to help construct the first wave feature of the Run of River Whitewater Recreation Area in the Kennebec River Gorge in downtown Skowhegan. Ultimately the recreation area will include a whitewater park with three features; an expanded four-season, non-motorized trail system on 300 wooded acres in the heart of town; a two-mile riverfront promenade; and pristine fishing waters with improved fish habitat.
Artist Rendering: McLaughlin Whitewater - Maria Landry
Maine Appalachian Trail Club
Existing Program/New Project: Upgrading the Appalachian Trail Network in Piscataquis County. QFF Grant funding will be used to improve five eroding, wet, and muddy trail sections along the Appalachian Trail network in Piscataquis County. For over 15 weeks in 2019, MATC will work to improve trail safety and access while protecting the natural environment.
Expanded Program: Building Rural Volunteer Communities in Support of Active Outdoor Lifestyles. The QFF grant will be used to purchase recreation equipment and pay for program expenses related to their mobile outdoor adventure programs. Midcoast Conservancy is focused on building communities of volunteers in support of healthy outdoor recreation in rural Midcoast Maine.
New Program: First Light Learning Journey. The QFF grant will support listening sessions and cross-cultural canoe expedition between Native and non-Native conservationists. The purpose of New Learning Journey is to foster awareness and points of relationship between Native and non-Native conservationists that will lead directly to expanded access to land and water for Wabanaki people who today have access to less than 1% of the land that once supported their healthy culture. Wabanaki do not always feel welcome to visit places that they once used and need access to land and water to teach or practice their culture. Land Trusts now control almost 20% of the state and hold the keys to untold places of great importance to Wabanaki people.
Expanded Program: Connection & Movement through Placemaking in Greater Portland. The QFF grant will be used to expand Portland Trails place-making work. This work brings together and engages citizens and neighborhood organizations in the planning and implementation of creative projects to improve the places where people live, work and move. Portland Trails will solicit proposals for well-formed ideas that have community buy-in from people who have the passion to change their neighborhood but are missing the skills, experience and funds to move their project forward. Portland Trails staff will help them leverage the great work they are doing in their neighborhood to create an impact that is larger than the sum of the parts.
Expanded Program: Continue Twin Growth Initiatives - More Youth, More “Come To Us” Wheelers. The QFF grant will continue to build the momentum of Portland Wheelers programs by increasing staff, volunteer, and equipment capacity. The grant will also support partial funding toward their 4th trike.
New Program: Wellness for Portland’s Community of Care. Renewal in the Wilderness will design and facilitate weekly two-hour hikes from June-October 2018 specifically for employees from care-giving organizations in and around Portland, Maine. These will be set in the “half-wild parks and gardens of town” (Muir) surrounding Portland. They will also use funding to subsidize the participation of caring professionals on our field trips and wilderness retreats. Short-term outcomes include increased levels of well-being and decreased levels of burnout. Long-term outcomes include increased usage of Maine wilderness for individual renewal, more connected and interdependent organizations, and healthier communities.
Expanded Program: CELP (Cow Island Environmental Leadership Program). CELP is Rippleffect’s signature environmental education initiative and a keystone for their overall program progression. Over the course of two twelve day sessions, 14 CELP students (28 total) per session will study Rippleffect’s sustainability practices, local environmental group programs, and Casco Bay ocean/island ecology through adventure leadership expeditions.
General Operating Support: Rise and Shine Youth Retreat: Fourth Annual Weekend Getaway. Up to 20 young women will be selected to attend the annual weekend retreat. Each day begins with meditation, full body cleaning and awareness practice, stretching and movement and journaling, followed by youth led workshops and relaxing time. Free time is spent exploring nature, art, and feminine community. All meals are made from local farm produce and prepared together by all participants on site. Each Youth led workshop is facilitated by a teenage girl who helped organize the retreat. The outdoors play a key role in the experience– grounding the girls in communion with themselves, with each other, and with nature.
New & Expanded Program: Learning by Nature for ME. QFF funds will be used to complete the writing, design and distribution of hands-on design guidelines. These will be created especially for early childhood educators to help them make their schools’ outdoor environments places which encourage children to be active and engaged in self-directed play and learning through interaction with a range of natural features. The guidelines will be available in print and online.
New Program: Teens To Trails Teacher Training Program. QFF Funding will help develop and expand their school training models and workshops. This new program will allow Teens to Trails to connect with more schools statewide and provide trainings for teachers. Teachers will be better equipped to connect their students to education through alternative venues and help develop curriculum that can be intertwined into an outdoor setting.
Existing Program: Sundog Outdoor Expeditions. MOLI's Sundog Outdoor Expeditions (SundogOE) are wilderness-oriented programs aspiring to teach middle-schoolers in Knox and Waldo counties outdoor skills while encouraging social and emotional development. Each 6-week session includes outdoor skills training, a community service project, and a culminating two-day expedition.
Expanded Program: Wabanaki Youth in Science: WaYS to Grow. QFF funding will support Wabanaki Youth in Science camps and Wabanaki Ecological Knowledge programs. The camps include “Earth” Camp, Immersive Wilderness Camp, and Seasonal mini-camps. Wabanaki Ecological Knowledge (WEK) after-school programs engage native youth (aged 8-18) in after-school programs that focus on hands-on outdoor learning that integrates WEK and western science.
Capacity Building: Charge and Recharge at Roberts Farm Preserve. The core of Western Foothills Land Trusts active community work is centered at Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway. This project will support and promote winter recreational programming and events at the Preserve, expand the warming hut to accommodate increased demand, install Maine’s first off-grid electric car charger on site (so users can recreate while charging), and rehabilitate the parking area to provide year-round access to the charger, and to avoid prolonged mud season shut down.
Capacity-Building Support for White Pine. White Pine Programs will seek out, consult with, then hire professional consultants to critically assess & improve upon organizational systems. This capacity-building work will end up supporting all of the work they do including year two of their after school programs designed to reach underserved public school children. Their outcomes are to empower a diversity of people to strengthen communities and themselves by building lasting connections to the natural world. Children play, engage & gain competence; teens find a place where they’ll always belong; and, adults unplug and feel inspired again.
Capacity Building: WinterKids Explore the Outdoors Mobile Application. The mobile app will connect a larger number of people with the outdoors in formal and informal ways while reducing the carbon footprint. The mobile app will allow for ease of use for families, WinterKids staff, and their winter sports partners. The winter sports industry has seen a decline over time of new people to winter sports. This app will help partners to track visits and users in real time, offer deals to encourage increased skier, skater, xc skier, tuber, hiker days, and connect families to be outside together more often while generating new interest in winter sports and reviving stagnant winter sports enthusiasts.