The Thrive Outside Maine Community is led by the Nature Based Education Consortium (NBEC) together with a diverse network of partners strengthening an existing statewide network of nonprofit, philanthropic, and business partners. Maine is a rural state known to many as an outdoor oasis, and yet many of those living in the state are not accessing the outdoors on a regular basis. An expansive group of partners has planned an ambitious set of programs to connect more of the state’s children and families with nature. Two key strategies of this effort include creating Maine GearShare, an equipment lending system that will serve outdoor-based nonprofits; and further building out a Maine Outdoor Equity Fund. A goal of the Fund will be to increase the number of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and differently-abled leaders able to start or grow organizations to serve more of their communities. The reach of these initiatives is broad and intended to support under-resourced communities in both rural and urban settings around the state.

Maine Community Partners

Nature Based Education Consortium
Elmina B. Sewall Foundation
Maine GearShare
Maine Outdoor Brands
Quimby Family Foundation
Onion Foundation
Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation

“In our Maine outdoor community, collaboration is key in our approach to increasing outdoor participation. We are thankful for the Outdoor Foundation and Thrive Outside for recognizing this and supporting local initiatives in Maine to provide equitable access to outdoor learning and outdoor gear for youth in both urban and rural areas across the state. This award is a crucial catalyst in addressing barriers that many under-resourced communities face to having transformative experiences in the outdoors, with innovations such as an outdoor equity fund and Maine GearShare, an outdoor equipment lending system.”

– Nathan Broaddus, Coordinator of the Nature Based Education Consortium




Managing Director


Development and Programs Coordinator