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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.

Key Focus Areas:

Stories for Change working group, Maine GearShare library, advocacy to regrant Outdoor Equity Funds, and outdoor education curriculum

Backbone Organization:

Nature Based Education Consortium (NBEC)

Steering Committee Partners:

Maine Environmental Education Association, Schoodic Institute, Maine Science Teachers Association, Maine Environmental Changemakers, Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Maine Audubon, Maine Dept. of Education, University of Maine, Farmington Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H Camp and Learning Centers, The Nature Conservancy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Maine Land Trust Network

Community Partners:

Adaptive Outdoor Education Center, Bryant Pond 4H, Chewonki Foundation, Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, Friends of Acadia, Participant Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Kennebunk Climate Initiative, Lead with Nature, Maine Ag in the Classroom, Maine Audubon, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Environmental Education Association, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, Maine TREE Foundation/Project Learning, National Park Service, Rural Aspiration, Schoodic Institute, Tanglewood 4H Center, Teens to Trails, The Ecology School, The Nature Conservancy, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Wassookeag Learning Community, Regional School Unit 89, Maine Science Teachers, The Sierra Club Maine, and Maine Initiatives


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Development and Programs Manager