On October 29, Pemaquid Watershed Association (PWA), a Land Trust in midcoast Maine, undertook its most ambitious trail-improvement project yet. Thanks to cooperation among PWA, The Carpenter’s Boat Shop (CBS), Damariscotta River Association (DRA), and Lowe’s, five bridges at a popular nature preserve that basically disintegrated last year have been replaced. A team of 38 people worked all day hauling lumber and supplies over a mile into the preserve, deconstructing the old bridges, and constructing the new ones. Volunteers at CBS, which is located adjacent to the preserve, had cut the lumber prior to the project day. The team’s hard labor has made public access to Crooked Farm Preserve in Bristol, Maine, significantly safer and easier.
Funding for this project came from a $10,000 Lowe’s “Community Partner” cash grant to PWA. PWA’s grant award was one of more than 60 merit-based grants awarded nationally by Lowe’s to community-based affiliates of Keep America Beautiful to support grassroots service projects. PWA’s Keep Pemaquid Peninsula Beautiful initiative was certified as an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful just in May 2014.
A crew of 32 volunteers and one staffperson from each of the three nonprofits worked alongside three employees of the Thomaston Lowe’s including Rachel Wade, Scott Naegely, and Sarah Greene, who participated via the “Lowe’s Heroes” program that encourages employees to volunteer for community service. There were 14 CBS volunteers, including crew leader Sarah Highland and Director Kim Hoare, and 8 DRA volunteers, including DRA Stewardship Director Steve Spencer (Crooked Farm Preserve is co-managed with DRA). There were 11 PWA volunteers, including PWA volunteer Jim Hatch, the Steward for Crooked Farm Preserve, who managed the project. Hatch planned the work, including acquiring all the lumber and materials and engineering the bridge construction. Carolyn Shubert, PWA’s Program Coordinator, facilitated the volunteers and helped lug lumber and materials. PWA Board Member Mike Kane photographed the event. Volunteers were treated to a tee-shirt and lunch.
Thanks to the generous Lowe’s grant, PWA was able to make a donation of $1,500 to CBS for all their work on the project. “Getting the chance to make a sizable donation to our neighboring nonprofit, The Carpenter’s Boat Shop, is a dream come true for me. It feels so good to be able to pay it forward!”, said Donna Minnis, PWA’s Executive Director, who spearheaded the grantwriting. “This whole project could not have turned out better,” she added. PWA thanks CBS, DRA, all the volunteers, Keep America Beautiful, and Lowe’s for their Heroes and funding. PWA’s mission is to conserve the natural resources of the Pemaquid Peninsula through land and water stewardship and education. To learn more about PWA, visit www.pemaquidwatershed.org.