Keep Pemaquid Peninsula Beautiful

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.

Keep Durham Beautiful, Durham, N.C.

Volunteers began work on a new project at Briggs Avenue Community Garden in Durham, N.C., on Friday, Oct. 31, thanks to a $10,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant in support of the mission of Keep Durham Beautiful. The Lowe’s Community Partners Grant will provide funding to create new demonstration areas, develop a vineyard, and improve accessibility for individuals with limited mobility.

Briggs Avenue Community Garden was founded to address issues of food security, to improve the diets of residents, and to provide Durham youth and families with resources and education to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables. Local Lowe’s employee volunteers — “Lowe’s Heroes” — are working at the garden alongside other volunteers and City and County staff (including Durham County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers).

Already, they have created accessible raised garden beds for plot owners with limited mobility and developed a vineyard with grapes and blueberries to teach vineyard cultivation and management for the community. In the next month, they will finish building a 400-square-foot mortared brick patio with lighting, fans, seating and cooking stations for public use in demonstrations and community gatherings.

The project is expected to be completed in mid-December 2014, making the space even more inviting for the many families and individuals who participate in the garden in 2015.