It’s more important than ever these days to reach out and find common ground with new people. At NRCM, we recognize that the power of our 20,000 current supporters helps us achieve many of our objectives, but we must get even more people involved to continue to protect Maine’s air, land, and water.
NRCM staff members are now working with groups in many Maine towns to improve community sustainability practices, like reducing the amount of plastic bags and polystyrene containers that residents use. We are talking with leaders in more than 30 schools about how they can reduce the amount of food wasted in their cafeterias. We offer small grants to middle school teachers who want to undertake environmental projects with their students. Our NRCM Rising initiative continues to attract 20-40 year olds through outdoor and policy-focused events designed for them. Throughout the year, we have local college interns helping on our advocacy initiatives, and learning as they do so. We continue to work with and meet new small businesses to pass solar legislation and defend Maine’s new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. And as the leading environmental voice in Maine, this past year alone, over 10,000 people heard our staff speaking at events and on the radio. Many who heard us for the first time have followed up to learn and share more.
Each of these activities helps us meet new people, form new partnerships, and work toward shared goals. Some of these folks may not consider themselves “environmentalists,” and that’s okay. We all want to protect what we value: the special, natural qualities of Maine and the quality of life we enjoy here.
The conversations we have are honest and fruitful. Listening to people whose perspectives may differ from that of NRCM staff or board members helps us keep our balance. And, in the end, it also helps us reach our goal of protecting the nature of Maine.
Thank you to our supporters for all of the ways you are participating in this crucial task of reaching out, whether it’s to your neighbor, relative, or local legislator. Your voice matters, and theirs does, too. These interactions remind us of what we share, not what keeps us apart. We can—and must—keep working to find common ground on renewable energy, public lands, waste reduction, fisheries restoration, coastal protections, and so much more if we are to be even better stewards of this special place we call home.
By Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director