“I enjoyed learning about all of the species of animals and plants, how to identify invasive species, and going on the trails and being in the great outdoors. Thank you to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, who have helped us tremendously with our project!” — Charlotte, Student at Loranger Memorial School, 2018
“Students are very motivated to make composting a norm in the cafeteria. It has been rewarding to watch students who have stepped up as leaders as they have organized and problem-solved to make the compost project successful.” –Andrea Freed, Environmental Club Advisor and Middle School Teacher at Hall-Dale Middle School, 2018
“Our project ‘Revitalizing the Harrison Elementary School Nature Trail,’ plans to utilize the wooded areas surrounding our school and turn them into a learning destination for all students. We are blessed to live in a state, and community region, where access to Maine’s forests is in our literal backyard!” – Rob Ripley, 6th Grade STEM Teacher, Harrison Elementary School, 2019
The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) is Maine’s leading nonprofit membership organization working to protect Maine’s land, air, waters, and wildlife, now and for future generations. We use science, public outreach, and citizen engagement activities to restore Maine’s watersheds; protect Maine’s forestlands; increase clean and efficient energy; and promote sustainability initiatives such as composting and recycling.
Since 2015, NRCM has awarded small grants to Maine middle school teachers and club leaders (6th, 7th, or 8th grades) for projects that educate and engage students in Maine’s environment and the value of protecting it. To date, NRCM has granted funds to 31 schools from across Maine and reached more than 3000 students.
NRCM has made the difficult decision to suspend the Middle School Grants program for the 2020-2021 academic year. Rather than rushing to simply replicate what we can in a virtual format, NRCM will be taking the next several months to evaluate how we can best support projects that educate and engage middle school students in Maine’s environment and the value of protecting it. As Maine’s educators and club leaders utilize new technological resources to accomplish their goals, NRCM will seek to learn how those same tools can facilitate the exploration, and subsequent storytelling, that comes from experiencing Maine’s woods, waters, and wildlife. The need for our young people to learn how to preserve and protect natural areas is only increasing. NRCM looks forward to re-opening the Middle School Grants program in the fall of 2021 so that we can continue to play a role in encouraging an appreciation for Maine’s environment.
Our spring 2020 projects continued despite the pandemic! Read grantee blogs here.
Please contact us at email@example.com with questions about this program.
Let us know you’d like to hear when the next grant application cycle opens and how you can apply to receive funding for your school or community group project.