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Maine Forest Collaborative October Newsletter

Thank you for a successful first cohort day!

We had a fabulous first cohort day with schools from Buckfield, Greenville, Piscataquis, and Ecology Learning Center and are so appreciative of the time and energy you all put in to making sure students had paperwork, creating sub plans, and arranging transportation. Telstar, our mini cohort day today was amazing and I'm so glad your students are excited about these challenges.

Feedback: We would love both yours and your students feedback on our cohort day!

In the News

New videos illustrate wood heat benefits for forests, recreation, and residents

In featuring these personal narratives from across the Northern Forest, the series raises awareness and engages audiences by localizing, as well as humanizing, wood as a heating source. Audiences have the opportunity to learn why local, renewable, modern wood heat is a heat to feel good about.

When a large timber owner decides to sell carbon instead of harvest timber: Controversy in Northern New Hampshire

Things are starting to spin out of control due to the market for selling forest carbon offsets (not contemplated in 20 years ago) and the new owner of the private land, Bluesource Sustainable Forests Company. With new ownership, there came a new mission for the property.

Making Maine's next generation of housing fossil-free -and affordable

Maine’s deepening housing crisis is colliding with the global climate crisis but Maine has a unique opportunity to tackle its housing crisis and the climate crisis at the same time, advocates say, but it will need to be careful to manage costs and balance priorities.


Opportunties for Engagement

Nanocellulose Experience

Let Sara know if you are interested and we can schedule something with your class, or two MFC classes!


Nanocellulose, nature's super polymer, is helping build the forest products of the future. This renewable natural material offers virtually limitless potential in many applications, from food packaging to biomedical devices and even as an art material. Marchelle Sims from UMaine Process Development Center is willing to come to MFC classes to discuss nanocellulose, some of the research that is being done with it, and bring a bucket of it for students to use it to design something either for their projects, as an art project, or just to learn about it and its properties and potential future impact. There is also an opportunity to travel to UMaine to visit the Center itself too!


Marchelle has created this informational document to provide more information and provided some examples of how it has been used as an artistic medium.


Grant Opportunities

Maine Environmental Education Association Mini Grants for Outdoor Learning

Are you looking for funding to support outdoor learning in your classroom or school? We are pleased to offer mini-grants up to $1500 to Maine educators and schools to support outdoor learning in 2023/24 school year! Before applying please review FAQs and example application. Applications close October 13th!

Funding for Outdoor Learning

The Nature Based Education Consortium has created a calendar and list of upcoming outdoor learning related grants available on their website organized by upcoming deadline. This is a great place to monitor as your class starts to select a challenge and work on a solution.

Climate Education Grant

Maine 130th legislature passed a resolve, to create a pilot program to encourage climate education in Maine's schools. This pilot program will be awarding grants for high-quality professional development designed and carried out in partnership with community-based nonprofit organizations (like Rural Aspirations!). Grant awards will be accessible to all local education providers throughout the state for Pre K through grade 12. The program will be giving priority to applications that:

  • Serve historically underserved by climate education communities.

  • Serve socioeconomically disadvantaged school districts

  • Emphasize interdisciplinary, project-based, and/or place-based learning

Applications close 11/3. Let me know if this is something you are interested in and want to look at together and we can set up a time to do so.


For Teachers

GMRI Educator Forest Field Day

Join peers in education including folks from your local CLE in the field to observe and document changes in local forests. Learn how to identify ash trees, spot signs of invasive emerald ash borer, and contribute to the Ash Protection Collaboration Across Wabanakik.

  • Monday, October 2nd, 4:30–6:00 pm at the Downeast Lakes Land Trust

  • Thursday, October 5th, 4:30–6:00 pm in two Hancock/Midcoast regions

    • George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill

    • Coastal Mountains Land Trust property (exact location TBD)

  • Tuesday, October 10th, 4:30–6:00 pm in Farmington

  • Thursday, October 12th, 4:30–6:00 pm in Ashland

National Project Learning Tree Resource Kit

National PLT has an extensive amount of resources for each activity in their curriculum guides that you can access for free after you create a PLT account. Let me know if you would like one of these guides to borrow and use, or one to have! As a reminder, there is a list of curriculum, lessons, and activities available to download, and borrow with MFC found here!

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