While Governor Paul LePage’s inappropriate letter to NRCM members, criticizing the organization in very inaccurate statements, got lots of news coverage, I was thinking about all the ways this great environmental organization has benefitted our state.
Some of their work, on major environmental projects and issues, has been well reported, such as their most recent achievement (which they are quick to share with others) of removal of dams and restoration of the Penobscot River and its native fish.
I have enjoyed a good relationship with NRCM staff, including during my 18 years at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, where we worked together very effectively. I’ve particularly enjoyed working with Nick Bennett, an NRCM staff scientist, probably because he’s a fanatic duck hunter.
One great NRCM project you are probably not aware of is new this year. The organization gave eight $500 grants to middle school teachers who planned an environmental project of some kind with their students. NRCM staff and board members screened the projects, and a Bates college intern oversaw them.
NRCM Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann told me the project “was a huge success and we are hoping to do it again next year and beyond. Such a wonderful way to build relationships in communities and to invest in our next generation of environmental stewards.
You can read some great columns about the 8 projects here. From stream flows to native plants to alewives to green crabs to nature trails, these kids all had great experiences, thanks to their teachers and NRCM.