Four Washington County non-profits awarded Downeast Wind Community Grants

COLUMBIA, ME  Downeast Wind and Apex Clean Energy are pleased to announce four Washington County-based organizations as the recipients of community grants from the program’s Fall 2020 grant cycle. These funds are designed to support community organizations working in the following areas: Building Healthy Communities, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, and Promoting Education.

“These organizations are doing impressive work on behalf of the communities and residents of Washington County. We are both thankful and proud to support them as they work to strengthen our region,” said Robert Gee, Project Developer for Downeast Wind.

A grant for Washington County Community College will support the Pathways for ME program, which coordinates outreach and services for rural learners recovering from opioid addiction, working to mitigate the many factors that contribute to addiction and overdose mortality.

“Washington County Community College is both excited and grateful to receive a Downeast Wind Community Grant to assist with our collegiate recovery efforts,” said Nichole Sawyer, Dean of Workforce and Professional Development. “This money will specifically be used for professional development for faculty and staff around the reduction of stigma associated with substance use disorder and recovery.”

Project SHARE, an organization dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of Atlantic salmon habitat and populations in Downeast rivers, is receiving a general operations grant to help sustain the organization’s cooperative conservation efforts. Project SHARE works in partnership with area landowners, businesses, local, state, and federal government agencies, academia, conservation organizations, and other groups to build and maintain healthy riverine ecosystems in the region.

“We appreciate the support from Downeast Wind and look forward to continuing our work to improve Downeast rivers,” said Steven Koenig of Project SHARE.

The newly opened Coastal Washington County Institute of Technology in Columbia is also receiving a grant.

"We sincerely appreciate the community grant from Downeast Wind and Apex Clean Energy,” said CWCIT Superintendent Scott Porter. “We are a new school with many needs and this money will be used to help construct a new playground for our Early Childhood Education program. It is wonderful to see local support for our small community!"

The Community Caring Collaborative, through its fiscal sponsor Sunrise Opportunities, is being awarded a grant to expand local community gardening programs that not only promote community health and wellness, but also empower individuals, families, and communities with skills that can serve them well into the future.

“The Community Caring Collaborative is excited and grateful for the opportunity to expand Downeast Family Gardens in 2021,” said Charley Martin-Berry, Director of the Community Caring Collaborative. “When we asked families why they were interested in the family garden project, one parent shared, ‘We are still learning how to successfully grow food for ourselves and to share with our community. Love the idea of being connected to local resources for learning and growing together.’”

As part of Downeast Wind’s ongoing commitment to be a strong community partner to the residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations of Washington County, the Downeast Wind Community Grant Program will continue to support pressing community needs and local organizations making a meaningful impact in 2021. To learn more or apply for a future grant, visit