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FBC Achieves 2022-2023 Nature-Based Education Fundraising Goal

January 27, 2023


Elementary school students excitedly participating in Maine Outdoor School programming.

HANCOCK COUNTY, ME— We are excited to announce that we have achieved our nature-based education fundraising goals for the 2022-2023 academic year, in part due to the generosity of local business sponsor, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. The Bank, one of the original sponsors of FBC’s pilot program with Maine Outdoor School (MOS), L3C, has pledged a five-year commitment of $25,000 to support the growth of FBC’s partnership with MOS from two schools to all ten public schools in FBC’s service region. 

“The nature-based education program aligns closely with the Bank’s philanthropic focus on enhancing education and workforce development opportunities. We are completely supportive of FBC’s partnership with Maine Outdoor School to provide outdoor learning opportunities for hundreds of fifth grade students in our local elementary schools, and are confident that our philanthropic support to FBC will greatly benefit the community,” says Jack Frost, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Vice President and Director of Community Giving.

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust presents a check to FBC in support our nature-based education program with Maine Outdoor School.

Since 2020, FBC has been working with MOS to bring outdoor education programming to eastern Hancock County with the goal to establish sustainable, equitable outdoor education opportunities. In the 2022-2023 academic year, the partnership will provide twenty, 75 minute sessions to each school for a total of two hundred and fifty hours of education. Additionally, FBC and MOS will provide each participating class two three hour field trips to a FBC preserves. These partnerships offer eastern Hancock County students opportunities to learn and play outdoors—encouraging active lifestyles and appreciation for nature and conservation values.

FBC serves twelve towns and townships, including small coastal and inland communities between the Union River and the Frenchman bay region. Of the roughly 2,500 students in the local school district RSU24, representing Eastbrook, Franklin, Gouldsboro, Mariaville, Steuben, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham and Winter Harbor, 61% are eligible for free or reduced lunch. Instructors and parents in these local school systems have requested our support, especially as schools continue to deal with staffing shortages and budget restrictions.

“At the heart of our program is building strong relationships with teachers, administrators, students and families, in addition to our partner organizations,” says FBC Director of Development, Thomasina DiBiase. “Our hope is that outdoor education will continue to grow as a value in our community, and we want to make sure the opportunity to participate is accessible to all students.”

Thank you to all of our generous donors, as well as the individuals that have supported our outdoor education initiatives. Additional financial supporters of FBC’s partnership with Maine Outdoor School include Tegna Foundation, Mary Dexter Chafee Foundation, Onion Foundation, and Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust. 

For questions or further information, please contact FBC Director of Development Thomasina DiBiase at thomasina@frenchmanbay.org; (207) 422-2328.

In the News:

Hancock County students will now be able to take their learning outside (WABI TV5)

Nature-based education expanding (Ellsworth American)