2022 Year-End Appeal
Buoyed by supporters like you, 2022 has been a year of growth, transformation and hope for CEBE. As we have witnessed the increasing effects of the climate crisis locally and globally, we have also witnessed unparalleled support for our work. We’ve welcomed two new staff and four new youth board members. This growth has allowed us to engage with western Maine communities as never before, push our cooperative solar and housing projects forward, and engage more deeply in statewide coalitions, all with an eye on equity and inclusion. To that end, our staff and board participated in Wabanaki REACH’s “Decolonizing the Conservation Movement” training in February and we continue these conversations monthly.
After a winter of planning, our annual 2030 Vision Climate Convergence was held on a cool, windy and mercifully sunny Earth Day weekend in Norway. Themed “Collective Power for Climate Justice,” the event attracted over two hundred climate activists for three days of speakers, workshops, great food, art, dancing, and long overdue face-to-face network building. Keynote speakers, including Lokotah Sanborn, Chloe Maxmin, Richard Silkman, Sue Inches, and Luke Sekera-Flanders covered a wide range of issues from decolonization and water rights to new strategies for organizing and the challenge of
electrifying our economy.
Beneficial electrification was also on the agenda for our eighth annual Solar & Electric Vehicle Expo this fall. A big highlight this year was the arrival of the first electric pickup truck with its promise of vehicle-to-grid integration. Along with ever-popular test drives and eBike rides, we hosted workshops exploring the complexities of lithium mining and battery life-cycles, non-auto transportation alternatives, as well as solar power and home electrification.
In April, CEBE was awarded a contract with the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future to work as a service provider for Maine’s Community Resilience Partnership. Through this innovative program, CEBE has had the privilege of engaging five local municipalities in public discussions around climate resiliency while helping enroll them in the program and apply for grant funding for projects as diverse as solar and heat pump installations to long-range planning and education initiatives.
CEBE’s role in education continues to grow. We work with statewide networks on outdoor learning advocacy, climate data and literacy education, and professional development on climate education in our local schools. We remain active in the Nature-Based Education Consortium, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s regional Connected Learning Ecosystem. We are also thrilled to see our work with Maine Climate Action NOW come to life in the visually stunning Climate Justice Crash Course to be rolled out in 2023.
Thanks to the tireless effort of our energy and shelter working groups, CEBE is ever closer to manifesting two transformative projects in our community. The Norway Equitable Housing Cooperative took a giant step this year, raising funds to purchase a half-acre lot in downtown Norway for 8-12 affordable, owner-occupied, net-zero housing units. CEBE’s Community Solar Cooperative has identified a site for our first array and created a steering committee. Thanks to new federal tax incentives and rising electricity costs, we have a viable financial model. These projects will keep dollars circulating in our local economy and help folks with low and moderate incomes build wealth as they pay for essential services. Our transportation working group continues to collaborate with the Maine DOT and town of Norway on safe bike and pedestrian routes from downtown along the lake, while managing our Community BikeShare and regional EV charging network. CEBE’s food working group resurrected Edible Main Street this year, serves on our local food council, and supports bulk buying of trees and grower supplies as we work towards greater community food self-reliance.
For nearly ten years, CEBE has hewn to our original vision of resilient communities restoring the Earth. Starting with one-off demonstration projects and countless events to raise awareness of the climate emergency, we are now blessed with many youth activists on our team and honored to work with towns, schools, businesses and community members to manifest that vision. Please support us on this journey in any way you can. It all matters, and we can’t do it without you.
The first $15,000 raised will be generously matched!
In hope and solidarity,
Scott Vlaun, on behalf of CEBE's board and staff
We're building community resilience. Join us in your support!
CEBE represents the best of the progressive ideas of Western Maine! Thanks for all you do for all of us.
As a business member of 1% for the Planet, we are eager to support groups bringing communities together to create a path toward resiliency and action.
There is no better work to be done for the Earth than that which can be done locally.