Major Funders and Partners

Sustainability is the most critical component of any business, and non-profits like the Friends are no exception. Our organization's initial development was made possible through a partnership with the Unity Foundation, (UF) a nationally recognized, capacity building foundation that assists mission-driven non-profits. After receiving an initial $5,000 grant in 2002 to help fund the purchase of the OTTER (the Friends ice cream and outreach pontoon boat), the UF then funded a 2-yr $70,000 challenge grant that enabled the Friends to secure a full-time Executive Director beginning in 2003. Our evolution continued with the addition of a full-time Watershed Education Coordinator in 2005, made possible in large part to a 5-yr $150,000 challenge grant provided once again from the Unity Foundation. Our Board of Directors have twice completed the UF's Capacity Quotient (CQ) survey, which benchmarked our organization in various areas and provided us with recommendations to assist our strategic planning efforts.

Significant support from several family foundations including the Snider, Ryan, Lowenstein, Jacob and Johnston families have also played a critical role in enabling us to quickly get our programs and projects up and running.  Our 2013 Annual Report lists our most recent donors.

Thanks to all the help coming from Clark Marine in Manchester we are able to have our boats, keep them serviced appropriately, and move them from lake to lake within the watershed.  Without Clark Marine and all that they do for us, we could not even exist!  They are indispensable.

JS McCarthy Printers  in Augusta is another great partner.  They provide us with printing and graphic design of our annual reports and our appeal mailings among other things.  They are a great partner and have played a pivotal role in making us what we are today.

Thanks to a 2-yr $30,000 grant from L.L. Bean and several other partners, on May 25, 2006 a pilot “Boat Wash Station” was dedicated at Norcross Point on Maranacook Lake in Winthrop.  Bean’s grant also funded the development and production of a “How-to-Guidebook” and additional grant monies which will be made available to other lake associations or municipalities interested in constructing their own wash station.

Early on we also decided to not "reinvent" the wheel by replicating what others have successfully been doing for years in the area of watershed improvements. By partnering with several agencies and other lake associations, we have been able to dramatically raise awareness and accomplish much more than if we had tried to go it alone. We are most grateful for the help, advice and guidance we have received from our many partners including:

A successful application in 2003, 2004 and 2005 with the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) bought (30) members of AmeriCorps NCCC from across the county to our shores. What they accomplished in the relatively short time that they were part of the Cobbossee Watershed community was nothing short of sensational!

Staffing our SLOW THE FLOW program, they helped complete 89 projects protecting nearly 5 miles of shoreline from erosion and runoff by installing over 1600 tons of rip-rap, planting nearly 1250 shrubs and plants to act as buffer zones and spreading over 300 yards of mulch.

In addition, Corps members have contributed over 1,000 hours in staffing boat launches throughout the watershed as part of our MIL-FOILER program, as well as assisting our education and outreach efforts aboard the OTTER, and providing staff support with our TADPOLE PATROL and STF PLAYDAY programs.

In 2004, the Friends partnership with AmeriCorps expanded further with the addition of a seasonal Program Director courtesy of the AmeriCorps*State program, funded by the Maine Commission for Community Service for volunteer provided through the Training Resource Center (TRC) of Portland, ME.

Since then, seasonal Program Directors were secured for 2005, 2006 and 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.  In December of 2004, the Friends were recognized by the TRC the “AmeriCorps Community Resource Corps Worksite of the Year”.