Hancock County Soil & Water Conservation District (HCSWCD), located in downtown Ellsworth, was recently awarded $10,000 from the Maine Community Foundation (MCF) to assist the District in becoming a local leader in climate adaptation. The award was made through the Fund for Maine Land Conservation’s Organizational Development Grants Program, which supports activities that will improve operations, efficiency, and impact for conservation organizations. The Fund for Maine Land Conservation has four objectives: 1) help preserve traditional uses of land and working landscapes, 2) provide for continued public access and recreational use, 3) protect sensitive ecological areas, and 4) promote greater appreciation of the environment.

In 2019, HCSWCD completed a three-year strategic plan with the goal of becoming a local leader in climate adaptation for Hancock County. The MCF grant will advance that goal by providing support for increasing organizational effectiveness through systems improvements, strategic outreach, income diversification, and volunteer support. Project goals include upgrading to a new CRM database, building a strong volunteer and internship program, and creating a new robust website with an online repository that serves as a hub for resources on soil and water conservation activities in Hancock County, as well as tools for climate adaptation.

HCSWCD is a non-profit organization founded in 1963 that provides local conservation leadership, promotes best management practices for soil and water, and works with landowners to plan and implement voluntary conservation projects. District programs focus on addressing polluted runoff, improving water quality, promoting habitat protection and restoration, citizen science efforts, and education. For more information, contact Executive Director, Lesley Lichko, at 207-663-8667 or llichko@hancockcountyswcd.org.  Offices are located at 192 Main St., Suite 11 in Ellsworth, ME 04605. Visit our website at www.hancockcountyswcd.org.