The Maine Climate Corps is a strategy to help meet the ambitious goals in Maine Won't Wait. It is structured as a set of programs because climate actions cover such a wide-ranging set of activities. In Maine communities, climate action has been championed by countless volunteers and service programs. The Maine Climate Corps Network (MCCN) connects those volunteer and service programs for the purpose of coordinating activities, learning, and peer support.
The Network (MCCN)
Member programs demonstrate the attributes of high-quality service corps and are the only entities authorized to use the name and logo, Maine Climate Corps Program.
2023-2024 Maine Climate Corps Programs:
- Downeast Community Partners Climate Corps
- Friends of Cobbossee Watershed Youth Conservation Corps
- Island Institute Fellows Program
- Maine Conservation Corps
- Thompson Lake Environmental Association: LakeSmart Youth Conservation Corps
- WindowDressers Community Build Program
- Is my program a good fit for MCCN?
If you can say "That's true" to the following statements, your program would fit Network requirements:
The program takes action to meet the goals of Maine Won’t Wait, the State’s Climate Action Plan. The program provides benefits (including training) for the members who serve. The program has at least 2 members engaged in climate action. Members in my program make a commitment for a defined term of service beyond the commitment of less-intensive community volunteers. The program director or other staff leader can commit to attending 4 meetings a year (including up to 2 in-person meetings). The program does not lobby or engage in political advocacy. The sponsoring organization is NOT a for-profit business.
- What are the benefits for programs that participate in MCCN?
- Membership does not cost programs - there are no dues or participation fees.
- Belonging to a community of practice that shares common goals and concerns, desires to learn about what works and emerging issues, and provides peer support as well as technical assistance.
- Greater visibility as part of a statewide effort. Maine Climate Corps programs are entitled to use the Climate Corps logo on your materials and identify as “[Program Name], a Maine Climate Corps Program”.
- An amplified voice relative to the role your work plays in climate action. When the Network communicates the impact, scope, and scale of climate actions to policy makers, the public, or funders, it represents all members.
- Future: potential grant funding exclusive to Climate Corps Network programs and/or a training curriculum/programs for your member participants.
- Invitations to participate in special events with funders, policymakers, or with potential recruits.
- How does a program join the MCCN?
- Complete the application (see link below).
- Attend an orientation with the Climate Corps Coordinator upon enrollment in the Network.
- Attend quarterly meetings with other programs and Climate Corps Coordinator. Two virtual and up to two in-person per year.
- Write a short update prior to quarterly meetings to be shared with other programs, Volunteer Maine staff, and other stakeholders (this is the extent of routine reporting).
- What are the expectations of MCCN member programs?
To remain a member in good standing, a program
- Maintains or grows collaborations with other organizations to expand the reach or impact of your Climate Corps program.
- Maintains or grows community volunteer engagement as a part of the Climate Corps program model.
- Maintains or incrementally grows living allowance/stipend for full-time participants to a living wage ($17.88/hour equivalent).
- Maintains or grows civic engagement programming for members.
- Maintains or grows engagement with program beneficiaries, particularly those who have been under-represented, under-resourced, and/or previously excluded, that enables beneficiaries to set priorities and design and implement solutions to the challenges that they face.
- Maintains or grows organizations’ investment in the program manager/leader.
- What are the attributes of high-quality service corps that MCCN members must have?
High-quality Service Corps, including the proposed Climate Corps, have distinct traits:
- The problem to be addressed and the proven solution to implement are proposed by the community that is impacted
- A community organization works with like-minded local groups and uses its technical knowledge, community relationships, and human resource management expertise to design a program that implements the solution.
- The program mission is externally focused on improving a problematic situation affecting community life --
- the tactic used to fulfill the mission is to engage both Corps members and community residents as volunteers in the service activities;
- the program recruits and selects Corps members in an inclusive manner that results in the Corps being representative of the community’s diversity even if some members do not reside locally;
- an advisory group of community stakeholders and residents provides feedback and guidance throughout implementation.
- Corps members commit to a term of service that fits both their availability and the program design needs --
- terms of service require participants to commit time that, at a minimum, is 10 times greater than the average community volunteer (10-40 hours/week for Corps member; 1-4 hours/week average for community volunteer);
- Corps members receive benefits aligned with intensity of service so they are able to fulfill their commitment. Benefits may include a stipend, childcare, health insurance, housing, and post-service financial awards.
- Program staff conduct or facilitate Corps member development through training, certifications, and professional networking in order to:
- prepare Corps members to carry out effective service tasks;
- develop positive team environment where differences are appreciated, opportunities to both lead and support the team occur, and soft-skills valuable for personal and work relationships are honed;
- add to technical skills, knowledge and abilities in ways that enhance post-service job prospects;
- foster civic engagement so they are prepared to be active citizens post-service;
- support post-service transitions into jobs, post-secondary education, military, or other national service.
- Often have a goal of building the community’s capacity to sustain the effort and, therefore, be capable of meeting its own needs.
- More questions?
Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Climate Corps Coordinator, Kirsten Brewer, Kirsten.Brewer@maine.gov or 207-624-7792.
Subscribe to the Maine Climate Corps bulletin for updates and information. Access sign-up here
If your organization does not yet meet the above criteria, but you would like to sponsor a Climate Corps program, please be in touch regarding funding opportunities.
- Ready to sign up?
If this sounds like a good fit, just complete the online Application Form.