RRCT’s Rain or Shine Fund delivers free and better access to Maine’s outdoors for everyone. With your donations, RRCT is investing in wheelchair and mobility access at parks and preserves, reducing or eliminating the expenses of outdoor experiences for low-income populations, and keeping all RRCT programs free and welcoming to all. RRCT invites other organizations to create their own Rain or Shine Club, their own Rain or Shine Fund, or to join with RRCT to expand and collaborate. We need your support. These initiatives require more funding to support them year-after-year, and to expand the impact.
To make an online donation to the Rain or Shine Fund, use the button on the right of this page (or scroll far below on some devices) or return to the “donate” page, or send a check noting “Rain or Shine Fund.” Thank you!
The Rain or Shine Fund Continues Momentum toward 2020
Free 2020 State Park passes at all local libraries:
For the third year, all local libraries in the Royal River watershed have free state park passes donated by RRCT and other organizations including: Cumberland & Chebeague Land Trust, Androscoggin Land Trust, Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, and Freeport Conservation Trust. Passes are available at libraries in Auburn (4), New Gloucester (3), Gray Public Library (3), Yarmouth’s Merrill Memorial Library (5), Freeport (X), and Cumberland’s Prince Memorial Library (1). Check with your local library about reserving the passes. Several libraries allow multi-day pass check-out.
Any land trust, individual, or organization can add momentum to our initiative by buying Maine State Park passes (vehicle passes are best) and bringing them to your library of choice; fall pass purchases are good for the remainder of the year as well as the entirety of the following year. Bring this instructional PDF to the librarian with your donated pass. Please let RRCT know if you have added momentum to this library pass initiative, or if your land trust has created its own Rain or Shine Club or Fund.
“The passes were used a total of 90 times between April and September. I know that we have families who would never be able to experience our state parks if not for this donation.” – Auburn Public Library.
“I’m certain that if we had been provided with more passes, they would have circulated and been used just as much as the other three were. By the end of the summer, we couldn’t turn them around fast enough to meet people’s demands for them. Word gets around small towns like this, and by the end of summer everyone knew we had those passes.” – Gray Public Library.
Outdoor programs for low-income and at-risk youth (2018 & 2019):
RRCT financially supports outdoor programming, gardening, and outdoor photography through the Auburn Police Activities League (PAL), serving Auburn youth from low-income and at-risk neighborhoods, in conjunction with the Androscoggin Land Trust. We aim to continually increase the number of people who are getting outdoors and into woods, free of cost. Thank you for your support.
Both the Royal and Androscoggin Rivers run through the city of Auburn; PAL outdoor programming brought kids on field trips to Gray, New Gloucester, Auburn and more. The two land trusts also helped secure free State Park passes for PAL for trips to parks including Bradbury, Range Pond, and beyond.
Wheelchair access and trail accessibility:
In 2018 the Rain or Shine Fund helped to improve wheelchair accessibility to the playground and picnic area at Bradbury Mountain State Park. We leveraged equal matching funds from the state park system for a total of $20,000 invested into better outdoor access.
Following RRCT consulting and advocacy, Maine DOT is poised to significantly improve traffic safety at Route 9 in Pownal, where Bradbury trails cross Route 9. The 2020 MaineDOT paving project will create and “island” in the roadway, assisting hikers crossing the roadway, including hikers with mobility issues crossing from the primary park parking lot toward the primary accessible trail loops on the other side of Route 9.
RRCT’s investments in Yarmouth’s West Side Trail (Phase II) have also helped with “universally accessible” trail construction, anticipating use by people with different mobility needs.
Free Programs and Preserves:
The Rain or Shine Club: Every Thursday at 10:00 am, these free weekly hikes attract young families and residents new to the area, providing access and building community.
Get Out! Nature Walks: Our collaboration with the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust continues to offer nature walks free of charge, once a month, with volunteer naturalists and specific curricula.
Royal River Film Series: Our free monthly film series (mid-year only) is hosted jointly with the Yarmouth Historical Society. Films vary in topic, but always focus on the outdoors and nature.
The New Gloucester Public Library manages the keys for the free canoes and kayaks and paddling gear that L.L. Bean donated at the Fairgrounds (Royal River) at RRCT’s urging for free pubic use as part of RRCT’s Royal River Water Trail project.
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