The Mission has launched a $1.8 million Mission Downeast Capital Campaign that will fund renovations and additions on the Downeast Campus in Cherryfield. The 63-acre campus is the heart of the our work in Washington County and features the Ed and Connie Greaves Education (EdGE) Center, the Weald Bethel Community Center, and a food pantry and administrative building.
At the heart of the campaign is a renovation and expansion of the existing administrative building and food pantry turning the space into the Downeast Engagement Center. This includes renovating the current administrative space and converting it into a welcome center, building a new food pantry with porch in the welcoming style of a rural Maine general store with increased storage area while adding a flexible community space for healthy living programs.
The existing food pantry will be converted into flexible storage and staging area for programs. The Downeast Engagement Center will provide new space and opportunity for greater community growth and support.
President John Zavodny says, “Everywhere you go in Downeast Maine, you hear Mission stories: food in a time of need, a home repaired, a generation of EdGE students, thousands of scholarships, those signature Christmas presents wrapped in white paper and red string. Through our programs and people, we create belonging every day. And we believe that our Downeast campus, buildings, and program areas should be just as welcoming, work just as hard, and serve just as thoughtfully.”
The campaign also replaces the aging ropes course at the Ed and Connie Greaves Education (EdGE) Center which is used for leadership and skill building sessions with students. The new course will be a safer, more visible, and easier to maintain pole-based challenge course. An open pavilion that features gathering space and a playground next to the EdGE center will also be added.
In addition, retreat cabins will be built and placed near the Weald Bethel Community Center. This three-season housing opportunity allows the campus to serve as a true day-long and overnight retreat hub for partners, housing rehabilitation volunteers, and youth.
We provide a wide array of programming and support from our Cherryfield campus. In 2021, the food pantry supported 2,033 people across 784 households each month and distributed over 63,000 pounds of food. Children from many of these families benefit from EdGE youth development programs as well. EdGE provides over 1,900 hours of educational programming across seven schools and works with over 500 families.
Physical updates to the campus will provide a natural flow between program, service, and staff work areas, and will lower barriers between formal programs, informal interactions, and access to services. The focus on connecting three hard-working, high-impact areas will help facilitate engagement between programs and multiply the impact of services provided, which is at the core of the work we provide in Washington County.