We are so grateful to the more than sixty donors who offered financial support for building adaptive raised beds at our Tom Settlemire Community Garden (TSCG) and garden beds for New Mainer families at the BTLT office near their homes at Brunswick Landing, as well as the many volunteers who stepped up to make it possible. The generosity of the community far exceeded our expectations. We raised more than $13,000 in cash and in-kind support for this exciting project!

We’ve used this support so far to:

Build 10 raised beds at Brunswick Landing;

  • Work closely with leaders in the New Mainer mentor group to match nine New Mainer families with garden beds at Brunswick Landing;
  • Coordinated with the Merrymeeting Adult Education ESL teacher to plan for a weekly summer program of stories, crafts, and garden exploration at the BTLT office deck for New Mainer families and assigned one raised bed for this youth gardening project;
  • Assign three New Mainer families scholarship plots at TSCG;
  • Build four adaptive (tall) raised beds at TSCG, and assigned them to gardeners;
  • Hold six workdays and had 13 volunteers help to build raised beds and move soil into those beds;
  • Coordinate with several local farms to grow culturally appropriate seedlings for New Mainer families, and have begun distributing those seedlings;
  • Set up fencing (to keep out animals) and a temporary (tank) water system for the New Mainer beds.

We anticipate the demand for raised beds will increase at both TSCG and the Landing and have set aside several thousand dollars of the funds raised to meet this interest. In addition, we have been able to further our food sovereignty efforts in the community by covering some of the unexpected costs of improving and expanding our irrigation system at TSCG and the Common Good Garden, purchasing new trees for our orchard, and purchasing a new lawn mower for TSCG – our nearly ten-year-old mower failed irreparably in 2020.

We are so grateful to all the donors that made this work, and the work there remains to do, possible. And of course, thanks to the annual support of our 1,000+ members, we have the necessary staff capacity to engage with New Mainer families, work closely with their mentors to offer outreach and education, and seek new collaborations to further expand our work of supporting these families in growing their own food and engaging with the natural world in their new home.

Words cannot express all of our heartfelt gratitude for the unprecedented and truly amazing support our community stepped up to offer. We appreciate your trust in our programming and your dedication to our mission and our community.


Now that we have these lovely raised beds for the New Mainer families, we need a bit of regular help keeping up with the garden area. This would include occasionally filling the water tank (20min), weed wipping around the beds (10min), and spraying an all natural pest deterrent. If you could help with these tasks on a weekly(ish) basis, please email lee@btlt.org

Thank you!