Ed Meadows Conservation Fund Grant Guidelines

Summary: The Ed Meadows Conservation Fund of the Maine Community Foundation assists land trusts in the creation and installation of signage that facilitates interpretation and nature education on conservation land owned or held by Maine land trusts.

Effective signage and interpretive information is a key component of stewardship, enabling ease of visitor use and appreciation of the natural resources and ecological relationships on the properties. Engaging youth in a learning experience outdoors is also critical to conservation programs in the future.

Up to three grants will be available annually by competitive proposal for interpretive signs and/or trail apps, including design, construction and installation. Maximum grant award is $5,000.

The Maine Community Foundation manages the funds. Maine Coast Heritage Trust will administer the proposal process.

Background: With the rapid growth of land under conservation in the 1990s, former Maine Department of Conservation Commissioner Ed Meadows saw the need to increase funding for stewardship of conserved lands. To honor his service in land conservation, a fund was established at the Maine Community Foundation.

With the large amount of land now owned or managed by land trusts, the Meadows Conservation Fund is interested in supporting stewardship of those lands through interpretive signage. The fund supports increased opportunity for public use, education and enjoyment of land trust properties and land under conservation easement.


  1. Increase public information about conservation success stories on land trust owned and conservation easement properties
  2. Increase appreciation of outdoors, nature and conservation
  3. Tell the story of the flora, fauna and natural features present; how they interact, their history, and the story of partnerships and role of land trusts and private landowners in conservation
  4. Engage youth and new users in understanding the outdoors and importance of sound natural resource management
  5. Facilitate enjoyment and safe use of the property by providing interpretive panels, maps, trail markers and apps


  1. The desired focus is on interpretation, explanation and illustration of:
    • Flora and fauna of the property, and ecological interactions
    • History of the property
    • The story of how the property came to be conserved and the partners who achieved it (land owner desires, community involvement, role of NGOs, agencies, etc.)
  2. Eligible projects include:
    • Signage and kiosks
      • Directional and interpretive signage at parking areas, trail intersections and “learning opportunities” along trails (resource features, overlooks, etc.).
      • Effective trail markers that help visitors navigate, stay on marked paths, read and follow maps and add to enjoyment of the experience. Signs should not be attached to living trees. Not more than 1/3 of grant funds can be used for directional signs.
    • Interpretive panels
      • Designed and constructed for durability (minimum of 10 years)
      • Envisioned are large, all weather, durable, colorful panels with colorful photos and drawings, such as those created by the Hancock County, Ohio Parks District (see “Ed Meadows Conservation Fund Sign Examples” document.)
    • Mobile applications – proposals may include mobile apps, but must be linked to interpretive panels on the property to contribute to the educational experience
  3. Preference given to proposals that include 1:1 or greater match, (staff or volunteer time not counted as match).
  4. Preference given to projects in or near “population centers” that provide benefits and the message of stewardship to the greatest number of visitors.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicant must be a 501(c)3 non-profit
  • Applicant must be a current member of the Maine Land Trust Network
  • Applicant must have adopted LTA’s Land Trust Standards & Practices
  • More than one organization involved in a collaborative project may apply
  • Organizations that are awarded an Ed Meadows Conservation Fund grant must wait out one grant cycle before applying again.

Application Process & Deadline:

Please complete the Ed Meadows Conservation Fund Application adhering to the following procedural requirements:

Contact: Questions about the Ed Meadows Conservation Fund may be directed to Warren Whitney at (207) 729-7366 or