October 19, 2015

On September 20th, 150 cyclists rolled into The Farm at Eastman’s Corner.  However, this was no Sunday leisure ride. These colorfully clad men and women were participating in a 5-day Bar Harbor to Boston fundraiser for Climate Ride.

Climate Ride, founded in 2008, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that organizes life-changing charitable events to raise awareness and support sustainability, active transportation, and environmental causes. 

Participants bike or hike across some of our country’s most beautiful places while getting a chance to meet and network with leaders in sustainability, renewable energy, and environmental causes.

The Bar Harbor to Boston ride raised over $400,000 and supports 75 of the Climate Ride’s national beneficiaries.

Liz Smith, a huge Eastman’s Corner fan and Director and COO of the Conservation Media Group was one of the 150 riders. She recommended that Climate Ride make Eastman’s Farm one of the official stops on the route — and the cyclists loved it!  They loaded up on local hummus, veggies, cookies and Boocha!

The Conservation Media Group (CMG) is one of the Lewis Family Foundation’s strategic partners. Founded in 2014, CMG is a nonprofit headquartered in Camden, ME, that works to support individuals and organizations passionate about sustainable energy and ocean conservation by putting tools and resources into their hands to produce and distribute video that significantly advances these causes. Through workshops, residencies, grants and the placement of fellows with partner conservation organizations, CMG builds capacity for others to convey advancing urgent conservation goals through videos that have real, measurable impact. Their Catalyst workshops are held at Pinnacle.

This was Liz’s first time participating as a rider in one of Climate Ride’s events. Over the last six years, she has worked in numerous positions on the ride’s support staff, including directing medical for the ride as an EMT, and producing short films to capture the beauty, purpose and emotion of the events through the lens of a camera.

“Climate Ride is not just raising awareness; they are getting people on the ground to do something and raising money for beneficiaries that have real impact, “says Liz. “Their mission is very similar to both the Lewis Family Foundation’s and CMG’s in that we all work to get money into the hands of people who create measurable change.”

Funds raised by Liz will support CMG’s Action Grants program, which provides quick-turnaround grants of $5,000 to $10,000 to engaged filmmakers and organization to produce and distribute video campaigns with a clear call to action.

Climate Ride was the first bike-a-thon to support environmental causes and cycling advocacy, not only by raising money but also through advocating for government change and educating participants as part of the experience. It was the first adventure travel nonprofit to raise funds for environmental causes and awareness about the importance of bike safety and advocacy, thus making the connection that an increase in active transportation will reduce carbon emissions that plague the environment.

Giving the power to the people, Climate Riders can direct the funds they raise to up to five beneficiaries of their choice. Rather than rushing through the miles, Climate Ride events are orchestrated to explore the beauty of national parks and the outdoors creating a deeper connection to the landscape riders are helping to protect. The first adventure travel nonprofit of its kind, Climate Ride remains the largest in terms of its national scope and money raised with its choose-your-own beneficiary model. To date, Climate Ride has raised and contributed $2.28 million to causes that work to inspire change.

Daniel Deleon