Founding Stories: Quimby Family Foundation
The campaign to raise funding for our River Bend Farm project brings forth the opportunity for special people to be honored by family and friends through gifts in their name. Founding Stories is a series that spotlights the heartfelt stories of people and businesses whose life’s mission or business promise is to preserve our natural resources and promote conservation through educational programming. In several instances, our supporters have been inspired to raise funds from friends and family in honor of someone they hold dear. We look forward to this opportunity to share the intimate and inspired purpose of many gifts with our community!
“To grow human wholeness by fostering stronger relationships between people and nature” may seem like it could very well be the mission of The Ecology School, but it isn’t. It is the mission of one of our closest foundation supporters, the Quimby Family Foundation.
Founded in 2004 by Roxanne Quimby, the entrepreneur, environmentalist, and philanthropist behind the famous Burt’s Bees brand of environmentally-friendly products, Quimby Family Foundation is now managed by Executive Director Hannah Quimby, her spouse, Zak Klein, and other members of the family. Our two organizations first became acquainted with each other in 2010 when Drew (The Ecology School’s President & CEO) sent in an application to the foundation for funding. While they not had previously heard of The Ecology School, our mission must have resonated with them as we received a generous grant of $20,000.
Since then, we received intermittent funding until 2016 when Hannah visited River Bend Farm for the first time. Hannah immediately saw that the farm “was a really incredible opportunity tied with an amazing vision. It’s awesome that River Bend became available—it’s a really unique and special place. This project is just so forward thinking in terms of the Living Building Challenge, food systems, and the whole systems approach.”
Following this visit, the relationship between the two organizations has grown tremendously. “There’s a really close alignment of mission and vision between The Ecology School and the [Quimby Family] Foundation,” says Zak Klein, Program Officer. “Accessibility is really important to both organizations—connecting the next generations to the natural environment through food and education.”
Suffice it to say that since then, the Quimby Family Foundation has been some of our staunchest allies, providing friendship, advice, and so much more than the $120,000+ in financial support to our programs and the River Bend Farm Capital Campaign.
When asked about what they thought of the work The Ecology School does, Hannah simply replied, “The Ecology School is the gold standard.” Zak immediately chimed in, “The green standard!”
Interestingly, when providing one reason why they support the River Bend Farm project, both Hannah and Zak gave at once similar and dissimilar answers:
Hannah: “It’s all about future generations and teaching them to care for a planet in peril.”
Zak: “The origin of the word ‘legacy’ is ‘a person or body of people on a mission.’ That’s the fruit of The Ecology School, a mission of restoration, healing, and protection.”
We would like to thank the Quimby Family Foundation for their belief that inspiring and connecting the next generation to the natural world is one of the most important things we can continue to do.
If you would like to learn more about the Capital Campaign and naming opportunities at River Bend Farm, please contact Development Director, Bryan Matluk at (207) 283-9951 or firstname.lastname@example.org.