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Updated: May 13, 2024

Maine Seacoast Mission completes Downeast Engagement Center, food pantry

plan bilding with railing Courtesy / Maine Seacoast Mission Renovations and additions to the Cherryfield property are expected to better support the community.

Maine Seacoast Mission completed the $1.8 million construction of its Downeast Engagement Center and expanded food pantry at 6 Weald Bethel Lane in the Washington County of Cherryfield.

The mission scheduled an open house for June 12, from 10-11:30 a.m. 

Community members are invited to tour the campus and learn more about the mission.

Work on the center started in the fall of 2023 and included a complete renovation and expansion of the building at the head of campus, which now houses an administrative wing, program staging area and food pantry. The pantry will have increased storage area with a flexible community space for healthy living programs.

“Renovations and additions to the Cherryfield property will better support community,” said John Zavodny, the mission’s president. “Through our programs and people we work with, we create belonging every day. We believe that our Downeast campus, buildings and program areas should be just as welcoming, work just as hard and serve just as thoughtfully.”  

person tweed blazer and patterned tie
John Zavodny

The nonprofit, headquartered in Northeast Harbor, is well known for the services it delivers with its vessel, the Sunbeam, on the islands of Matinicus, Monhegan, Isle au Haut, Frenchboro, Swan’s Island, Great Cranberry and Islesford.

But the mission's 63-acre Cherryfield campus, in Washington County, also provides critical help including a much-needed food pantry. In addition, the campus provides educational and recreational space and room for programs to work together and coordinate their services.

The project included installation of a new, pole-based challenge course to replace the aging course at the Ed and Connie Greaves Education (EdGE) Center. The course will be safer, more visible and easier to maintain. 

two people in front of partial wall
Courtesy / Maine Seacoast Mission
EdGE education staff stand beside the new challenge course.

Retreat cabins will be added near the center, to allow the mission to serve as a day-long and overnight retreat hub for partners, housing improvement volunteers and youth. 

Additional planned work includes updating the campus trail system, adding a play area and a covered gathering area, and creating clearly marked pedestrian paths along Weald Bethel Lane.

The renovations and additions were funded through the Mission Downeast Capital Campaign, which was supported by Connie and Buddy Bates, Roger and Judy Clapp, Joyce and Les Coleman, Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, First National Bank, Good Shepherd Food Bank, Ann and David Ingram, Machias Savings Bank, Red Empress Foundation, Cornelia Cogswell Rossi Foundation, Jasper Wyman & Son and others.

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