The Climate Initiative Weeklong Team Retreat Held in Kennebunkport

tci team photo

First started as a program of the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust (KCT) and now an independent nonprofit with a strong partnership with KCT, The Climate Initiative (TCI) is a non-partisan, youth-focused and science based organization pushing for local, tangible solutions to global climate challenges.

Leia Lowery, Director of Programs and Outreach at TCI and KCT, KCT Executive Director Tom Bradbury and seed funder Robert King spearheaded The Climate Initiative in late 2019, inspired by a partnership with Dr. Pam Morgan from the University of New England, Melissa Luetje from Kennebunk High School, and Dr. John Terry from the Gulf of Maine Institute.

“The TCI mission is to empower youth action for climate change, through educating, and empowering local action to build grassroots movements toward climate mitigation and adaptation. We believe that this generation will be paramount in solving the climate crisis and The Climate Initiative is there to equip them to take on this challenge,” Lowery said.

In early June, The Climate Initiative came together for their second annual staff retreat which also overlapped with the first ever in person board meeting since the inception of the organization. “The week’s theme was ‘Building a Beacon of Hope’ and was filled with team building activities as well as focusing on impact planning around our mission to empower youth voices for climate action,” said Jono Anzalone, TCI Executive Director. “We have grown from four full-time employees in early 2020 to 19 this summer and staff from seven states participated in the retreat. With just over a year and a half in the books for our operational history, we also came together to celebrate the expansive reach TCI has experienced in such a short time, which includes our climate education programming (which originated here in Maine) in more than 40 states and territories across the United States as well as more than five countries where TCI has youth ambassadors or programmatic reach.”

woman with lighthouse shirt that says hope
T-shirt design created locally by Port & Pine Creative.

Part of the week was spent at the Trust properties. The group also experienced a lobster boat tour on the F/V Nor’easter to see Trust Islands, Goose Rocks Beach, Cape Porpoise Harbor and other Trust locations from the sea, which is symbolic as TCI is an idea that was born from the creation of the Gulf of Maine Field Studies course, a partnership between KCT, UNE, RSU21 and GOMI.”The Climate Initiative came together for their second annual staff retreat