Community Member

Frank Knight Foundation

Yarmouth, Maine

Founded in Yarmouth, Maine in 2019, the Frank Knight Foundation ignites the scientific, spiritual, and societal aspects of learning about trees. Forestry and environmental education often occur outside of the areas where people live, creating a disconnect between nature and local communities. The Foundation helps Yarmouth by sharing information about local tree species on sidewalks, parks, and places of daily activity. These environmental lessons provide the chance for the community to develop individual relationships with their local trees. The Foundation also protects local trees through tree committees, designated tree wardens, and tree adoption programs, while also creating woodbanks from downed and salvaged trees as a source of fuel assistance and a way to create community. Knowledge of trees creates appreciation and a relationship with natural surroundings that make communities more apt to plant, protect, and advocate for the presence of trees in residential areas and beyond.

Yarmouth High School students planted almost 20 more trees on school grounds in their third annual tree planting in partnership with the Frank Knight Foundation in 2023.

The Frank Knight Foundation is a volunteer organization operated by a four-person board with backgrounds in forestry and environmental studies, led by Rebecca Rundquist, a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and founder of the Foundation. The Foundation works with local institutions on educational programs, including a three-year tree planting collaboration with Yarmouth High School, and established The Yarmouth Tree Committee, a group of residents working on the education, management and care of trees in town. Additionally, the organization recently partnered with the nonprofit Sea Meadow Marine to purchase and preserve a 92-acre parcel of coastal land. The organization is also involved in responsible services to cut down trees and set up wood banks for local residents and recently created a new woodbank in the Brunswick/Topsham area. The organization serves residents of Maine and is interested in working to support tribal rights to coastal access.

Cross-section of “Herbie,” a 200-year-old elm tree. Herbie was protected for more than fifty years by Frank Knight, a “tree warden” in Yarmouth who helped Herbie fend off more than 13 cases of Dutch Elm Disease. Before it was cut down, it was the tallest and oldest tree in New England.

For more information:

Twenty Outstanding Women–Rebecca Lundquist – Maine’s Coast 93.1, March 2023

Stewart Sinclair

Stewart Sinclair

Stewart L. Sinclair is a writer, editor and educator from Ventura, California. His essays, reportage and narrative nonfiction have appeared in Guernica, The Millions, The Morning News, The New Orleans Review, Creative Nonfiction’s “True Story” series and elsewhere.

Contact

Rebecca Rundquist, Founder

Website

Social Media

Climate Impacts

Drought, Erosion-Subsidence, Flooding, Heat

Environmental Justice Concerns

Fighting Development/Destruction of Wildlife/Extinction of Species, Lack of Tree Canopy

Strategies

Art Activism, Community Farm/Gardens, Community Organizing and Education, Green Infrastructure, Nature-Based Solutions, Policy Reform

501c3 Tax Deductible

Yes

Accepting Donations

Yes