Meet Emerald Builders: A BCDI Business Member

Emerald Builders

Emerald Builders is a building company based in Bowdoinham, and working across the Mid Coast region. We craft high-quality beautiful homes that are super energy efficient and made with environmentally conscious products and processes. This year Emerald Builders became a member of 1% for the Planet, which commits us to giving 1% of our gross annual revenue to environmental non-profits. To kick off our charitable giving we wanted to give back to our community, and supporting the Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative felt like the perfect way to do that.

We are a triple bottom line company, which means we focus on balancing the three P’s -- people, planet, and profits. We see the health of our society, the health of our ecosystems, and the financial health of our company as interlinked and dependant on each other. This starts with our commitment to building practices that minimize waste, maximize energy efficiency, reduce carbon pollution, and create beautiful structures that will last for generations. We also do everything we can to make our company a place where employees can succeed at the highest level and make carpentry a true career. Some of the steps we have taken are supporting continuing education, and assisting with access to quality healthcare.

Donating to non-profits, like BCDI, as a member of 1% for the Planet helps us to have an impact beyond our own building practices. As we work to create a better built environment we want to help fuel the change-makers who are working to make our society and environment better for all of us. BCDI does so much for small businesses and the Bowdoinham community at large with things like helping to preserve land for sustainable use, bringing the community together for important conversations, connecting citizens, the private sector and local government, and giving farmers and other small businesses a jumpstart to help them grow and stay here in our town.

Our passion first and foremost is home building. Current industry standard building practices needlessly harm the environment and occupant health, and waste precious resources and their owners’ money. Rooted in Maine’s long history of craft, we apply traditional principles of quality and detail to modern high performance buildings. Along with work for clients across the Mid Coast, we are very excited to be giving the old Bowdoinham post office a new life as the home of The Alcove, a coworking space that also houses our headquarters. When our renovation is complete we look forward to inviting you all to come see our work up close.


Please join BCDI for our Annual Meeting, Wednesday, December 5th at 6:00pm at the Bowdoinham Town Hall. Join us for complimentary beer, wine, and snacks as we update you on the BCDI “Year in Review”. We’ll also “Continue the Conversation” with updates on action items from our 2017 Community Conversations that have been completed or are underway. Come meet our Board members, hear what we’e been up to or learn ways to get involved, and enjoy a libation!  ALL ARE WELCOME!

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Town of Bowdoinham: Waterfront Redevelopment

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In September, the Town of Bowdoinham hosted a public forum on the topic of the redevelopment of the public works waterfront property.  There was a great turnout and the discussion proved to be engaging and energetic. Richardson & Associates in partnership with Baker Design Consultants created three conceptual master plans for the Town. Lots of brainstorming and input was shared from all attendees, and the consultants were open to hearing ideas and opinions. Below is a statement from the Town posted to it’s website regarding some of the takeaway from that meeting:

At the public meeting on September 20th, we heard from several people that they did not want to spend the money to redevelop the property for recreation.  Instead they thought the property should be sold so the Town could offset the cost of the new pubic works faciltiy and bring in additional money from property taxes.  The Town started this Master Site Plan process based on the Town's Waterfront Plan that was adopted by the Town in 2005, which called for public works to be moved from the waterfront property and for the property to be redeveloped as a recreation area.  This direction was re-affirmed through the Comprehensive Planning process (2011-2014), which called for the Waterfront Plan to be implemented.   What do you think, should the Town implement the Waterfront Plan and redeveloped the property for recreation OR sell the property?

Take the Waterfront Re-development Survey #2!!

What’s the next step? There will be a second meeting on Wednesday, November 7 from 6pm - 8pm at the Bowdoinham Community School, 23 Cemetery Road. Check out the meeting agenda and be sure to attend - your opinion is valuable!

BCDI Connects Projects In Bowdoinham For Bowdoin College’s 2018 Common Good Day

THANK YOU to the amazing volunteers from Bowdoin College’s Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good who came out to the Bowdoinham Community School for this year’s Common Good Day!! Volunteers worked in the library cataloging and organizing books, and outside cleaning and beautifying around the school grounds. BCDI regularly participates in the great day, which connects volunteers with local community projects.

First Quarterly Newsletter - August, 2018 Edition

Dear Members and Friends of BCDI –

Welcome to the first quarterly membership message to friends and supporters of the Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative (BCDI). 

We hope this message finds you well, and we welcome this opportunity to share with you an update on the activities of BCDI.  Please click HERE to read about our recent ventures and all those to come!

Thank you for your support!

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Village Wastewater System OR No Village Wastewater System 

The Community Development Advisory Committee needs your help!  A number of people in the community have asked that the town look at the pros and cons of installing some kind of waste water treatment system for the village area.  This issue arose during the Community Conversations sponsored by BCDI last October (Item 15 on the list of 16 Action Items) and has been mentioned in connection with support of business activity in town. 

The CDAC has started some initial research.  We are looking at the individual septic solutions businesses and residences currently have, the types of businesses that might need larger treatment solutions than can be afforded by the lot sizes in the village, and the expense that a village system would entail. 

Most important—is there really a need for a full wastewater system for the village?  


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Concert and Community Meal


- Sunday, August 19, 2018

- 6:00 PM  8:30 PM

- Philip Mailly Waterfront Park (map)

Please join us for a concert and dinner fundraiser at the Philip Mailly Waterfront Park in Bowdoinham!

Concert begins at 6 pm and dinner will be delicious tacos and sides prepared with fresh local farm ingredients. The band is Eagles Way, a local four-piece band sharing their love of classic rock and country.

Bring your friends, family, chairs or a blanket and enjoy the show! (Concert is free).

911 For A Local Farm

Attention, All!  

As some of you may have heard, Stonecipher Farm has had an extremely difficult time hiring dependable and consistent farm help for their 2018 growing season.  Ian fears that he is getting behind in his harvesting, weeding, and other farm chores and that he may begin to lose crops.  Bethany and Eric at Harvest Tide Organics have offered to coordinate a volunteer day at Stonecipher to help weed some vegetable beds that have fallen by the wayside. Folks should plan to arrive at the farm for either a 9:00AM shift or a 1:00PM (or both!!) on Thursday, July 26th.  Volunteers can expect to work for about 3 hours and should bring their own water, snacks, sun protection, and whatever else they may need to stay comfortable.  This is a great opportunity to help one of our neighbors, get outside, and get your hands dirty on one of Bowdoinham's very special working farms! Stonecipher Farm is located at: 1186 River Rd. Bowdoinham, Maine 04008

Please do not hesitate to forward this information along! Ian is also looking for long-term paid farm help, so feel free to share this job opportunity among your networks.

Volunteers can RSVP to Bethany at Please specify which time you would like to join us for, and please plan to RSVP by the end of the day on Wednesday, July 25th (if RSVPing isn't your thing, just show up!).

Thank you in advance for your help!



Community Conversations' Action Item, "Natural Playground", Needs Your Vote!

One popular action item that came out of BCDI's 2017 Community Conversations was the creation of a "Natural Playground" here in Bowdoinham. Well, one of our awesome and motivated Bowdoinham residents has proposed this idea to Poland Spring's Calling 207 campaign!!! 

PLEASE VOTE for our BOWDOINHAM WATERFRONT NATURAL PLAYGROUND ("We want to enhance our waterfront park with a natural playground for our kids. Bid rocks, logs, and balance beams could make our place so much more friendly to our kids.") You may vote once per day (or more so if you are using different devices, e.g. laptop and mobile phone), so please do so!!!


BCDI Sponsors Bowdoinham's 2018 OPEN FARM DAY & ART TRAIL

Come meet your local farmers and artisans, and enjoy the summer bustle of Bowdoinham!

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Join us for Bowdoinham’s 7th Annual Open Farm Day & Art Trail. The day will begin with farm tours at: Peary’s Garden, Campo di Fiori, Apple Creek Farm, Blue Bell Farm, Fairwinds Farm, Six River Farm, Havenridge Farm, East of Eden Flower Farm and Harvest Tide Organics. Come explore our local farms and see how our food is made! And because Bowdoinham is a “Very Crafty Town” we’ll have Catmint Garden & Gallery, Swan Island Restoration, Morphee Creations, Watersong Music, Melissa M. Fiori, Debbie Spaulding, Starrocks, Jane Page-Conway Fine Art Photography, AP Curiosities, Kate Cutko, Steven Thomas Bunn Furnituremaker, Jennifer Stonebraker, and Merrymeeting Arts Center joining us with an Art Trail. Bowdoinham Historical Society will also have both the Jellerson School and Meeting House open for tours. 

Then at 3pm the celebration will continue at Mailly Waterfront Park for a barbeque featuring fresh foods from local farms and live music by the Intergalactic Yurt Band.  The Intergalactic Yurt Band is a collective of artists, misfits, craftsmen and dreamers drawn together by love of music from the deep well of Americana, certified organic music.     

The Barbeque will be catered by The Texas Barbeque Company with members of Village Lodge # 26 AF & AM the local Masonic Lodge in Bowdoinham.  Bowdoinham Historical Society will also be joining the barbeque with their famous strawberry shortcake.

Emerald Builders Partners With BCDI For 1% For The Planet

Emerald Builders Partners with BCDI

BOWDOINHAM, ME, 12 JULY 2018 -- Emerald Builders announced today its donation to the Bowdoinham Community Development initiative - our first donation as part of the 1% for the Planet program.


“We wanted to start by giving back to the community we are based in, so we chose to give our first donation to the Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative,” said Reggie Lebel, President of Emerald Builders. “This organization does so much for our town and helps facilitate important projects that contribute to our vibrant community and our healthy rural environment.”

“BCDI has focused on environmentally friendly, sustainable enterprise at the very local level since it was launched from a conversation six years ago. We are excited to have been chosen by Emerald Builders as their first 1% For the Planet partner. BCDI’s efforts in building community through “Neighbors Investing in Neighbors” and developing a Farmland Inventory are a great fit with Reggie and the Emerald team’s commitment to building a greener world.” Abby Sadauckas, Apple Creek Farm and BCDI Board Member       

Emerald Builders joined 1% for the Planet in May, committing to donate the equivalent of 1% of sales through a combination of monetary, in-kind, and approved advertising contributions.  We joined 1% for the Planet because we do everything we can to use the most eco-friendly products and processes we can, but our industry has a long way to go. It is dedicated partners who are going to get us there.

“When nonprofits and businesses come together the planet wins,” Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet. “All over the planet, nonprofits are doing essential work on behalf of the environment, many times their biggest challenge finding the funding to accomplish their goals. At 1% for the Planet we are proud to connect to dollars with doers to protect our planet for future generations to come.”


Contact information:

John Deans, Marketing Director

Emerald Builders

(207) 607-1118


Ingrid Leschefske

BCDI Coordinator


About Emerald Builders  

Based in Midcoast Maine, Emerald Builders crafts high-quality beautiful homes with care that are super energy efficient and are made with environmentally conscious products and processes. Current industry standard building practices needlessly harm the environment and occupant health, and waste precious resources and their owners’ money. Emerald Builders provides clients with energy efficient, eco-conscious, and healthy homes that will last for generations. Emerald Builders is a triple bottom line company.

About Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative

BCDI is a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit founded in 2012 working to provide capital to local businesses, sustain farms and build community. BCDI stimulates, grows and sustains healthy local enterprises, creates resilient local jobs, and facilitates collaboration among the for-profit, non-profit, and government sectors in the local community. BCDI’s focus is on farms, food, forests, the music, the art and the artisans that accompany them and the local businesses that support them.  

About 1% for the Planet

1% for the Planet is a global organization that connects dollars and doers to accelerate smart environmental giving. We recognize that the current level of environmental giving - only 3% of total philanthropy - is not enough to solve the most pressing issues facing our planet.

Through our business and individual membership, 1% for the Planet inspires people to support environmental organizations through annual membership and everyday actions. We advise on giving strategies, we certify donations, and we amplify the impact of the network.

Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, our members have given more than $175 million to environmental nonprofits to date. Today, 1% for the Planet is a network of more than 1,400 member businesses, a new and expanding core of hundreds of individual members, and thousands of nonprofit partners in more than 60 countries. Look for our logo and visit to learn more.


Another Village Community Conversation Success!

It’s official! Last fall, at BCDI’s Village Community Conversations, the Bowdoinham Historical Society asked us to help them find out what Bowdoinham citizens thought about a community center in our town. What would it’s impact be? It’s feasibility? And what about that beautiful building on Main Street that was for sale as the site for this community gathering spot? That idea has now become a reality, as the transfer of the former Merrymeeting Grange Hall from the Maine State Grange to the Bowdoinham Historical Society has officially taken place. CONGRATULATIONS to BHS for your vision, hard work, and perseverance in seeing this idea through!!! Everyone wins!!!