By Julie Pike, editor-in-chief
Who knew that getting involved in your community could be as easy as checking your Facebook page. Nowadays you can find almost any group you can imagine, most often right in your local area. If you’re looking for ideas of stuff to do outside of USM, here are just a few options of ones in our community. All can be found through a simple search on Facebook.
Portland Queer Exchange:
With over 2,000 current members, Portland Queer Exchange exists as a comfortable space for Portland Queers to exchange goods and services. Need a ride to Vermont? Post on here to find out if any others are heading the same way as you.
Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization:
This group was started to bring together residents of Munjoy Hill. It’s mission statement taken from their Facebook, is that it “provides leadership and voice for its members, and all Munjoy Hill residents, on matters that build community and affect quality of life on Munjoy Hill.” This group has been around for close to 40 years, and not only advocates for their neighborhood but the community of Portland as well. You can visit their physical location, the Hill House, on 92 Congress St., or check out their Facebook page to get involved.
Portland Maine Parks, Recreation & Facilities Department
This may just remind you of the NBC show, Parks and Recreation, but the Portland chapter posts on Facebook about events they sponsor around the city, such as The Yellow Tulip Project, which is a Hope Day celebration. Join them in Lincoln Park on May 6, to join the project and help end the stigma around mental illness.
For those who are looking for volunteer work that can also get them outside, check out Portland Trails to see how you can get involved in their community service. They’re hosting an upcoming April Volunteer Trail Work Day on April 21 at the Fore River Sanctuary. You can help them out by cleaning up the various networks of trails that run through Portland.
Bicycle Coalition of Maine
If you love to bike and want to support bicycle and pedestrian advocacy in Maine, this group is for you. They work to educate the public about safety of cyclists and pedestrians, as well as group rides and bike swaps in the area. Coming up this summer on June 10 they are hosting a Maine Women’s Ride, beginning at L.L. Bean in Freeport.
Pride Portland is a huge community run completely by volunteers to bring people together to celebrate the achievements of the LGBTQ+ movement, as well as raise awareness. You may already be familiar with the Portland Pride Parade that they host, but their events don’t stop there. They also host community forums and educational events that are open to the public.
This organization is entirely nonprofit and works to build a clean and safe city, while also supporting the economy. They offer a variety of events and services including the tree lighting in Monument Square, Old Port Festival, as well as Downtown Worker Appreciation Day, which is coming up on May 3. Check out their Facebook page for more events happening around the city.