While the museum’s initial goal was to raise $50,000, York said the fundraising just “exploded” from there. There was widespread support for the program across the state, she said.
Children who take part in the marine biology program will spend some time out on a motorboat in the area of Lewis Bay and Hyannis Harbor, learning hands-on activities that follow maritime-themed STEM topics. The other part will be spent onshore either looking at the water samples they collected under a microscope or learning about the wildlife on the shoreline.
The program for children ages 8 to 11 is set to begin next summer, but if COVID-19 regulations and safety measures continue, it will be delayed until 2022.
The program also aims to remove the financial barriers that prevent many children from accessing the water. For families that qualify, such as those on free and reduced lunches, the tuition for the camp will be free, York said.
“It is a program that helps not only the community of Cape Cod but future generations of people to grow that respect and admiration for the ocean,” she said.
The Cape Cod Maritime Museum was one of three Cape Cod nonprofits that received awards through A Community Thrives.
The Association to Preserve Cape Cod received a $15,000 grant that will be put toward its cyanobacteria-monitoring program, which the nonprofit has been working on seasonally for a few years now.
The association put an additional $7,000 toward the program above the amount of the grant, said Andrew Gottlieb, the association’s executive director.
Association members and volunteers monitor lakes and ponds across the Cape for cyanobacteria, which in certain concentrations causes toxicity in the water that can cause anything from skin irritation to neurological problems.
The association has found through research that the problem is more widespread than it originally thought. It also found that the impacts of cyanobacteria last for a greater portion of the year, Gottlieb said.
“The grant money will help expand the program to monitor lakes and raise environmental awareness to people who live and visit Cape Cod,” he said.
The Cordial Eye Gallery and Artist Space received a $5,000 grant from A Community Thrives, which will be put toward two youth initiative programs, according to Anastaci Pacella, the organization’s curator and president. An additional $9,000 has been committed to other programs offered by the organization.
The grant money will fund an art mentorship program that will connect students who are earning a degree in the arts with a mentor on Cape Cod. The aim is to create a peer network and give a little more community support for those who have to go off-Cape to get an arts education.
The grant also will help create a scholarship fund for students who want to pursue a career in the arts.
Some of the grant money will go to pay artists who will participate in a digital showcase for performing artists, musicians and poets, Pacella said.
The nonprofit alternative art gallery is operating remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it plans to find a new space when the pandemic dies down, Pacella said.
“Our mission is to provide a space for artists that are working outside the beach landscape and tourist-driven arts economy,” she said. “It is a space for people to create their work and share it.”