Making Gray a Better Place to Live
In June 2000 Wayne and Anita Holmquist launched the Gray Community Endowment (GCE) with a generous gift of $10,000 breathing life into a vision embraced by local residents and business owners: to create a vehicle for soliciting, managing, and distributing charitable donations to benefit the citizens of Gray.
GCE accepts donations of land for open space, and pursues grants from foundations and corporations to help achieve community goals. We also solicit bequests and donations to benefit Gray now and in the future. GCE is a 501c3 nonprofit led by a volunteer board of directors made up of Gray residents.
GCE is building a permanent fund for Gray, called an endowment. The funds are invested and professionally managed by the Maine Community Foundation. Each year we invest some of the interest we earn in projects that benefit Gray, and put the rest back in the endowment so it can grow to support more local projects in the future. The GCE board decides how to distribute the funds, which can support the arts, education, open space and recreation, and economic and community development.
Since GCE began, we have been working to develop a high quality trail network on Libby Hill behind the Gray-New Gloucester Middle School. This work has included trail construction and clearing, obtaining the donation of 46 acres of land from the Harold Libby family to expand the trail network, and acquiring a 29 acre parcel from Hancock Land Corporation. We now have over eight miles of trails crossing almost 150 acres. The trails are used year-round by hikers, runners, dog walkers, horseback riders, skiers, and snowshoers. Libby Hill Forest Trails now also boasts several geocaches and orienteering routes. Find out about what GCE has done on Libby Hill. Visit the Libby Hill Forest Trails website to find up-to-date information about the trails, download a map, or discover other fun activities.