The Unity Barn Raisers were among five organizations in the state to share a $206,400 grand from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King announced Friday.

Other groups sharing the money are the Houlton band of Maliseet Indians, the Downeast Salmon Federation, the Eastport Arts Center and the Aroostook Dental Clinic.

“Community organizations across Maine go to great lengths to make our state stronger, and these federal grants will help five impressive groups as they go about their important missions,” said Collins and King said in a joint news release. The groups “are all hard at work to improve their communities, and we applaud these investments in the future of Maine.”

The grants come through USDA Rural Development, according to the release, a sub-agency that works to improve the economy and quality of life across rural America. The funding has been awarded through the Rural Development’s Community Facility Grants program.

The Unity Barn Raisers will get a $20,900 Rural Economic Impact Initiative grant to help replace the community center’s sill and install three heat pumps to improve energy efficiency.

The group is a community and economic development organization that started in 1996 to revitalize Unity’s downtown, re-energize its farm culture and involve volunteers in the active work of building a vibrant community, according to its website,

“Since that time, UBR has pursued a broad array of other projects, including far-reaching efforts aimed at increasing farm vitality, preserving the precious and significant wetland habitat that exists in our region, and organizing volunteers for projects like weatherization and Day of Service,” the website says.

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