Remote Working and Air Quality: One Part of the Solution?

Jeff Levine, board member, Owner and Principal of Levine Planning Strategies As the country wrestles with COVID-19, the air is getting cleaner. That makes sense, because travel is down, and transportation is a major contributor to poor air quality. Some commentators have praised this byproduct of the COVID-19 outbreak. Others have condemned this view. For…

Why does Affordable Housing Matter to Rural Maine Towns?

by Nancy Smith, GrowSmart Maine, Executive Director I enjoyed a conversation recently with House Republican Assistant Leader Representative Trey Stewart about affordable housing. In GrowSmart’s community work, we often begin by asking “why do you choose to live here?”  Those conversations identify shared values among community members and allow people to see others around the…

Upping our Broadband Game

by Nancy Smith, Executive Director, GrowSmart Maine I’m participating in my first Zoom meeting of the week and getting more comfortable with it, given the half dozen or so I’ve participated in over the past two weeks. This one is with the Maine Broadband Coalition as we discuss immediate needs for Mainers adapting to working…

Ask Kids – Good Things Might Happen!

Lynne Seeley, GrowSmart Maine Board Member What if…..we ask kids what they want from their community?  What if…..we ask kids what they think their community should offer in the future? What if.….we listen, really listen, to what they say?  What if….we give them a seat at the table when we are meeting to talk about…

GrowSmart Maine Annual Summit 2019- Smart Growth Builds Wellness

“The power of a community to create health is far greater than any physician, clinic or hospital”,says Mark Hyman of the Cleveland Clinic.  Those who provide health care can encourage preventive medicine, but the bulk of comprehensive health work happens before we get to a practitioner’s office.    Community planning and public health are different tracks…

Equal Exchange- International Visitor Leadership Program

GrowSmart Maine recently spent time with two mayors from Germany through the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. We shared best practices and lessons learned from our work in community revitalization and economic development for towns and cities addressing diminished growth and an aging population. This visit was coordinated by the World Affairs Council…

Conserving Open Space Promotes Community Connection and Health

by Sally Stockwell, GrowSmart Maine board member The first warm (over 40 degrees) spring night in April, I don raincoat, rain pants and a warm wool hat, and head out onto the dark wet road outside my door to help wood frogs, peepers, and spotted salamanders safely cross the road that runs between the Rines…

Smart Growth so 90s?

By Bryce Hach I joined the GrowSmart Maine Board of Directors in 2018.   I remember telling friends and family at that time from outside of the state of my new role, and a frequent response I heard was “cool, smart growth was a big thing in the 1990s.”  To me, that left the impression that…

The Triple Bottom Line – Carbon Edition

By David Webster In all the years I have been involved in sustainability and climate change I have never used the term “triple bottom line.” That will change. Wikipedia describes it as: “The triple bottom line (or otherwise noted as TBL or 3BL) is an accounting framework with three parts: social, environmental (or ecological) and…

What the Top Ten “Hottest” Towns in Maine Say About Maine’s Future

by Carol Morris, GrowSmart Maine Board Member MaineBiz recently ran two articles on a real estate broker who tracks the “hottest” towns in Maine. And no, he is not talking about recent weather patterns. He’s calculating which communities have the highest percentage increase in real estate sales each year. This is in number of houses,…

How Buying Local Does More Than Support Your Local Farmer

By Buzz Lamb We’ve all heard the phrase “buy local.” But what exactly does that mean? And why is it important? “Buying local” – is not just about supporting your local farmer or retailer.  It’s about building the strong economic and social foundations that produce more vibrant communities, particularly when combined with efforts to revitalize…