December 1, 2011
309 Cumberland Avenue
Portland, ME 04101
CONTACT: Kimberly Ballard
GrowSmart Maine, in partnership with Smart Growth America, is pleased to announce two out of the 15 communities that have been selected to receive this year’s free smart growth technical assistance are from Maine – the City of Eastport and the Northern Maine Development Commission. Portland, Maine was selected last year to participate in the Complete Streets program offered by the EPA. Stretching from Maine to Washington State, these communities represent major cities, suburban communities, and rural towns, showing that all types of communities are interested in using smart growth strategies to build stronger local economies, create jobs and improve overall quality of life.
Each community will receive a 1- or 2-day training session with a smart growth expert on the issue of their choice. This technical assistance was made possible through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program.
The Northern Maine Development Commission will partake in a one day workshop entitled Regional Planning for Small communities. This workshop is geared to help small communities
understand how to plan for and manage growth in a regional context. The workshop helps regions develop the capacity to identify where growth is most likely to occur and to create strategies for managing growth that preserve community character while enhancing economic competitiveness and quality of life. Jay Kamm, Senior Planner for the Northern Maine Development Commission, is pleased to be a recipient of Smart Growth America’s free smart growth technical assistance. "This assistance will provide the necessary strategies and tools for municipalities to identify and articulate regional and local issues helping them overcome barriers to implement smart growth and sustainable development planning principals. Municipalities are committed to regional planning that strengthens the idea that communities are interrelated, improves collaboration, leverages funding, and increases expertise at all levels of government in order to plan for future growth resulting in stronger economies, job creation, and an improvement in the overall quality of life in the region. Towns recognize that the type of sporadic development currently occurring in the region is expensive to maintain, can cause environmental degradation, and loss of rural character", says Kamm.
The City of Eastport, Maine will complete the Cool Planning: Local Strategies to Slow Climate Change workshop which seeks to actively involve communities in the process of finding solutions that can be implemented at the local level to slow climate change.
Smart Growth America received nearly 90 applications from 34 states plus the District of Columbia for this technical assistance. While all of the applications were worthy, the 15 communities selected exhibited the strongest interest in and need for smart growth tools and clearly demonstrated a commitment from local business, community and political leaders to implement local smart growth solutions.
Smart Growth America’s technical assistance is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Sustainable Communities under the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. The Building Blocks program funds quick, targeted assistance to communities that face common development problems. Three other nonprofit organizations—Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy), Global Green USA and Project for Public Spaces—also received competitively awarded grants under this program this year to help communities get the kinds of development they want.
The communities receiving technical assistance are: Township of Byram, NJ; City of Eastport, ME; City of Deerfield Beach, FL; Derry Township, PA; City of Greer, SC; Gwinnett County, GA; City of Kimberly, ID; City of Newark, OH; City of New Orleans, LA; Northern Maine Development Commission, ME; Town of Notasulga, AL; City of Oklahoma City, OK; Pima County Development Services Department, AZ; City of Pittsburgh, PA; City of Tacoma, WA.
GrowSmart Maine promotes sustainable prosperity for all Mainers by integrating working and natural landscape conservation, economic growth and community revitalization.
We promote Quality of Place by convening and engaging in public conversations about Maine’s future, contributing common sense policy analysis, educating the public, advocating for state and local change and supporting model practices.