The Value of Farms, Monetary & Beyond

Written by Rachel Bouvier.  As an environmental economist, member of GrowSmart Maine, and an avid hiker and “consumer” of conservation land, I testified in front of the Ag, Forestry and Conservation Committee back in December.  Here are some highlights of my testimony. Many municipalities around Maine are concerned with the tax-exempt status of some conservation lands. …

GrowSmart Maine Testifies in Support of LD 520, To Fund Improved Broadband Service in Underserved Areas

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine in support of LD 520 January 10, 2018 Senator Hamper, Representative Gattine and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, my name is Nancy Smith and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine. We are a statewide non-partisan, non-profit, membership-based organization working…

GrowSmart Maine Testifies in Support of LDs 178, 319, 955 & 1118, for State Funding of Programs that Strengthen Maine’s Communities & Economy

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine in support of LDs 178, 319, 955 and 1118. January 9, 2018 Senator Hamper, Representative Gattine and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, my name is Nancy Smith and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine. We are a statewide non-partisan,…

Testimony on the Draft 2018 Action Plan of Maine Housing and Dept of Economic & Community Development

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine With regards to Draft 2018 Action Plan Maine State Housing Authority and the Department of Economic and Community Development December 11, 2017   Representatives of the Maine State Housing Authority and the Department of Economic and Community Development. My name is Nancy Smith and I am…

Proposed Federal Tax Reform Bills Cut Important and Proven Tax Credits: Historic Tax Credit & Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

This memo was prepared by Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine, and select information was presented at a 11.13.17 Roundtable discussion hosted by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree in Portland, Maine. See bottom of this page for a link to the video of the roundtable discussion. As Congress prepares to debate tax reform, GrowSmart Maine wishes…

Reinvention without Loss of Identity – Why We Renovate

By David Webster. There are many reasons for renovating older buildings.  For me, seeing buildings as a major contributor to the character of a place is a reason to renovate rather than replace.  They represent the history of a community; why and how a community evolved, what the economic drivers were, what the people in…

New Auburn’s Village Center Renaissance

By Ethan Boxer-Macomber As advocates of Smart Growth, we are all encouraged and delighted by the current national trend toward redirection of resources to traditional city and town centers abandoned and neglected over 60 years of urban flight and suburban proliferation.  This reinvestment trend is readily apparent in Maine cities such as Bangor, Lewiston, Portland…

The Kennebec River – A Success Story of Recovery and Restored Relationships

By Pete Didisheim, guest author Over the past 200 years, the Kennebec River has gone through a remarkable cycle of depletion and recovery.   Sitting on the banks of the river today, watching osprey in flight and sturgeon breaching, it is difficult to picture how polluted and damaged this river had become.  And not that long…

‘More action; less talk’ – GrowSmart Maine is Listening

“I don’t ask you your age, don’t ask mine.” Earlier this year GrowSmart Maine asked members, colleagues and total strangers to take a survey. We wanted to know which issues matter to them, how they thought we should address them and, oh yeah, how they thought we were doing. As our staff and board members…

Is Walking Controversial?

Join us in an exploration of the transportation ecosystem at our upcoming Walkability Forum in Bangor, Sept 19th. Register now! By Carol Morris. Working with all different kinds of people is a big part of my job as a public outreach consultant. As a matter of fact, if I don’t connect with a diverse bunch…