Legislative Issues 2012

It’s 2012 and the Maine Legislature is in the house.

As the second regular session of the 125th Legislature gets underway, I wanted to reach out and share with you the issues we will focus on, and to encourage you to do your part on the issues that matter to you.  It is always a challenge to focus GrowSmart Maine’s limited time and energy on the issues with the greatest impact, for better or worse, for core components of our mission; economic development based on investments in innovation and quality places, and protecting those places through strategic land conservation and downtown revitalization across the state.

COALITION CONCERNED ABOUT IMPACT OF LURC PROPOSAL ON MAINE’S NORTH WOODS

Planners, conservationists, and citizens throughout Maine are concerned about the impact of proposed changes to Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) on Maine’s North Woods, and are urging the Legislature to examine the proposal carefully and think long and hard about the importance of Maine’s signature natural resource.

GrowSmart Maine Announces Smart Growth Technical Assistance Award Winners

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.

EPA Requests Proposals for Urban Waters Small Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expects to award between $1.8 to $3.8 million in funding for projects across the country to help restore urban waters by improving water quality and supporting community revitalization. The funding is part of EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve, and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance educational, recreational and employment opportunities in nearby communities.

Public Forum tonight in Lewiston, 7 p.m.

Public Forum in Lewiston Tonight at 7, on LURC and a national forest in Northern Maine.   GrowSmart Maine is actively engaged in conversations about the future of LURC; working with others who have recommended changes to how the Land Use Regulation Commission functions, but stressing the importatnce of keeping one agency and one process…

The Local Farm, Food and Jobs Act – why it’s so important

While attending Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s Press Conference to announce her Local Farm, Food, and Jobs Act, we were truly impressed with remarks offered by Warren Knight of Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook, Maine. Mr. Knight kindly shared his speech with us.

Good Afternoon.

My name is Warren Knight and I am speaking today on behalf of my family and our extended family, our
wonderful employees, who live and work at Smiling Hill Farm. I was thrilled to be invited to attend today and
honored to be asked to speak as this is an issue that has defined our family farm’s existence. The local food
movement.

LURC Reform Proposal

GrowSmart Maine has been working with a broad coalition of environmental and land use planning organizations monitoring and engaging with the legislative-appointed LURC Reform Commission.  Earlier this month, Jenn Burns Gray of Maine Audubon presented to the commission a list of suggested process improvements for their consideration.  The coalition believes there are ways to improve…

Technical assistance workshops webinar materials now online (Reposted from Smart Growth America)

Posted on October 13, 2011 by Garett Ballard-Rosa Smart Growth America is now offering free technical assistance to local communities interested in building stronger local economies while protecting human health and the environment. A recent informational webinar on this free technical assistance provided an overview of the application process and available resources for prospective applicants….

$3.5 million in Communities for Maine’s Future Grants Awarded to Maine Towns

GrowSmart Maine is pleased to announce that the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has awarded 11 grants totaling $3.5 million, to be matched with $11,245,325 of local funds for Communities for Maine’s Future Program downtown revitalization projects.

Press Release – Announcing Opportunities for Free Technical Assistance for Maine Communities

GrowSmart Maine is pleased to announce two new opportunities for communities interested in smart growth strategies.

First, applications are now being accepted for free technical assistance from Smart Growth America. This program has been made possible by a five-year grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide direct assistance to communities across the nation to develop local strategies to grow in ways that benefit families and businesses while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.