4 Communities Where You’ll Find GrowSmart Maine in 2017

At GrowSmart Maine, we’re diligently working everyday to make Maine a thriving and abundant place of opportunity for those lucky enough to call this place home. We also work with the value that change brings about to communities without sacrificing the quality of life that makes Maine such a great place to live, work, and play.  To read about our 10 principles of Smart Growth and what we believe in click here.

Unity, Maine: Making Headway in Your Community

Unity, Maine community members express what they value about their town and show their support for project ideas

Our Making Headway in Your Community initiative is a community development program that helps residents identify what they value most in their town and provides tools to protect and build on these assets.

Our step by step process helps these communities thrive while embracing the incredible things change and growth can bring.

This spring, you will find the GrowSmart Maine team in Unity, Maine. You may be familiar with Unity College and the Common Ground Fair but there is so much more to this town.

We are working with the Unity Economic Development Committee on our Making Headway in Your Community initiative to move from vision to action around how Unity can become a destination while retaining its heritage and small town feel. On Sunday February 19th we held the first public event to begin asking the community to consider how Unity would become a destination. It was a great success! Read the centralmaine.com article about the event here

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Building momentum: Check out a recent project that built off the Making Headway process in Lubec: Plastic Free Lubec repurposes and beautifies waste receptacles to cut down on litter and encourage recycling.


Portland, Maine: Bridging the Divide

On June 9, 2016, GrowSmart Maine launched an initiative to learn from other cities and to identify ways in which the City of Portland, its neighborhoods, residents, and developers can work together to find common ground as Maine’s largest city continues to grow.

As part of our ongoing commitment to Smart Growth, we will be releasing three guides that include information on the public process for all three constituents in local building.

Our attendees from the June 9, 2016 event have had a front row seat to share feedback, learn new updates, and share their insights into the best public process route as we all navigate growth and change together.

Read more on our recent blog post and stay tuned for more as this develops!


The road to success: GrowSmart Maine was there at the beginning helping Eastport move along grand ideas of downtown revitalization which have now come to fruition with a major downtown development that keeps the character and heritage of Eastport. Check out the local news story from the Quoddy Times or the national article in the Atlantic to learn more about how small Maine towns are reinventing themselves with connections and resources through GrowSmart Maine.


Katahdin Region: Making Headway in Your Community

We kicked off 2017 in the Katahdin region by asking “So what’s next?”

Making Headway in the Katahdin Region is guided by GrowSmart Maine and led by local residents with a goal of identifying what is most important to the region and providing tools to protect and build on those assets to create lasting prosperity.

Our friends at Our Katahdin recently purchased the assets of the former Great Northern Paper mill in Millinocket, and we look forward to being an integral part of mapping how this community takes the next steps toward reinventing and embracing the new challenges of a rural town.

Movie night, the first public event in Making Headway: Katahdin Region, takes place in East Millinocket on Wednesday March 1st. Check out the Facebook event for more information!


Augusta, Maine: Policy Work

One of the three pillars of GrowSmart Maine’s reach and work is to advocate for smart policies that affect the principals of Smart Growth in Maine’s communities.

A few policy areas are key to our mission of building lasting prosperity for all Mainers without sacrificing the quality of life that defines Maine. Some issues tie directly back to earlier work of GrowSmart Maine, based on the action plan outlined in Charting Maine’s Future.   We will be working to focus on those bills and proposals where we can most effectively make a difference in protecting Maine’s unique quality places, while we all focus on growing our economy in a sustainable way.