Diversity and Development: Drawing Our Focus Beyond December

GrowSmart Maine

As Octivia Butler wrote “the only lasting truth is Change”. We can all attest that the year of 2020 has been full of lasting truth.

As we wrap up this year, and look forward to (hopefully) fewer unprecedented moments in 2021, we invite you to take a few minutes to focus on our ongoing work and next steps with us.

Summit Follow-Up

GrowSmart’s 2020 Summit took on questions that are even more relevant given our collective experience with the coronavirus pandemic: where can government be most effective? most innovative?

This year we followed the Summit discussions with a forum for diving deeper into issues raised by our keynote speakers and breakout sessions. Three key areas were identified as being prime for regional approaches. These are:

  1. Climate Action Plan
  2. Housing
  3. Land Use Regulation

Do you want to be a part of the action? Contact us with:

  • your best contact email address and phone number
  • the key area you want to work on
  • any ideas you would like to share


Racial Equity

As we shared in our Racial Equity Statement this June, GrowSmart Maine is committed to doing our part to end racial inequality throughout Maine and our nation.

Since creating our statement, a board-led committee has outlined strategies to ensure equity in our programming and organizational structure. The committee shared their work with the full board during our September board meeting, leading to agreement on plans moving forward.

GrowSmart Maine will begin reaching out to learn more from underrepresented peoples and invite those with interest to learn about us. We strive for relationships of value to all parties, to broaden the reach of our work through deliberate outreach, and offer our expertise to aligned work by others.

We are compiling a series of forums focused on racial equity and land use, beginning with a history of People of Color in Maine, highlighting how land use and land ownership are still creating divides between people, and exploring how to promote strategies to end these indoctrinated practices.

We are glad to be part of a growing movement in Maine and beyond to both elevate the voices, experiences, and expertise of Black, Indigenous, and people of color while also expanding the stakeholder and leadership opportunities for BIPOC in GrowSmart Maine. As a historically and currently white-led organization, we are taking this issue very seriously. Please let us know if you would like to join us in our efforts.

Save the date

for a special, 3 day Smart Growth America virtual event:

Power of place:

Equity, accessibility and design

in a post-COVID-19 world

We deeply believe that improving racial disparities is at the core of a smart growth approach. But what does that mean? How does it work in practice? How can smart growth advocates do better?

Join us January 26th, 27th and 28th (11 a.m. – 1 p.m. EST each day) for a three-day virtual summit where we’ll convene an exciting group of experts, practitioners and policymakers to discuss how to center racial equity in smart growth work. Our speakers will discuss how to promote equity in housing and land use, transportation and infrastructure, and the support of Black & Brown businesses that are a key to the vibrancy of many neighborhoods.

If you want to receive further details and registration information on the Equity Summit, or are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact SmartGrowth America here.


This summer you voted for better internet – now it is time to Get Up to Speed!

Maine Broadband Coalition launched a statewide crowdsourcing data collection effort to help demonstrate where there is internet service, who provides it, and how fast it is. By taking the Maine Broadband Coalition’s speed test, you can view this interactive map and compare service to the rest of the state.

Please share far and wide! Help us lessen Maine’s digital divide.

Work with Us!

Looking for a chance to work with us to increase energy efficiency in Maine communities? Here’s your chance with a year-long AmeriCorps position working first in Windham and Biddeford.

Maine Campus Compact (MCC) is a statewide coalition of colleges and universities whose purpose is to further the public purposes and civic mission of higher education. Through MCC’s Maine Energy AmeriCorps Program (MEAP), AmeriCorps Members will develop and implement energy efficiency action plans with clear outcomes and will lead MEAP program events and volunteer recruitment efforts in campuses and communities throughout the state. MEAP will build partnerships between community organizations and college campuses to effect behavioral and technical change leading to energy efficiency, particularly for economically disadvantaged Mainers. Through campus/community partnerships focused on reducing energy and light weatherization services, MEAP AmeriCorps Members will increase energy efficiency and cost savings for economically disadvantaged populations, community organizations and non-profit higher educational institutions.

Our Energy Efficiency Community Campaign builds on the successful Island Institute Energy Efficiency Toolkit.

Be social!

Did you know GrowSmart Maine is online in many ways?

  • Our Website – our board and staff, our calendar, our blog, event summaries and results
  • Facebook and Twitter – Where we share what is important to us, whether our events, activities, or important matters across the state
  • Instagram – fun pictures from our events
  • YouTube – our Summits and other events, and the GrowSmart Award video

Help us continue to help Maine

You may have received a mailing from us recently, asking for your help, there are many ways to help GrowSmart Maine throughout the year! 

If you want to protect the things that are special about Maine, while encouraging sustainable prosperity now and in the future, please join us!

With your help, we can make these values an integral part of Maine’s legislation and state and local policy.

We know there are a lot of calls for financial assistance during this time of year, especially this year. What are some easy ways you support GrowSmart Maine and promote smart growth in Maine?

  • Follow us on social media. We are on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. Follow us, like, and share our posts! Join us for future events, talks, and webinars.
  • Become a GrowSmart Member – Our supporters know the satisfaction of being part of a movement of Mainers who want to protect the things that are special about Maine, while growing sustainable prosperity for all parts of the state. With your help, we are working on the ground in communities around the state to build a network of engaged individuals, organizations and businesses that are shaping Maine’s future.
    Our annual memberships give you discounts to all of our events and supports our efforts in your neighborhood and beyond.
  • Give Smart to GrowSmart – make a recurring monthly donation of your choice to GrowSmart Maine
  • Support Small Businesses  – live out the smart growth principle of creating and securing a strong sense of place, by shopping at locally owned businesses all this holiday season.
  • On-line shopping– eyeing out some amazing deals for your online holiday shopping? Shop at smile.amazon.com. By making your regular purchases here, any time of year, AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to GrowSmart Maine. Elect GrowSmart Maine as your designated charity here
  • Season of Giving– celebrate the season of giving by participating in the international trend of charitable support at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. Make a one time donation to GrowSmart Maine.
  • Buy a reusable bag at Hannaford – With every purchase of a $2.50 reusable Community Bag and/or Fight Hunger Bag, $1 is donated to a local non-profit. When a you purchase either bag that features the Giving Tag, you have the opportunity to direct the $1 donation to a local non-profit that is important to you. Submit your giving tag and choose GrowSmart Maine to receive your donation.

Every effort counts, and we thank you for your support of our work in giving communities choices in how they respond to growth and change.

Thank you for staying connected with us throughout this year.

We wish you and your families a new year of health and happiness.

GrowSmart Maine