GrowSmart Maine has received a $25,000 grant from The Old Bug Light Charitable Fund to update their web site and communications software and to expand its ReEnvisioning the Highway Strip project to include a demonstration site.
ReEnvisioning the Highway Strip was launched in January of this year to explore ways to incorporate highway strips into the fabric of our communities. During the 1970s and 1980s, strip malls sprawled into the fields and forests between our towns. At the time they were considered a convenience. In hindsight we see that they eroded our communities, damaged downtowns, promoted dependence on car travel and altered our working and natural landscapes. This project will research why businesses choose to locate in strip malls, why developers build them and why people shop and do business there. The resulting white paper will address ways in which we can improve the existing strip malls, making them more pedestrian-friendly community centers, while sustaining the economic benefits to businesses.
Funding from the Old Bug Light Foundation will allow GrowSmart Maine to develop a Phase II for the ReEnvisioning the Highway Strip project. GrowSmart will now be able to consider a pilot project, looking at an area along a highway corridor in Maine to demonstrate the potential effectiveness of the findings, tools and techniques identified in Phase I.
GrowSmart Maine promotes sustainable prosperity for all Mainers by integrating working and natural landscape conservation, economic growth and community revitalization.