GrowSmart Maine and the Maine Downtown Center, a program of the Maine Development Foundation, are pleased to announce the selection of five Maine communities to participate in our joint community development program, “Making Headway in Your Community.”
The Making Headway program involves three community events over six to eight months, providing a fresh focus on what matters most to host communities. Inspiration is provided at Movie Night, during which “Reviving the Freedom Mill” is screened. Matching funds are provided for a project chosen during a Community Conversation, held several weeks later. This event includes keypad voting on projects and is facilitated by Jane Lafleur of Friends of Midcoast Maine. Projects chosen are relatively quick, easy and inexpensive, providing a spark of fresh energy to initiatives selected by participants. Finally, a Closing Celebration in which projects are presented, lessons learned are shared, and next steps are discussed.
The 2016 Making Headway communities are Rumford and Wilton in Western Maine, and Millbridge, Lubec and Eastport along the Downeast coast. These communities were selected for their demonstrated readiness to dive in to this program as well as a genuine need for this level of assistance.
Our goal in this work with Maine communities is not just to complete individual projects, but through these projects strengthen connections within and across these towns as best practices for strengthening Maine communities are developed locally and shared across the state.