May 2021 Newsletter from GrowSmart Maine

We’ve finally made it through the winter, false spring, late winter, and have arrived in full, real, warm, blooming spring. With the showing of bright flowers, warm air, the reduction of snow, and movement of neighbors out and about – don’t all things seem possible?

At GrowSmart Maine, we are working hard in making the possibility of a sustainable future without the loss of our Maine-ness a reality. As we all move out from under the cloak of winter and the pandemic, we urge you to begin to think about your community through the lens of the possibilities ahead, and GrowSmart Maine’s focus and support in three key areas:



GrowSmart Maine focuses our advocacy efforts on those bills relevant to our mission and where our unique niche has potential to impact the outcome. As the only place in Maine where the economy, the environment, and the community come together, we continue to track daily about twenty bills of interest with
relevance to our mission in the key areas of:

  • Equality,
  • climate and energy,
  • broadband,
  • economy,
  • housing,
  • historic preservation,
  • regional and land use planning,
  • budget and bonds.

We’ll keep you posted on bills as they are printed and work their way through the legislative session. Our weekly advocacy updates are worth a read if you enjoy tracking key legislation through the process, we also post copies off our public testimony before the Maine legislature.

We invite you to stay informed by reading our updates, and to participate as you are comfortable. You can offer written or oral testimony for any bill, and track its progress on the Maine Legislature’s website.

In addition to the Maine Alliance for Smart Growth, we are working with two other collaborative efforts this session: We have joined Climate Maine to review and prioritize
legislative proposals that fall within our policy priorities to ensure our advocacy is effectively coordinated with others. In addition we continue to lead the policy work of the Maine Broadband Coalition, which will focus on several key funding and policy bills. Check out the Broadband Policy Page for testimony, value propositions for each committee, and recordings of the Broadband Caucus!


Updated Educational Resources

Our Community Guides page offers a selection of interesting and informative guidance on issues that impact the quality of life in your community.

Many people in your community probably agree with the principles of smart growth. And many more may be looking for alternative approaches to growth and development, approaches that will protect your community’s unique character and quality of life while supporting economic prosperity and equality.

GrowSmart Maine continues to regularly update our compiled resources designed to help your community understand some of the issues around managing sustainable growth, and outlines the techniques and resources available to help your town.

We will highlight an updated resource in each 2021 newsletter. Please share these resources with others in your community interested in smart growth solutions. And let us know if you have any questions.

This month:

“The Creeping Cost of Sprawl”

Do you live in a rural town within a 30 or 40 minute drive of a job center? Is your population growing? Has the population reached 2,500? Is there at least one home per 20 acres in own?  If you answered yes to any three of these questions, your days as a rural town are numbered. You are on your way to becoming a low-density suburb, a different more demanding animal than a rural town. Within the foreseeable future, the per capita cost of providing town and K-12 services will start to rise at a rate and with a persistence that will seem impossible to control.

This most recently updated Community Guide pairs well with our most recent webinar:

“More Broadband, Less Sprawl”

Did you know GrowSmart Maine has a YouTube Channel, where we post all of our our recorded webinars, forums, and summits?

Check out our YouTube channel as spring will soon lead to summer. Last August we hosted Mike Lydon, Principal of Street Plans, and Rockland’s Main Street manager, David Gogel, in a conversation about opening streets up to encourage activity during the warmer months. It was well-received then, and is a good reminder of how to adapt established practices as we continue to protect ourselves and others from COVID. Check out this webinar “Open Streets, How to Hang Out Again“, and our other recorded events on our YouTube Channel.

Means: This is where YOU come in! 

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 have been many continued calls for financial assistance recently. What are some easy ways you support GrowSmart Maine and promote smart growth in Maine?

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
  • FacebookInstagram and Twitter – Where we share what is important to us, whether our events, activities, or important matters across the state
  • YouTube – our Summits and other events, forums and webinars, and the GrowSmart Award’s video

Help us continue to help Maine

As we march forth working to keep Maine … Maine, we ask for your help, there are many ways to help GrowSmart Maine throughout the year! 

  • 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 year long.
  • On-line shopping– Shopping from home? Shop at 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

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.