2020 Summit

Flexing the Power of Home Rule: A Path Toward Regional Solutions

Save the Date: October 22, 2020

co-host cities: Biddeford and Saco

Registration Closed 1 PM, October 21

ay-of registrations are accepted for in-person attendees at each satellite site. 

GrowSmart’s 2020 Summit will take on questions that are even more relevant given our collective experience with the coronavirus pandemic: where can government be most effective? most innovative? are home rule and regional thinking mutually exclusive?

While local government can be described as a nimble testing ground for new concepts and tools, there is often value and efficiency in regional and statewide approaches. Home rule isn’t going away, nor should it. So, how can we adapt this New England tradition for the coming decades, and even for the next few years as recovery from the pandemic is underway?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we plan to offer a unique Summit experience this year. Our Biddeford location, in the Pepperell Mill, will host no more than 50 participants with appropriate social distancing. In addition, we are working with regional partners to offer satellite locations limited to 50 attendees, all connected via high-speed internet.  An option to attend the summit completely virtual from your own home is also available.

Our regional partners and locations as well as virtual participation:

Keynote Speakers:

  • Colin Woodard, State & National Affairs Writer, Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram
  • Anthony Flint, Senior Fellow, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy



Time Summit Program
8:30 AM Registration opens
9:30 AM Welcome from GrowSmart Maine
9:45 AM

 Colin Woodard –

Home Rule on in a former Massachusetts colony: The roots of local control in Maine and how it’s shaped our past, present and future

10:15 AM Anthony Flint – 

A symbiotic view of regionalism and local control

10:45 AM Keynote Speakers’ Conversation and Audience Q&A 
11:15 AM BREAK
11:30 AM Local Break Out Groups – will occur at each satellite location to allow for discussion
12:30 PM LUNCH
1:30 PM Wrap Up
1:45 PM City Experiences at Each Location



Post Summit Webinar – October 29th, 9:00-10:30 AM

We are adding a new component to the Summit as part of the COVID adaptation. The six location+virtual hybrid event provides a chance to do something we haven’t before. There will be a webinar of 60-90 minutes one week after the Summit, allowing participants to think through discussions and explore potential next steps. This will be a time to dive deeper into the Summit discussions, exploring situations where regional solutions make sense, and from there, ideas on how to define a region and begin to invite partners to the process.  

This can be more than a one-day meeting where people talk about ideas and network, though there is certainly value in that part of the Summit. We can facilitate tangible outcomes throughout Maine.

Thanks To Our Sponsors

Previous Summits

If you would like more information about any of these summits/annual meetings please contact info at growsmartmaine.org.

2019 Summit ‘Smart Growth Builds Wellness” 

2018 Summit ‘The Power of Localism: Tapping into a Maine Tradition’, Bangor

2017 Summit ‘First, Build a Bridge’, Westbrook

2016 Summit ‘Leaning Into Change: Maine-Grown Solutions’, Waterville

2015 Summit ‘Community Solutions to a Changing Climate’, Biddeford

2014 Summit ‘The Dollars and $ense of Smart Growth’, Augusta

2013 Annual Meeting ‘Ten Years of Smart Growth & GrowSmart Maine’, Augusta

2012 Summit ‘Economy, Environment, Community’, Augusta

2011 Annual Meeting ‘Check in on Sprawl’ – Evan Richert, Waterville