Inspire and Inform


Making Headway in Your Community is a joint project of the Maine Downtown Center and GrowSmart Maine. This is a place to gather inspiration and information; to share ideas, success stories and explore resources. For more information on the Making Headway in Your Community program, please visit the GrowSmart Maine website. 

The Project section gives communities, groups and individuals a place to learn about and share
Projects that have worked in communities.
Resources to Tap
The Resources page connects you with organizations local and regional, statewide and beyond; people who can provide you with the information and tools you need to value what matters most in your community while encouraging the kind of economic and community growth you seek. This currently includes government, quasi-government agencies and non-profit organizations. 

On the map in Maine
Visit the Map view to see the location of all projects, resources, and the office location for all resource organizations.

A Guide to Project TypesWe want to do all we can to ensure a strong future for Maine and our communities. To that end, Making Headway in our Community promotes these 5 principles to help guide communities toward resources, as they come together to create positive change.

Community Connections– People & Infrastructure:

  • Effective & Inclusive Public Participation & Civic Engagement
  • Leadership Training for Volunteers
  • Access to High Speed Broadband Internet
  • Welcoming Schools & Local Organizations
  • Choices in Transportation Including Public Transit

Local Economy– What a Community Can Do:

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship Training & Support
  • Targeted Small Business Development Incentives
  • Arts & Culture
  • Hospitality & Tourism
  • Farming, Fisheries & Forestry
  • Manufacturing & Maker Businesses
  • Main Street Businesses
  • Predictable & Reasonable Local Regulations

Smart Design– Thoughtful Regulations & Incentives:

  • Housing for All Ages
  • Incomes & Abilities
  • Strategic Conservation of Water Access
  • Productive Lands & Open Space
  • Brownfield Restoration & Reuse
  • Historic Rehabilitation & Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
  • Enhance Economic & Physical Connections between Downtowns & Rural Areas

Healthy Communities– Encourage Smart Lifestyle Choices:

  • Physical Activity: Bicycle, Walking & Boating Options
  • Healthy Foods: Farmers’ Markets, CSAs & Co-Ops
  • Outdoor Recreation: Parks & Public Gathering Spaces
  • Green Infrastructure: Street Trees & Urban Forests
  • Self-Powered Transportation Choices: Safe Sidewalks, Crossings & Trails

Climate & Energy– Community Resiliency & Independence:

  • Minimize Risks to Infrastructure & Property
  • Improve Energy Efficiency in Municipal, Institutional
  • Commercial & Residential Spaces
  • Use incentives from Efficiency Maine to Reduce Costs
  • Local Energy Production
  • Buy, Grow & Harvest Food from Maine & New England



Upon completion of the Making Headway in Your Community program, GrowSmart Maine and local community leaders produce summarized reports of each step in the program and include results, challenges, and learning moments. 

You can find reports for each community listed below:

Explore this website to see projects in action that are making positive things happen all over the state.

This resource is possible with grant funding through the Maine Community Foundation, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Horizon Foundation and The Betterment Fund.

To get started. Download the Community Worksheet. Click here: