FAIRFIELD — Kennebec Valley Council of Governments is pleased to partner with GrowSmart Maine to offer a virtual interactive session to introduce new programs in Smart Growth. The session is free is open to all interested parties.

What:Strategies in Smart Growth and How to Engage Your Community!
Host KVCOG, with Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine
Format:Free Interactive Session & Q&A
When:February 16, 2021, 8:30 – 10:00 am
RSVP:To reserve your spot register via Zoom, here: www.kvcog.org/registerCEDS
Social Media:See our event listing on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/408537373709702

This session is part of the Kennebec Valley’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), which KVCOG administers as the region’s Economic Development District (EDD) as federally designated. CEDS provides effective economic development for the Kennebec Valley through a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process and is a blueprint for regional collaboration, community engagement, and private sector involvement to create an environment in which regional economic prosperity can thrive. 

Hosted by KVCOG’s Community and Economic Development Specialist, Jeff Sneddon, the event will feature guest speaker Nancy Smith, executive director of GrowSmart Maine who will introduce three community programs highlighting community engagement, energy efficiency, and housing choices.

“We’re excited for the chance to once again partner with GrowSmart Maine” states Jeff Sneddon. “These new and exciting programs in smart growth fit well with the regions current CEDS strategy and will help to foster community engagement and offer tools for communities to use in addressing energy efficiency and housing choice.”

GrowSmart Maine is a statewide non-profit with a mission to build lasting prosperity without sacrificing the quality of life that defines Maine. They do so through raising awareness and support of smart growth principles and connecting Mainers with the tools to manage growth and change in their communities; through providing leadership by facilitating meaningful conversations among diverse voices to achieve solutions; and through advocating for policies and programs that allow Maine’s economy to prosper while conserving and enriching Maine’s natural spaces. 

“GrowSmart Maine is excited by this opportunity to partner with KVCOG and to present our new slate of exciting programming” states Nancy Smith. “Through this CEDS session we hope to engage more communities in the Kennebec Valley in connecting with smart growth principles which give them the choice in how they respond to growth and change.”

About the new Smart Growth Programs:

  1. Energy Efficiency Community Tool Kit

Currently launched as a pilot in Biddeford and Windham, this informational workshop focuses on approachable and affordable weatherization methods that residents can implement in a community setting. This program is intended to grow from an informational session to community-based boots on the ground implementation action in energy efficiency in which GrowSmart supports a community level team to implement a defined project.  

  1. Securing Housing Choices for Well-Rounded Communities

Ready to launch in its first community, this program provides educational workshops to communities, offering an overview of current housing stock and tools to address deficits. Target audiences for this program are Maine communities with an interest in raising awareness of the connections between housing stock and community and economic growth and a readiness to take action, to develop a strategy and incorporate housing into their comprehensive plans. 

  1. Making Headway in Your Community

This program has successfully been implemented in many Maine communities since its launch in 2014, from a three-community region in the Millinocket area to a single neighborhood in Sanford. This 8-9 month community development program invites residents explore what they value most in their community and provides tools to protect and build on these assets. The process, led by GrowSmart, supports a series of community-driven events. During the program, community projects are funded with a local match to build leadership capacity at the local level and improve connections within the community.

KVCOG is a private, non-profit organization established in 1967 as a membership organization and is owned and operated for the benefit of its members. The Council is enabled by state statue. 

KVCOG provides a coordinated approach for planning and economic development at the local and regional level and has been a leader in economic development, environmental, land use and transportation planning with a wide array of professional talent among staff for the past 50 years.

With its office located in Fairfield, Maine, KVCOG serves 62 municipalities, several unorganized territories, 5,251 square miles, and a population of ~182,000 throughout the Kennebec Valley region of Maine within Kennebec, Somerset and western Waldo Counties. Our region is connected by the Kennebec River and includes the state capital of Augusta as well as the cities of Waterville, Gardiner, and Hallowell, as well as many rural towns. (Municipal population ranges from 42 to 18,972).

Learn more on our website www.kvcog.org, or follow us on Facebook (@KennebecValleyCOG) and Instagram (@kennebecvalleycouncilofgov).