October 25, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that GrowSmart Maine has been awarded $304,636 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) grant program. This funding will support GrowSmart’s program training recipients in 10 Maine towns on land use planning processes that will address critical issues including farmland protection and farm viability, affordable housing, and climate change prevention and mitigation.
GrowSmart supports communities in managing change and accessing resources by convening diverse stakeholders, including urban planners/developers, real estate/housing developers and financers, and environmental specialists working on conservation and land use. Ten communities have enrolled in the new Building Community Strength program: Calais, Danforth, Enfield, Houlton, Machias, Mexico, Presque Isle, Roque Bluffs, Skowhegan and Winn.
"GrowSmart Maine creates new opportunities for rural communities, revitalizes downtown infrastructure, and promotes job creation," said Senators Collins and King. "This investment will support GrowSmart’s important work to provide rural communities with access to the strategic and organizational support needed to flourish now and in the years to come."
RCDI grants are awarded to help non-profit housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities, and federally recognized tribes support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas.