GrowSmart Maine will host the 2016 Annual Summit: Leaning Into Change: Maine Grown Solutions from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, in Waterville. The event will feature a choice of morning sessions on relevant statewide community challenges at locations throughout downtown Waterville, according to a GrowSmart news release. The afternoon portion of the summit will take place at Thomas College and includes panels and presentations by Laurie Lachance, president of Thomas College; Amber Lambke, CEO of Maine Grains and co-founder of the Maine Grain Alliance; Shannon Haines, president and CEO of Waterville Creates!; and others.

Morning sessions in and around downtown Waterville will highlight innovations in the food sector, local successes from across the state in bringing arts and culture to the economy, and even a look at how development surrounding a new highway exchange can create opportunities for a community.

“We are delighted to be able to have this collaborative event in Waterville. The Summit is about celebrating smart growth in its many forms,” said Tyler Kidder, Community Outreach Director for GrowSmart Maine, according to the release. “We are dedicated to delivering an event that boosts the people and organizations behind the good work happening all over Maine. The Summit is a day full of energy, enthusiasm, tools and resources designed to help everyone enhance the livability of their community.”

In the afternoon speakers will address the challenges of balancing new development in growth areas with conservation of rural assets such as farmland and wetlands, and Roderick Scott, a national leader addressing compound challenges of extreme weather events and sea level rise complicated by significant changes to the federal flood insurance policies, will speak.

GrowSmart Maine is a leader in bringing people together in a featured locale to discuss issues and opportunities, and share resources with each other. Past GrowSmart Maine annual events have been held in Biddeford, Augusta and Lewiston, convening hundreds of people eager to engage in meaningful conversations on the shared goals of making our communities, whatever their size, strong and vibrant.

GrowSmart Maine is a statewide nonprofit organization working to build lasting prosperity without sacrificing the quality of life that defines Maine. The summit is followed by a reception and networking opportunity also at Thomas College.

For more information and to register, visit www.growsmartmaine.org.