Nominations are opene for GrowSmart Maine’s Third annual statewide Smart Growth Award competition. Past years’ Smart Growth Awards recognized a mixed-use infill project in Portland’s Deering Center, a community forest project that preserved nearly 1,000 acres of land for conservation, recreation and wildlife, and an individual achievement award for an influential Main Street organizer and champion of downtown revitalization.

As in the past, this year’s criteria will be grounded in the GrowSmart Maine’s principles of Smart Growth, according to a news release from Jodi Castallo, community outreach director.

The 2020 Maine Smart Growth Award recipients will be announced at the 2020 GrowSmart Maine Summit on Thursday, Oct. 22. The summit will be based with limited in-person attendance at the Pepperell Mill in Biddeford, with external attendance via teleconference.

“The great success of the first two years of the awards program has been really exciting and we look forward to continuing the tradition in 2020” said Ethan Boxer-Macomber, Board Chairman of GrowSmart Maine, the statewide organization sponsoring the awards. “Showcasing and celebrating fantastic Smart Growth oriented projects, plans and people across Maine provides us with tangible and highly inspirational examples of the many community, environmental, and economic benefits of Smart Growth.”

Maureen Drouin, executive director of Maine Conservation is returning for her second year of judging, to be joined by Paul Schumacher of Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission, Gwen Hilton of the Maine Land Use Planning Commission, and Chuck Lawton, Retired Economist.

Smart growth is a common sense concept that helps communities welcome — and manage — growth while still maintaining their historic feel and natural beauty. The Smart Growth Awards are designed to recognize the diverse activities that contribute to smart growth, and also serve as real-life illustrations of the benefits it can bring.

The awards will showcase the kind of projects, plans, and policies that support smart growth in all its diversity, whether it’s a plan for a walkable and inclusive village center, a development that is affordable and sustainably built, a successful new transit endeavor, or a community-supported adaptation to climate change that safeguards the built or natural environment.

The nomination process has been designed to be simple and low-barrier. The deadline to submit nominations is Tuesday, June 30.

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