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The Digital Marketing Assessment Project helps businesses in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom improve their ability to use digital marketing to reach new customers and grow. The program is administered by the Northern Forest Center in partnership with the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative and NCIC. Funding was made possible in part with a Rural Business Development Grant from USDA Rural Development.

What services are included?

The Project provides low-cost assessments and consultation with a professional design and marketing firm to help the business identify and prioritize ways to improve to their websites and digital marketing efforts. Your assessment will include:

An initial phone introduction with a marketing professional;
An online questionnaire to inform an assessment of your current digital marketing;
Review of your current digital marketing by a marketing professional;
A 1-2 hour on-site consultation at your business to review the assessment, discuss recommendations, and help you prioritize your digital marketing efforts; and
A brief written report outlining findings, recommendations and priorities

Who is eligible?

A business is eligible for the program if it:

Has fewer than 20 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues; and 
Is majority-owned by U.S. citizens or legal residents
Is located in Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties; and
Is in the farm and food, arts, or recreation sectors.

Why farm and food, arts, and recreation?

The Project is designed to implement the recommendations of the recent Northeast Kingdom Collaborative Tri-Sector Task Force which identified—among other strategies—that effective regional development and marketing of these sectors is essential if these sectors are to fulfill their promise as business and community development anchors in the region.

Who will provide the services?

The Northern Forest Center has contracted with Flek, Inc., a St. Johnsbury-based design and marketing firm, to provide businesses with digital marketing assessments and make recommendations for improving their online marketing efforts.

What does it cost?

Participating businesses are asked to pay $50, which is less than 15% of the market value of the services being provided. Businesses interested in further work on their digital marketing can access additional cost share through NCIC’s Cost Sharing Professional Services Program

How do I apply?

A basic application can be completed online at:

Who can I contact with questions?

Please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Northern Forest Center. 

Northern Forest Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Renovation Planned for Historic Parker J. Noyes Building

1A major change is coming to Main Street that will contribute to the ongoing revitalization efforts in Lancaster. On Oct. 1, 2018, Parker J. Noyes Redevelopment purchased the building it’s named for: the historic Parker J. Noyes building at the corner of Main and Bunker Hill Street. The redevelopment will create new commercial space for the Root Seller Marketplace, as well as modern apartments on the upper floors.

Parker J. Noyes Redevelopment is a partnership between Lancaster businessman Greg Cloutier and the Northern Forest Center, a Concord-based regional innovation and investment partner creating vibrant communities by connecting people and the economy to the forested landscape. The developers have been encouraged by a local advisory group that identified the need to revitalize dilapidated buildings in Lancaster’s downtown.

To follow up on the advisory group’s ideas, the Center assessed Lancaster’s downtown and other market conditions and identified a need for more high-quality commercial and residential building space to house young families and professionals. The Parker J. Noyes building became a focal point for possible redevelopment due to its potential to radically transform the downtown.

Future Plans

The first floor of the imposing Italianate structure will become the new home for the Root Seller Marketplace, a market that provides access to healthy local foods for the greater community. "We're so excited to expand to a larger space on Main Street, allowing us to increase our offerings of both retail products and products from local farmers, food producers, and crafters,” said Melissa Grella, executive director of Taproot Farm & Environmental Education Center, the nonprofit organization that operates the Root Seller Marketplace. “This move will bring a vacant building back to life, continue the revitalization of Lancaster's downtown, support the local economy, and increase awareness of and access to our local food system."

By moving just down Main Street to the larger space, the Root Seller Marketplace will be able to build a commercial kitchen and continue to expand in the future. The remaining two floors will be turned into two-bedroom residential units for young professionals and families.

PJ Noyes rear photo by NH Preservation Alliance“Saving old historic buildings like the Parker J Noyes Building is tough work and will have its unique challenges,” said Cloutier. “It requires a community and people willing to work together to bring life back to this stately building.” The Parker J. Noyes building is currently on the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance’s “Seven to Save” list due to the building’s historical significance.

Renovation is slated to begin this fall and will continue until the building is fully renovated. The developers said they plan to retain as much of the building’s historic character as possible in the renovation. 

Leveraging Private Investments

The Northern Forest Center has raised private investments to fund the purchase and renovation of the Parker J. Noyes building through the Lancaster Main Street Fund, which the Center established in 2018. The fund attracts investors who want to put their money to work doing good things for the community while also providing a financial return.

“Our investors want their money to leverage new energy and vibrancy in Lancaster’s downtown,” said Rob Riley, president of the Center. “We’ve seen how quality redevelopment of important buildings can help communities turn a corner and how one project quickly leads to other enhancements.”

According to Riley, the Lancaster Main Street Fund will repay its investors over five to seven years. He said the developers expect to sell the renovated building in about 10 years to generate funds to repay the initial investors. 

Commercial and residential renovations inside the Parker J. Noyes historic building will help bring an important piece of Lancaster’s history back into the public spotlight. To learn about opportunities to invest in this or other redevelopment projects in the Northern Forest, please contact Northern Forest Center President Rob Riley.

Photos courtesy of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. 

About Our Rental Properties

In 2017, the Northern Forest Center launched a new program to help Northern Forest towns regain the vibrancy that makes communities attractive places to live, work and raise a family. Our targeted approach builds on the Center’s 20 years of regional leadership and investment in the region’s forest economy to build economic and community vitality.

The Center began working with people in Millinocket, Maine, to help put key components in place that can support the town's resurgence as it repurposes the closed mill site, adapts to its role as gateway to the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, and helps create new jobs in the forest economy.

The Center has helped expand internet access through WiFi hotspots on Penobscot Avenue, invested in tourism-related businesses, helped homes and businesses convert to Automated Wood Heat, and purchased and renovated homes in the downtown area to improve housing options and revitalize this key neighborhood.

Read more about our Milliinocket Housing Initiative and our broader Community Vitality program for the Northern Forest.

56 Congress Street - RENTED

56 Congress StreetA newly renovated 2 bedroom Cottage overlooking Millinocket Stream.  This home just received a complete renovation including refinished floors, new bathroom, brand new kitchen cabinets with stainless steel appliances. In addition, the apartment has a couple of sun porches, a gazebo and a single car garage. Large sliding doors open onto a second floor balcony where you will catch the sunrise over Millinocket Stream every day.  Supercute home in downtown Millinocket, convenient to the downtown, both schools, and the hospital.

  • Newly renovated cottage with a great layout
  • 2 bedrooms (on second floor)
  • Newly renovated bathroom on ground floor
  • Central location on quiet street overlooking Millinocket Stream
  • large Newly renovated Kitchen with additional small food pantry
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Newly renovated bathroom
  • Plenty of light
  • Recessed lighting and new wiring throughout
  • Newly refinished maple floors
  • Balcony on second floor, sun porch/mudroom on first floor
  • Washer Dryer in basement
  • 1 Car Garage
  • Cute Yard
  • Pets considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Tenant pays heat and hot water, new insulation in places, new hot water heater, new wiring and energy star appliances

Rent: $790/month, with security deposit, Credit Check/Rental References
Call or Text Ailish to view this apartment: 917-783-9489


26 Central St, 2nd Floor—Downtown Millinocket - RENTED

26Central2 photos3Be the first tenant to enjoy this newly renovated 2-3-bedroom apartment. High ceilings, bright and sunny space. This apartment just received a complete renovation including new floors, windows, bathroom, and more. Brand new kitchen with stainless steel appliances. In addition, the apartment has its own private sun porch where you will be able to sit and watch the morning sunrise or enjoy a summer evening.

  • Large 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment
  • Modern space with bright light
  • Central street location, downtown
  • Large family kitchen
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Newly renovated bathroom
  • New windows
  • High ceilings
  • New floors
  • Exposed Brick Chimney
  • Clawfoot bathtub
  • New Automated Wood Heat boiler/heating system
  • Use of garage for bike, kayak or snowmobile storage
  • Pets considered on a case-by-case basis

Rent: $795/month, with security deposit, Credit Check/Rental References
Call or Text Ailish to view this apartment:  917-783-9489


26 Central St., 1st Floor—Downtown Millinocket - RENTED

26 Central Street 1st Floor

Adjacent to Michaud Walking Trail and Millinocket Stream. High ceilings, bright and sunny space.

This apartment just received a complete renovation including new floors, windows, bathroom, and more. Brand new kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

In addition, the apartment has its own private porch where you will be able to sit and enjoy a morning coffee or evening breeze.


  • Large 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment
  • Modern space with bright light
  • Central street location, downtown
  • Large family kitchen
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Newly renovated bathroom
  • New windows
  • High ceilings
  • New floors
  • Exposed Brick Chimney
  • Large, walk-in shower
  • New Automated Wood Heat boiler/heating system
  • Use of garage for bike, kayak or snowmobile storage
  • Pets considered on a case-by-case basis

Rent: $795/month, with security deposit, Credit Check/Rental References

This Apartment is Rented.

The expansion of mountain biking destinations and services benefits Northern Forest communities in two ways—by creating great local recreational resources for residents, as well as destination-worthy attractions that draw visitors to the region.

Since early 2017, the Center has been working with six mountain bike organizations in northern New Hampshire and adjacent parts of Vermont, Quebec, and Maine to develop the "MTB Collaborative," a group whose mission is to create and promote quality mountain biking experiences for visitors and residents while stewarding the natural landscape and securing economic benefits for North Country communities.

The group envisions a constellation of excellent trail networks built and run by committed locals, trails for all kinds of riders, accurate and detailed maps, a website to attract and inform visitors, and a robust business community to supporti local and visiting riders. The Center is facilitating the collaborative and is helping raise funds to make this vision a reality.

MTB Collaborative Members

Collaborative members include Coos Cycling Club in Gorham, NH; Mahoosuc Pathways in Bethel, ME; Kingdom Trails in East Burke, VT;  the Franconia Area Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association in Franconia, NH; PRKR MTN in Littleton, NH; and Circuits Frontières in East Hereford, Quebec. Within a roughly 2-hour geography, east-to-west and north-to-south, there are about 200 miles of well-constructed, purpose-built, very fun trails to ride—and many more to come.MTB Collaborative thumbs up

The Collaborative is making it possible for member networks to design and build trails more quickly than they otherwise could, especially trails for beginner and intermediate riders, to help grow the sport. Together the participants are developing consistent maps, creating a common website that promotes regional mountain biking opportunities, and learning from each other’s experiences.

More Great Biking and Trails

There is great mountain biking in the Northern Forest beyond the networks participating in the Collaborative. We’re especially impressed by the Barkeater Trail Alliance in Lake Placid, NY, and Carrabassett NEMBA in Carrabassett Valley, Maine.

We look forward to working with the MTB Collaborative to build trail networks and programs that serve their communities and attract people looking for a fun ride—or even a new community where they can regularly get out and enjoy a network of purpose-built trails twisting through the forest.

Grants Awarded for Mountain Bike Trail Expansion

Expanding trail networks and making more trails accessible to novice mountain bikers are two fundamental goals of our mountain bike program. In May 2018, the MTB Collaborative awarded its first three mini-grants to support those objectives.  

PRKR MTN Trails in Littleton, NH is “beginnerizing” some of its trails, which are notoriously difficult, to make mountain biking available to a wider and younger audience. Plenty of PRKR MTN's trails will remain challenging for advanced riders, though—the best trail networks offer something for everyone!

The Coos Cycling Club is expanding its network on the north slope of Pine Mountain in Gorham, NH. This summer they plan to add three miles of new, hand-built trail to the network that currently consists of 6+ miles of fun singletrack. That doesn’t include the extensive trails the club has built within Moose Brook State Park, a short bike ride from Pine Island.

Finally, Mahoosuc Pathways is adding to its Bethel Village Trails in Bethel, Maine, this summer, working toward 15 total miles of multi-use trails right from the village center. The trail expansion complements a new mountain bike program based at the local elementary school.

In August 2018, a second round of mini-grants was announced for the remaining three MTB Collaborative members to help form community connections and benefit local businesses.

Franconia Area NEMBA (a chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association) in Franconia, NH, is using its grant to improve existing cross-country ski trails for mountain bike access. These beginner-friendly trails provide the opportunity to develop important connectors between existing trails. Once established they will help strengthen a core network of trails close to downtown Franconia. Creating beginner-friendly mountainbiking opportunities makes Franconia more of a destination, helps attract new visitors to the White Mountains, and diversifies recreation opportunities for people already visiting. 

Kingdom Trails (East Burke, VT) will put its grant toward trail expansion work in East Haven, VT. Roughly 290 people live in town, and the new trails will bring economic opportunity to help the community thrive. Residents are enthusiastic about the development because it will help relieve mountain bike congestion and driver/bike conflict near Kingdom Trails headquarters in East Burke, and will alleviate some of the busyness on the original trail network.  

Circuits Frontieres, just across the border in East Hereford, Quebec, will use the bulk of its grant to replace several dangerous bridges that were limiting riders’ abilities to fully experience their trail system. Once the new bridges are built, more people will be able to enjoy the many local mountain biking events. The remainder of the grant will go toward extending the trail network within the Hereford Community Forest.  

Recipients will use their grant funds to pay for labor and will match them with the value of volunteer time and other grants. The mini-grants are were made possible by funding from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Davis Conservation Foundation, and other sources.

It’s exciting to see and experience these projects making progress! We encourage you to visit the networks periodically—on bike or on foot—to get a feel for these great singletrack trails and maybe run into some of our terrific collaborators.

Banner photo credit: Norm Greenburg, courtesy of Mahoosuc Pathways