Goats and beer 1The Northern Forest Center awarded a grant to Turning Page Farm in Monson, Maine, this spring to help the small-batch goat dairy and brewery develop as an agritourism destination. The $13,500-grant will help owners Joy and Tim Bueschen expand visitor amenities at the farm, extend their operating season, add new products and expand their production capacity.

The Center awarded the grant through its Tourism Innovation Program to strengthen Turning Page Farm’s appeal as an agritourism destination for visitors and residents, and to help the farm contribute to community revitalization efforts in Monson, Maine, and the broader Moosehead Lake area.

100 Katahdin renovations 2019 1After a slow start due to heavy spring rains, major renovations are moving ahead in Millinocket at 100 Katahdin Avenue, the sixth residential building the Center purchased through its initial Millinocket Housing Initiative Fund to create quality homes for people who want to make a future in Millinocket.

Western Foothills Land Trust ME West GIS toolMembers of the Maine West initiative are using a new regional mapping tool to help prioritize community conservation projects with strong ties to other important community interests, such as health, education and the economy.

The GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping tool uses non-traditional metrics such as opportunity for educational programming, whether a project would help grow a town’s conservation infrastructure, and proximity to schools, hospitals, and town centers, to identify high priority projects. The tool encourages groups working on regional conservation efforts to think about conservation as a community engagement tool.

The Aspen Institute recently featured the Northern Forest Center’s unique approach to rural economic development during a live webcast presentation from Washington, D.C.

Rob Riley at Aspen InstituteThe Institute’s Community Strategies Group looked at the Center's work as part of its research to answer two questions they hear frequently: “Who can we work with to do more for rural America?” and “… and what works?”

A major focus of Aspen's report is how the Center and our peers are engaging with the communities we serve to improve local, economic, social and health outcomes, equity and long-term prosperity. Aspen concluded that how we do this work sets us apart.