The Center is involved in two new rural design projects in Millinocket, Maine. The Center secured a USDA Rural Business Development Grant to develop a wayfinding design system for Millinocket. The project will advance town goals of active and healthy living, and provide better experiences for visitors to encourage repeat and longer visits, which would strengthen the local tourism economy.

In a complementary project, Millinocket is one of three communities chosen nationally to participate in the Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design (CIRD). The rural design workshop will focus on downtown improvements and generate a guidebook of design principles for downtown revitalization. The Center helped the town and Our Katahdin, a local nonprofit, secure the designation from CIRD and is facilitating and participating in the project. As part of the project kick-off, Katahdin Project Director Ailish Keating attended the CIRD Learning Cohort Summit in early October.

The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group (CSG) just released its final report on “Rural Development Hubs” as effective community and economic development partners in rural America. Rob Aspen InstituteAs part of its research for Rural Development Hubs: Strengthening America’s Rural Innovation Infrastructure, Aspen CSG interviewed the Northern Forest Center and other members of the Rural Development Innovation group, which the Center helps lead.

The report focuses on the role of intermediaries “doing development differently” in rural America. Rural Development Hubs like the Center are key players in advancing an asset-based and inclusive wealth-building approach to rural community and economic development in this country.

CaptureThe getNEKedVT campaign is drawing attention to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont with its regional discovery marketing campaign. The collaborative project, managed by the Northern Forest Center, invites locals and visitors to explore the region’s communities and landmarks, and to set out on adventures ranging from rock climbing to music festivals, galleries viewing to brewery tours, wildlife watching to ice cream eating. Its name has some fun with the way locals and visitors abbreviate the region’s moniker.

Launched in June, the getNEKedVT digital campaign has drawn more than 6,000 visitors to its website and reached well over 300,000 people through content on Instagram and Facebook.

Andover Library computer installationPatrons at the Andover Public Library in Andover, Maine, are enjoying four new computers, a wireless printer, and a router that strengthens WiFi signals throughout the building, thanks to a digital inclusion grant from the Center.  Behind the scenes, new wires have replaced old to help the library make full use of the power of the Maine School and Library Network’s (MSLN) fiber-optic network.