FANEMBA Tour Stop 1 cropped web

Close to 100 mountain bikers from across New England descended on Franconia and Littleton, NH, May 18-19 for the first in a series of events highlighting the trails and communities that make up The Borderlands, a collaborative effort to use mountain biking as a tool for economic and community development at seven Northern Forest locations.

The mountain bikers enjoyed group rides, refreshments, music, and – for some – their first taste of North Country hospitality. 

Berlin MNPThe Center’s “Model Neighborhood Project” launched in Berlin, N.H., in 2011 with the expectation that putting lots of wood pellet boilers in a single community would create a buzz about the technology and demonstrate that it works well. "We wanted to make the pellet delivery truck a common sight in town and catalyze broader interest in this modern way to heat with wood," said Program Director Maura Adams.

Eight years later, the Center has provided funding or other assistance to 165 projects in communities across the Northern Forest — 114 homes and 51 small commercial buildings, from schools and town garages to a museum and movie theater —and the Model Neighborhoods are spreading the word.

ME West Library Update 2The digital inequity gap continues to widen in rural towns due to a lack of accessible and affordable broadband connections. Libraries are the place many people turn to when they are unable to afford a computer or can’t get reliable internet access. Individuals from low- to moderate-income families are less likely to have access to a broad suite of technologies, and libraries can play a key role in closing this gap.

Carolann and Mike at ME ConferenceMike Wilson, the Northern Forest Center’s senior program director, joined Maine’s Destination Development Specialist and the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation during the Maine Governor’s Conference on Tourism, April 9, to highlight opportunities for recreation-based rural destination development to build economic and community vitality in the Maine Woods. More than 300 people turned out for the annual conference in Augusta — where Wilson presented two workshops — to learn about future trends and opportunities for local businesses, organizations, and rural communities.