MILBRIDGE, Maine — Under a new program, three Washington County municipalities have gathered residents who have chosen small projects they believe will make a big difference in their communities.
All three are participating in Making Headway in Your Community, a joint community development program organized by GrowSmart Maine and the Maine Downtown Center at the Maine Development Foundation.
Milbridge residents, for instance, have elected to use $1,000 made available through the program to create a larger, more visible welcome center in town and will work to develop and print a map of historic houses and community highlights.
Eastport residents will invest in further developing a recreational area, adding to available youth activities and planning a play area for toddlers.
Lubec residents will be sprucing up the Peacock Building in the village center and involving youngsters to do summer projects that benefit the community, according to Lorain Francis, state coordinator of the Maine Downtown Center.
The six- to eight-month-long project began in January with the showing of the film “Reviving Freedom Mill” in each community, followed by a discussion of local needs and values. Then, residents proposed projects and voted to select one. Milbridge and Eastport accomplished this through a series of two meetings while Lubec did everything in one meeting.
Making Headway organizers hope the initial projects chosen through the program will facilitate the connections and ambitions necessary for residents in each community to complete additional projects.
LaFleur and Francis said they will plan closing celebrations in each community, probably in June, to mark the completion of the projects.
Francis said about 40 people participated in the Lubec and Eastport meetings. About 15 were involved in Milbridge.