Please use the colored pins on the map to explore our success stories!
Findlay/ Hancock Community Foundation
In 2013, McComb lost its anchor retail store, leaving 16 buildings vacant downtown. At the same time, expansion of an intermodal rail terminal nearby puts McComb at a potential pivot point. With a grant from the local community foundation, townspeople decided to draft a new future.
Local leaders were concerned about lack of broad participation in government and divides among the groups that make Cortez culturally rich. To reach missing voices, city leaders began to think beyond the city hall public hearing. Planners went to people in their neighborhoods and sponsored block parties and pot-luck dinners and found a whole new way of doing business that united the community.View town page
The Town of Essex and the Village of Essex Junction looked to Community Heart & Soul to discover how they can best work together to lay the groundwork for an enduring future. An unprecedented 10 percent of the population participated in the project, which set the tone for future collaboration and cooperation.
Golden’s population grew more than 30 percent between 1990 and 2000, presenting challenges of walkability, community engagement and affordable housing. Golden turned to residents to establish a set of clear guiding principles to inform future comprehensive plan updates, neighborhood plans, land use decisions, code changes, and community investment decisions.
Nicknamed “Trash Town” for the industrial incinerator that stood in the center of downtown, Biddeford’s economy struggled. When Heart & Soul engaged the community, city leaders saw support for tearing the incinerator down. That turned the tide.
A former textile mill town, Biddeford struggled with stagnant population growth and limited job opportunities. Through community engagement, city leaders discovered support for tearing down an industrial trash incinerator in the center of town, despite the loss of jobs and the millions it cost to purchase it. Razing the plant sparked revitalization based on what mattered most to everyone.
How Heart & Soul Teed Up Economic Development in One Maine Town
How Community Heart & Soul Unlocked Silos in Biddeford, Maine
Teen Involvement Shifts Attitudes, Sets Stage for Change
Biddeford’s renaissance began when residents created a forward-looking plan that took stock of the town’s unique history and what mattered most to everyone. Golden leaders turned to residents to tackle the challenge of balancing growth with preserving the Western town’s historic and unique character.
With vacancy downtown on one hand and the prospect of expansion with the growth of rail, McComb decided to involve the whole community in planning for the future. Essex and Essex Junction wanted to get past historic divides and chart a path forward that was mutually beneficial.