Heart of Ellsworth and Town of Ellsworth tackle town center asset mapping project

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ELLSWORTH — With support from Franklin Savings Bank and the Maine Community Foundation, Heart of Ellsworth and the City of Ellsworth are preparing to launch a downtown area asset mapping project. The project will be led by HUB Collective, based in Portland, Oregon.

The purpose of the project is to set strategic direction for the Heart of Ellsworth, the Town of Ellsworth and town center businesses. According to Heart of Ellsworth Executive Director Cara Romano, “We are trying to align current programs with local revitalization projects that will benefit a cohesive future for the downtown district. Through this foundation, Ellsworth’s entrepreneurship programs will move beyond a short-term focus on immediate and COVID-related issues. This process will support a resilient business community that fosters stability and growth to meet its ever-changing needs.

HUB Collective specializes in supporting bridge communities leading national parks and outdoor recreation destinations across the country to thrive through creative planning and processes. HUB has a local connection to Ellsworth as its Director of Creative Development is former Ellsworth resident Jen (Young) Guibord.

The project is funded by a grant received in 2021 from the Maine Community Foundation’s Downeast Innovation Fund and a sponsorship from Franklin Savings Bank in 2022. Funding from both entities was awarded to support grassroots entrepreneurship programs for businesses downtown.

HUB Collective will be visiting Ellsworth April 13-15 to hold workshops downtown called ‘Manifesting Main’. Their approach includes on-site visits with downtown businesses and facilitating various discussion-based community groups. According to Guibord, “It will be a different planning process, very practical and focused on capturing the collective knowledge of the community that may not yet be well documented. Our process allows for conversation and engagement with participants.

The goals of the visit include capturing a clear and shared vision of downtown that serves everyone; identify the assets that already make the city center great; define how these strengths can be strengthened; and recognize how deficits can become assets. This work will allow HUB and Ellsworth to plan incremental and achievable changes and develop measures of success to track progress towards a collective and cohesive vision.

The end product will be an engaging, easy to understand and useful tool for all levels of decision-making involving Ellsworth Town Centre. Learn more about HUB Collective at hubltd.com.

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