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Success Stories

“This is Home” – A Family Finds Their Forever Home in Calais, Maine

One of the first rooms Heather Gagne and her daughters began redecorating in their new home is the dining room, shown in the top photo. They have been busy repainting and making other updates. Raising a family in coastal Machias, Maine may sound lovely, but for Heather Gagne recent years proved stressful. There were few housing options in their Downeast community, and Heather was glad to find a rental home to…

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Search Results: 780 Stories
Group photo of Theatre Guild of Buchanan County members in the Community Arts Mainstage building

Theater Takes Center Stage in Buchanan County

They may not be quite as colorful as their counterparts from the acclaimed 1989 film, but the women behind the Theatre Guild of Buchanan County are “Steel Magnolias” in their own right with a fierce commitment to lifting up their community and providing an artistic outlet for… [Read More]
NJ resident Antonia Santos stands in front of repaired home.

A Restoration of Relief

In the neighborhood of Mount Holly, New Jersey, amidst leafy streets and usually friendly faces, resides Antonia Santos, a spirited retiree with a knack for do-it-yourself projects. Her story intertwines perseverance, a few helping hands, and a work ethic that can’t be disrupted… [Read More]
A man and a woman are pictured seated at a table, talking and taking notes. Other people work at the same table and other tables in the background. There is abstract artwork on the walls in the background.

Building Community Strength Ten Rural Towns at a Time: GrowSmart Maine Brings Local Leaders to the Table

Rural communities across Maine may share many of the same goals, but collaboration can be difficult when they are separated by great distance and challenging roads. What’s more, small towns often have lean staffs, making it especially hard to make time for strategic planning. (… [Read More]
The Climate Fellow described in the story is pictured at an outdoor table interacting with a community member who is reading a pamphlet she shows him. There is a blue building, a Mount Desert Island School bus, and trees in the background. The event pictured is in a parking lot, with balloons in the near background.

Impact Beyond Measure: Maine Nonprofit Builds Climate Resilience and the Leaders of Tomorrow with RCDI Grant from USDA

Where can residents of small coastal and island communities in Maine turn for help with critical, labor-intensive projects? Residents of the Mount Desert Island town of Tremont recently worked with Island Institute Fellow… [Read More]
Four men stand in front of a fertilizer production plant under construction in Montana.

More Fertilizer, Better Service, Less Carbon!

Since 1997 Town & Country Supply Association merged with two other cooperatives to provide high quality fertilizer products and on-site services at competitive prices to Montana’s farmers and ranchers. The rural community of Lockwood, Montana, is home to Town & Country’s… [Read More]
Public Utility District (PUD) 1 of Lewis County, which received $24.2 million to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network benefiting 2,863 people, 119 businesses, 487 farms, and four educational facilities in Lewis County.

Major Investments in High Speed Internet during the Biden administration will significantly improve access to opportunities in Southwest Washington

Since 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a significant investment of billions in grants and loans to provide reliable, affordable high-speed internet to thousands of rural residents, farmers, and business owners across rural America. In fact, USDA is… [Read More]
Woman standing under Sugar Nymphs Bistro sign next to parking lot

Bistro Menu and Accessibility Boosted by Rural Business Development Grant

You might not expect to find a fancy bistro when driving through the mountains in northern New Mexico, but that is exactly what you will find in the small mountain town of Peñasco. Sugar Nymphs Bistro shares building space with the town theater and is a place where people come… [Read More]
Ryan Tanney, a worship pastor at a church in Pine Grove, California, stands in front of several screens, which are used to manage a live broadcast of Sunday services.

Making connections: bringing California’s rural central Sierra Nevada communities closer with high-speed internet

Mary West-Hutchinson, a real estate broker in West Point, California, was tired of commuting. She’d leave the tall rural pines of her home community and drive 80 minutes to the more densely populated Lodi for work. In addition, she was taking college courses, working toward her… [Read More]
New roof that being installed through Rebuilding Together Thurston County.

USDA Grant Helps Single Mother Rebuild Home and Family's Future

In February 2022, Jessi and her 11-year-old daughter were struggling to maintain their 2006 doublewide manufactured home on an income of less than $20,000 a year.  The home, plagued by years of deferred maintenance and a leaking roof, had severe ceiling damage and… [Read More]
Two farmers pose with sheep inside a barn with hay on the floor and an open door in the background.

Maine Farm Uses REAP to Help Diversify Farm and Serve a Heritage Industry

Elizabeth Goundie and Josh Emerman are the co-founders of Moorit Hill Farm and Fiber in Troy, Maine. They came to Central Maine by a circuitous route, purchasing the property in 2017. Just seven years later, the young farmers are not only tending more than 70 sheep but also… [Read More]