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Regional “Greenprint” Effort Completed 

The Trust for Public Land, as well as a group of 12 communities, released the findings of 18-months worth of work. The goal of theTPL and The Penobscot Valley Council of Governments is to make local recreation areas more attractive to tourists and local folks alike. “One of the things Maine is so well known for is it’s quality of place, the downtowns, the traditional downtowns, and community centers that we have and the access we have to recreational spaces and recreational opportunities,” says Bangor City Manager Ed Barrett. The hope of the group is to create attractive places that draw people to enjoy the area and to help it grow economically in the process. “So what we’re trying to do is mesh the two,” says Barrett, “the need for open space, and quality places that are attractive to bring people, and the need for economic development and growth.”According to Barrett public access and recreation are some of the key components, “I think we’re standing on one example of that right now,” he says standing on the scenic Bangor waterfront, “and there’s a bunch of work going on right down river, one of the real interests the group had was to provide more access to the penobscot river both as a place to just come have lunch and as a place to go out and enjoy the water.”Another one of their goals is to provide people in the more urban settings places to get out and enjoy the outdoors, without having to travel long distances. “There was a lot of interest in that particularly in the urbanized areas,” Barrett says, “people are really looking for ways to easily do some walking and get some exercise and do it in a nice setting.”For everyone involved in the project they are hoping this giant community collaboration will serve as a “greenprint” for other Maine communities.”It’s really a strong effort that involved an awful lot of people,” Barrett says, “in trying to put something together on a regional basis that will protect the quality of life and the reason we come to live here.”To see all the information, as well as maps of the areas, go to tThe Trust For Public Land’s website:http://tpl.geocortex.net/Penobscot_Greenprint/