The past ten years have seen increased activity among a variety of economic and community development groups in the Katahdin region. These include long standing groups such as the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce, Northern Timber Cruisers, Katahdin Higher Education Center, and the Katahdin Tourism Partnership as well as new groups such as Our Katahdin, Katahdin Revitalization, Thrive Penobscot and Katahdin Regional Development Board, among others.
In 2015, at the encouragement of local leaders, representatives from these groups along with a network of individuals interested in community and economic development, met to discuss the potential for collaboration. Thus, the Katahdin Collaborative organized informally with the intent to encourage communication and collaboration and leverage resources across the region without duplicating or replacing the unique work of any individual group..
In early 2018, the Katahdin Collaborative coordinated a locally led, region-wide process to create the Katahdin Gazetteer . Its purpose was to capture the values of the people in the region, develop a vision for the future based on those values, and create an action plan for local implementation. A nine-member steering committee worked with Adam Burk + Co, a Maine-based consulting firm specializing in community engagement, to facilitate the process.
After 16 months of public work sessions, focused topic conversations, paper and digital surveys, individual conversations, emails, phone calls, and feedback on written drafts, the Katahdin Gazetteer: A Roadmap to the Future was completed and presented to the community on April 24, 2019.
In the fall of 2019, following the creation of the Katahdin Gazetteer, the Collaborative formalized a structure to support working together. Collaborators agreed to uphold the guiding principles and rules and engage at a level that is sustainable and committed to the shared vision as outlined in the Gazetteer.
Today, the Katahdin Gazetteer remains an action plan for the future. In it, you will find six big ideas, followed by action steps organized into action trails that offer a possible sequence of execution. Beginning with “Early Wins” that can be completed in 1-12 months, and then “Capacity Building” actions that direct resources to help individuals and organizations obtain, improve, and retain the skills, knowledge, tools, equipment, and other resources needed to do their work. Finally, some action trails contain “Long-term Investments” which will take the longest to accomplish due to the processes, planning, or investment they demand.
The Katahdin Gazetteer can be found Here.