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Celebrating 20 Years of inspiring great Connecticut downtowns,  
Main Street by Main Street.
March-ing Forward!
We're thrilled to see the warm weather and tender blooms appearing. It seems all of nature is bustling with new activity, and so are our downtowns. Read on to learn more about the many workshops, summits, grants and other exciting opportunities coming up!

Young People Tap Into Demand for Civic Engagement
A large crowd of young people gathered to hear from a panel and local Mayors on how to get involved at a recent YES/HYPE event.
Mayor Drew tells young people how they can become involved. Photo Credit: HYPE
one hundred people registered for Boards and Commissions on Tap, an event for young people to learn how to become more involved in their communities, co-sponsored by YES and HYPE.
The February 22nd event featured a panel discussion moderated by CT DOT's Randal Davis on how young people can get involved in shaping their community by joining a local town Board or Commission. CMSC's Christine Schilke, YES co-chair, introduced Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and Middletown Mayor Dan Drew who offered their thoughts on how young people can help shape their community. Attendees also had the opportunity to speak with town representatives from various boards and commissions in the Metro Hartford region.
Panelist Jonathan Cabral wrote a blog for the Partnership for Strong Communities on the enthusiasm he witnessed from young professionals interested in joining boards and commissions, while HYPE's Katie Kervick, member of HYPE's Civic Engagement Committee, offers an excellent recap of the event 
CMSC Welcomes UConn Department of Extension!
Please join us in welcoming the following new professional affiliate.
The UConn Department of Extension has joined the CMSC Professional Affiliate member network. UConn Extension connects the power of UConn research to local issues by creating practical, science-based answer to complex problems, providing scientific knowledge and expertise to the public in areas such as economic viability, business and industry, community development, agriculture and natural resources. 
UConn Survey on Pedestrian Safety
You can help improve pedestrian safety
UConn is doing a study on pedestrians' behavior and social networks. You can help improve pedestrian safety by taking the survey and providing valuable feedback and information.
  Upcoming Events
Check out these opportunities for downtown-related learning and networking.

Collaboration Annual Summit - March 18
Hosted by the Hartford Business Journal. 
This summit is targeted towards educating individuals on the benefits of collaboration to save money and leverage the purchases and agreements within their towns. CMSC's Kimberly Parsons-Whitaker of Connecticut Main Street Center will be on the "Building Vibrant Communities" workshop alongside Partnership for Strong Communities' Deputy Policy Director, Katy Shafer, and Robert Santy of the Connecticut Economic Resource Center. The day will include panel discussions, workshops, Q & A with key leaders and a distinguished panel of experts. Register here

Communities Toolkit Workshops - March 31 & April 20
Sponsored by the Eastern Highlands Health District's Community Health Action Response Team. These workshops offer an in-depth, hands-on orientation to the Healthy Communities Toolkit. This free event is tailored for local planning and zoning commissioners, other local board and commission members, or anyone interested in the land use/public health partnership.  Learn more. . . 

Nailing the Landing: A New Neighborhood Forged from an Old Industrial District - April 19
Sponsored by the AIA, Connecticut Committee on the Environment; the American Planners Association, Connecticut Chapter (CCAPA); and the Congress for a New Urbanism, New England Chapter (CNU-NE). 
This event will address pressing issues in Connecticut real estate in the context of three case study projects, covering how lessons learned and methods employed can be adapted to other projects. Focusing on real world considerations and getting the projects built, an expert panel will explain how the balanced solutions required for these projects to succeed requires a collaborative approach based on a common vision. Learn more. . .

RI Small Developer Bootcamp - April 1-3
The Small Scale Developer Workshop is designed to help individuals in small towns or big cities learn how neighborhood scale real estate projects work, particularly buildings with 2-20 residential units and/or are 1-3 stories with a mix of uses. The course assumes you know a lot about your city or place, but not necessarily much about the industry or related fields. Through hands on applied learning, guidance from seasoned coaches and networking with local like-minded people, the workshop could be your first step to being a change maker in your community. Register and more info. . .

Re-Mains of the Day
▪ Storrs Center to Host 2016 Awards Gala
Mansfield Downtown Partnership_Paterson Photo
is pleased to announce that Storrs Center in Mansfield will host the 2016 CT Main Street Awards Gala on Monday, June 6th. Storrs Center's compelling story of being created from the ground up will be highlighted throughout the event, beginning with a gathering reception sponsored by
UIL Holdings Corp. and presentation of the 2016 Awards of Excellence in the E.O. Smith High School auditorium. Following the awards presentation, attendees will be guided across the street to the new downtown for an interactive menu of experiences including tours of new residential apartments, performances from local artists and entertainers, and visits to local shops and merchants. Read the full announcement.
Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs Accepting Proposals 
This week the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service announced that the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) are now accepting proposals through May 12, 2016. Approximately $13 million is available for each of these programs, and the maximum grant awards have increased to $500,000. CMSC Members can learn more by logging into the Members Only area of the CMSC website.
Spotlight on 2015 Awards of Excellence
The Connecticut Main Street Founder's Award presented by
Connecticut Main Street Center presents the Founder's Award in recognition of individuals and organizations who dedicate themselves to promoting an awareness of the necessity of a comprehensive management approach to the revitalization of Connecticut's historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.
Hiram Peck, AICP, Director of Community Planning & Development 
Town of Simsbury

Learn how Hiram worked with Simsbury Main Street Partnership, residents and the town to carefully craft regulations that will ensure future development fits with their historic charm and carefully integrates their natural and historic assets into development.
Connecticut Main Street Center