Cumberland, Yarmouth and Freeport are among five towns that have teamed up with Greater Portland Council of Governments to work on climate resolutions that may include reaching net-zero emissions in municipal buildings and more electric vehicle charging stations.

North Yarmouth and Brunswick also “raised their hands” after GPCOG offered to help member communities apply for a Maine Community Resilience Partnership Service Provider grant, said GPCOG Director of Sustainability Sara Mills-Knapp.

The grants “support regional service providers (such as GPCOG) who recruit groups of two to five communities to join the partnership,” and apply for funding to implement community, energy and climate priorities, according to the state. The group would be awarded $50,000 total, $10,000 for each community. The deadline to apply is Sept. 20.

“We kicked off about a month ago with the goal of conducting some community outreach and public engagement to get as much input as possible to decide which priority projects each town might apply for. That’s been our focus to date,” Mills-Knapp said.

Cumberland and Freeport each have community meetings scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 22.

Cumberland officials will likely seek residents’ support to use grant funds toward its effort to make town buildings carbon neutral by 2030 by retrofitting them with heating systems that don’t use fossil fuels, according to Denison Gallaudet, chairperson of the town Sustainability Committee. Gallaudet said the money would be used for engineering work at Prince Memorial Library and Town Hall.


The hybrid meeting will be held at Cumberland Town Hall, 290 Tuttle Road, and via Zoom at

Climate hazards impacting Freeport will be discussed at its meeting, and residents will be asked what projects they would like to see prioritized. The meeting will also be hybrid, with an option to attend in-person at Town Hall, 30 Main St., or via Zoom at 

Freeport Town Planner Caroline Pelletier said her town also will be forming a climate action plan of its own in the near future. Some of those goals, which are still being worked on by the Sustainability Advisory Board, will overlap with the town’s recent downtown vision plan and its new comprehensive plan, Pelletier said, and residents’ input on June 22 will help prioritize projects.

Yarmouth will hold a hybrid community meeting at 6 p.m. June 29. Details and the agenda weren’t finalized by the Forecaster’s deadline, but information will be made available at The town, which formed a Climate Task Force earlier this year, has a goal of reducing municipal emissions to net-zero by 2030 and reducing broader community emissions to net-zero by 2050.

Yarmouth Director of Economic Development Scott LaFlamme said each town is going to have different action items, “but by working in this cohort, we’re able to share notes and leverage what we’re each doing and leverage that towards a more regional goal.”

North Yarmouth is still working on specific goals and action items and will present those ideas at a meeting that has not yet been scheduled. North Yarmouth Town Manager Diane Barnes felt it was too premature to comment on the process.


Brunswick’s meeting will be held July 6 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Town Council chambers. A Zoom option will also be available and can be found at

Brunswick Environmental Planner Bina Skordas said the town is working through its comprehensive planning process to identify some climate-related goals, which may include an analysis of greenhouse gases in Brunswick, installing electric vehicle charging stations, and more infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians.

“There’s always a benefit to regionalizing ideas and sharing ideas,” LaFlamme said. “When we start to make some decisions in our respective communities, it’s showing that we’re not really alone in this. Our neighbors are all thinking and asking the same questions, which helps bring positive context to the conversation.

“We’re not blazing new trails, we’re working together to further these goals.”

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