Rural Maine Reporting Project

The Rural Maine Reporting Project is made possible through the generous support of the Betterment Fund.

As a part of its strategic efforts in local journalism, Maine Public presents a year-long series of news reports on Maine Public Radio and digitally that highlight the benefits, challenges, and opportunities of life in today’s rural and western Maine.

Reporting on rural and western Maine is decreasing. Most local media outlets have diminished in size, capacity, and reach, to only cover the higher profile stories from Augusta, Portland, Lewiston and Bangor. This shrinking level of coverage widens the gap in what listeners, viewers, and readers know about their fellow Mainers. And the need to connect with our neighbors and understand people everywhere in our state is entirely evident now, more than ever.

This series will showcase the best that rural Maine has to offer, while also featuring the stories that show how these communities have challenges unique to each.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Every year on the first Saturday in December, hundreds of people flood the streets of Farmington, Maine to remember a man most never met.

http://www.celebrationbarn.com/

How can the arts contribute to rural community development in Maine? Some of our state's smallest and most isolated towns have found that promoting arts and cultural opportunities have brought them new life. In advance of the Maine Arts Commission's conference on this subject, we explore the role of the arts in rural development.

Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public

Piscataquis County is Maine's least populous county with fewer than six people per square mile. And it's losing inhabitants.

Nick Woodward / Maine Public File

Did your parents ever order you to “just go play outside”? Studies show that kids are spending less time outdoors — far less than their parents and grandparents did.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Across Maine, thousands of high school seniors are graduating and preparing for the next chapter in their lives. But for many, particularly students in rural Maine, the future is uncertain. Graduating seniors in the western Maine town of Rumford told Maine Public how they imagine their own futures, and whether that future might include returning to their hometown.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

This story is part of Maine Public's Rural Maine Reporting Project, a year-long series of news reports that highlight the benefits, challenges and opportunities of life in today’s rural and western Maine.