Heart and Soul FAQs

Got questions? Sure you do. Check here for answers!

Who are we?

Heart & Soul is a collaborative effort between Gardiner area residents, The City of Gardiner, Gardiner Main Street and Gardiner Board of Trade and the Orton Family Foundation.

What are we doing and why?

By reaching far and wide into our community, we aim to give all citizens a voice in the creation of a Comprehensive Plan that speaks to our common values. We hope that encouraging engagement between neighbors, organizations, and business owners, will bring great ideas to the surface, and that we can help empower residents to implement plans for Gardiner’s future successes.

Why now?

Why now?

Gardiner received a two-year, $100,000 grant from the Orton Family Foundation, of Vermont.  The Orton Family Foundation was founded in 1995 by Lyman Orton and Noel Fritzinger, and helps residents of small cities and towns honor and uphold their community values while planning for the future.

Where will this project have an impact?

The Comprehensive Plan is a legal document, which informs city policy for the next ten years, and is a critical piece when seeking State funding. The more of our community that is represented in the writing of this document, the more likely our City will function in a way that reflects our common values. Our community should feel empowered in decision-making processes.

The roots we plant now will last as long as we maintain a commitment to Gardiner. New friendships, partnerships and projects have already sprouted, and will branch out from our Heart & Soul network, continuing to foster creative growth for our beautiful city.

When will it be finished?

The two years will be up in January 2014.

The Comprehensive Plan process looks to wrap up in the fall.  Heart & Soul will seek residents to help conceive an implementation strategy for community cohesion. This means; “How will we all work together to make this place the best? How will we get all these ideas done?” We hope to have a plan for that, and we are excited to see some of these dreams becoming reality!

How will we do any of that?

A city committee works with a planning consultant to review and rework our previous Comprehensive Plan, inserting revisions, which speak to the values and vision of the community, as, identified through Heart & Soul! Citizens will have opportunity to review this plan before adoption by council.

Heart & Soul hosts events to help the community understand this process, and to collect ideas from residents whose voices may not normally reach city hall. This means, we will try to give Gardiner as many options as possible to get out and talk about what they want for Gardiner’s future.

We also hope to offer tools for future leaders, while cultivating and reinforcing a strong network that will thrive and grow, leading to a brilliant future!

How can you get involved?

The easiest to get involved is to spread the word. Talking to family and neighbors about Gardiner is what it is all about. Letting people know about our events is the next step, and volunteering your time to help plan or put on an event is even better. If you are interested in becoming a part of our team, there will be tasks of all sizes that need doing! A monthly meeting of the entire Community Advisory Group is held on the 2nd Thursday of each month, at City Hall.

The Heart & Soul project coordinator is available to answer any questions, or talk more about the scheduled programs for the rest of the year.

Email heartandsoul@gardinermaine.com, call 629-8563, or stop by the Planning & Development office in City Hall.

Heart & Soul Downtown Headquarters, at 289 Water Street is open most Wednesday afternoons, and each Saturday morning, 10a-12p, plus intermittent hours during the week.