Students will begin the unit by working collectively to create a geographic definition of “local” by thinking about the community through their own personal lens and by digging deeper into family connections.  Through these lenses, students will explore the cultural dimension of what it means to be from a particular region, what challenges their communities face, and begin to explore potential resources that can help students on their journey toward understanding local forest use and its impacts on community.  They will then gain a firm understanding of impact from the context of economic, social, and environmental use.  This will be referenced throughout the entire project. Students will learn how to collect qualitative and quantitative data and create a strategy for doing so in their community.  From the qualitative and quantitative data, students will eventually create an ArcGIS map of local resources to help reflect on their own community and the challenges that the community faces.  The end product of this unit will be a poster titled “What’s the Story of Our Community?” which will be presented at the first MFC Student Cohort Day.

This lesson provides a 3-Step process for students to explore the "Status of Rural Maine"

  • STEP 1:  Investigate the status of Rural Maine and your community

  • STEP 2:  Define your connection with and role in the local community.  What challenges do you have in the community?

  • STEP 3:  Develop a better understanding of your family connections and roles within the community.  What challenges does your family see in the community?


This 2-Step process guides students toward thinking about economic, social/cultural, and ecological impacts, and provides examples of "sustainable communities."

  • STEP 1:  Define impact and sustainability from economic, ecological, and social/cultural lenses.  Define the attributes of sustainable communities.

  • STEP 2:  What do we know about the impact of natural resource use and the sustainability of our communities?


The November 6th Cohort Day at the Augusta Statehouse is an opportunity for students to showcase their work, and to learn from other participating schools and communities. This 2-Step process guides students toward creating their poster presentations.

  • STEP 1:  Poster Preparation Materials for November 6th

  • STEP 2:  "I am; We are" Poems